Backstreet Boy Nick Carter Shares Some 'Boy Band' Wisdom

Ingela Ratledge
Q&A Jim Jordan

Don’t bother trying to adjust your television set: That incredibly shrill, high-pitched sound is just countless teenyboppers going berserk over the prospect of ABC’s new competition Boy Band. The 10-episode series will set out to create the next all-male supergroup, with the top five contestants landing a Hollywood Records contract and, presumably, a lifetime supply of Axe body spray. Guiding them on the path to fame and fortune: Nick Carter. The Backstreet Boy, along with Emma Bunton of the Spice Girls and host Rita Ora, will share hard-won wisdom on how to achieve perfect harmony, on stage and off. Here, Carter sings like a canary.

You and Emma are Boy Band’s designated “architects.” What does that mean, exactly?
We’re responsible for choosing the singers and then trying to find the best combinations of voices. Each week, we’ll put two people up for elimination, and America votes. In a lot of ways, we are going to be mentors—we want to form a group that lasts. It’s so awesome getting to do this with Emma because there are so many parallels between our careers. She’s Baby Spice, and I’m Baby Backstreet!

Rank Your Favorite Boy Bands Before You Watch ABC's 'Boy Band'

Rank Your Favorite Boy Bands Before You Watch ABC's 'Boy Band'

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How will you determine if somebody has the right stuff to succeed at this?
It’s definitely about the vocals first, and then everything else can be worked on. When my band started out, we weren’t the greatest dancers at all. We had to practice and grind it out. And in terms of the group dynamic, chemistry will make or break you—the right personalities molding together as a team. I’m gonna get to the bottom of these guys’ true intentions!

Any advice for the winning crew on staying in sync?
This is a relationship—100 percent—and it’s not going to be easy. The Backstreet Boys have been together for 24 years, and we are married to each other. Communicate, share your feelings, be a family unit—and hold on tight for the ride of your life!

Boy Band, Series Premiere, Thursday, June 22, 8/7c, ABC