Tag Archives: The Wanted Life

Things That Need To Stop: Boy Bands Doing Reality Shows

Showing off their shows.

Showing off their shows.

It’s no surprise that the world of reality television is getting stale. Really stale. The music competition shows that once ruled the airwaves are showing signs of fatigue and the new crop of weekly shows that center around party people, pregnant teenagers and other privileged individuals are just bad. However, we also have the category of reality shows centering around singers and groups who want to have the cameras film their every move because their new material isn’t moving copies and they need to so that they can pay back their record group in order for the label to inevitably buy new coffee mugs for the office. Sound familiar? That’s sort of how it goes, at least in the more desperate situations. Two recent shows have been failing to meet the expectations in the ratings department for acts that have rather large fan bases, and so, another things that needs to stop: boy bands doing reality shows.

This is clearly not the first time boy bands have been featured on a weekly television show. Both the Jackson Five and the New Kids On The Block had Saturday morning cartoons, but both never made it beyond a second season. You’ll also remember ABC’s Making The Band, which started airing in 2000 with the help of hot manager at the time and now convict Lou Pearlman. The first season formed O-Town, who had two top ten singles and two albums… and two more seasons of the show on MTV, which probably weren’t needed but the producers thought they could sustain audience by showing them performing and doing every day actions. The group broke up in 2003. A similar reality show took place in 2007 that tried to form a new version of Menudo, but that also floundered, and a single by the group barely cracked the top 40 on one radio format. They were done by 2009.

In the summer of 2012, E! began airing Married To Jonas, a series created by Ryan Seacrest Productions that followed Kevin Jonas of the Jonas Brothers and his wife Danielle Deleasa in their lives. The series also followed a musical comeback by the three brothers, first playing in concert (season one) then recording an album and releasing a single with a subsequent music video (season two). While the series initially did well, the ratings began to tank about halfway into its first season, going from a high of 2.21 million viewers to a low of just 720,000 in the next-to-last episode. By some miracle, it was renewed to even worse results. It debuted with 990,000 viewers this past April, sinking to a low of 570,000 just weeks later. Even with a time shift from 10:30 to 10PM, nothing could help it. The single I alluded to, “Pom Poms”, leaked several days before its official premiere, but quickly went top ten on iTunes on its release day before nosediving off the charts. It also received little radio airplay. As an independent project, it couldn’t be sustained, and with promotion to such a reduced audience, it could’ve never built itself up to be a hit. The show has yet to be cancelled, but I suspect it will be. No album release date has surfaced.

Just last week, another RSP show, The Wanted Life, debuted on the same channel and follows British boy band The Wanted fooling around in some mansion in the Los Angeles. In the first episode, we’re shown footage of them recording their tacky new single, “Walks Like Rihanna”, which sold just under 18,000 copies in its first week, amounting to a #121 debut on the Digital Songs Chart. They, unlike the Jonas Brothers, have only had one legitimately big single which struggled for months to pick up stations before suddenly breaking out. That would be the #3 Hot 100 hit “Glad You Came”; it was serviced to mainstream radio in August 2011 before finally making the top 40 in January 2012 after a performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Their album came and went and so did a few other singles that didn’t chart well, and thus, the boys only managed a 600,000 viewer debut for that first episode. Oops. Sounds a little unwanted, if you ask me. Who knows what the future holds for the show?

So, when a show like this flops, who is to blame? Is it the artist whose name isn’t big enough to sell a show? Is it their management for proposing the idea in the first place? Is it their label not doing enough to promote it? Is it the production crew for filming subpar footage? Is it the editing crew for piecing together a show that doesn’t work? Is it the network airing it at the wrong time on the wrong day? Maybe it’s a little bit of all of these things. What was wrong with a one-off special, a la Diary or Making The Video or Unplugged all on MTV? They might not exist for the most part, but there’s still ways to bring them back. Alas, people don’t learn. I do like some of the music by both The Wanted and the Jonas Brothers, but seriously, do I need a half hour show to tell me that Deleasa and Jonas are still in love or an hour or that The Wanted can party hard and wreck their house in an hour? Absolutely not.

So, Big Time Rush (you already have a sitcom), Emblem3, One Direction and all you other boy bands out there, go ahead with your concert movies, but please, please don’t bother wasting your own time and the network’s time by trying to make a reality show. It hits all the wrong notes.

Let me know what you think about this in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Filed under Charts/Trade Papers

Three, Four, Five: These New Hits And Members Keep Stacking Up

It’s boy bandemonium on the pop survey these days. We’ve had comeback singles just since the start of the year for 98 Degrees, Hanson, Jonas Brothers and New Kids On The Block. Don’t forget that One Direction‘s also put out a few more singles. Well, here are three more songs to add to the list, both Stateside and international releases. Be very afraid. They’re here to stay, at least through this year. Check out the newbies:

Looking for Number "One".

Looking for Number “One”.

EMBLEM3 – “Chloe (You’re The One I Want)”
Release Date: April 16 (CHR radio, iTunes)

You saw them on the second season of the American version of The X Factor, mentored by Simon Cowell, and the young girls were swooning away. The trio of brothers Wesley and Keaton Stromberg, as well as friend Drew Chadwick, came in fourth place in the competition in the fall. Shortly after the show wrapped up, the group signed with by Syco Music and Columbia Records, and since then, they’ve been going across the country on a mini-tour. They also have a few promotional concerts lined up for summer events from radio stations in cities like Boston and New York City. On the heels of those forthcoming events, the group will be releasing their very first single on iTunes on April 16, a song called “Chloe (You’re The One I Want)”. It will also be going to radio on that same date, though it’s been registered to be monitored for airplay for some time now. They’ve been performing live now on virtually all of their tour dates and it seems to be getting a good reaction from their fan base. You can see a live lyric video from one of those concerts above. It’s part rapped and part sung, and it seems to be heavily influenced from the fields of both pop and reggae. Not a bad combination. It’s a catchy, summer-sounding song, so let’s hope for the best when the full studio version comes out in less than two weeks. (P.S. A note for all of you chart geeks like me. This “Chloe” isn’t the same one that Elton John took to #34 on the Hot 100 in the fall of 1981.)

They'll fight for this "Love".

Going, Going, “Gone”.

LAWSON – “Gone”
Release Date: May 13 (U.K.)

I wrote a single review on these guys a few months back, so I’m happy to feature the quartet out of the United Kingdom again for their newest release. This is now the fifth single from their debut album, Chapman Square, released in the fall of last year. Last time around, they just missed the top ten in their native country with “Learn To Love Again”, but with three prior singles to that solidly made the top ten there, they’ve not had a bad track record at all. They travelled to America several months ago to perform a few smaller dates in the U.S. and in Canada, but since then, nothing has come up in terms of a crossover to this side of the world. Now, it looks like they’re touring in Asia, where the album seems to be doing OK, according to HMV.  Then, they’ll be back in the U.K. for the summer. So, I guess they’ll make do with one more single in Europe, as I’m sure they’ll be going back to the studio to record their second album relatively soon. “Gone” is a change in direction from their last dance-oriented single, going back to their pop/rock roots which made them successful in the first place. It’s not my favorite song from the record, but it’s a solid one from a really great album. Being so far down the line in terms of single releases, it probably won’t do extremely well, but some sort of top 40 placing for it should be in order come May. No word if a CD single will be available for it like the four other singles; I’ll update this when I know.

Sweet and "Low".

Sweet and “Low”.

THE WANTED – “All Time Low”
Release Date: April 30 (CHR radio)

Alright, alright, I know what you’re going to say. “Puh-lease, Adam, this song isn’t new.” Yes, it’s true. “All Time Low” went to #1 in the United Kingdom… in the summer of 2010. Cue the sad trombone. On top of that, the song was actually released here in a remixed form during the summer of 2011, but it was only about to become a minor hit on the Dance/Club Play survey. (“Glad You Came” was issued shortly afterwards, though it didn’t take off right away.) However, the boys have moved to Los Angeles and are filming a Ryan Seacrest-produced reality series entitled The Wanted Life. It premieres in June, and “Low” will be used as the theme song for the show. So, in preparation for that, Def Jam is sending the song to radio. Unfortunately for them, they’ve been pretty indecisive about an adds date for the song. It was originally supposed to be out February 26, then it was moved to March 19, then to April 2, and now, April 30. I mean, really, if that doesn’t spell flop already, then I don’t know what does. The song itself is good and was a great debut single for the guys, but their core fans have known the song for verging on three years now. I just don’t think it’s going to work, but alas, someone thinks they know what they’re doing and is carrying on with re-repromoting their single. A live video was recently released for it, which you can see above. Their series, airing on E!, will debut sometime in June. We’ll see if radio actually wants it soon.

So many boy bands, so little time. Do you have a favorite one that’s highlighted in this post or one I should cover in the future? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Filed under Single Reviews