ABC's 'Boy Band' enlists Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls alums


While questions continue to swirl about the judging panel for ABC's other singing competition show, the network on Tuesday revealed several key pieces of talent for its upcoming reality series Boy Band.

Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter, Spice Girls vocalist Emma Bunton and singer-actress Rita Ora have signed on for the summer entry.

Carter and Bunton will serve as "architects," i.e. experts who will guide contestants throughout their journey to stardom. Meanwhile, Ora will serve as host.

Shortly after the announcement was made Tuesday at ABC's upfront presentation, Carter and his Backstreet Boys bandmates took the stage to perform their hit "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)."

Read more: ABC Orders 'Boy Band' Singing Competition to Series

Ordered to series in March, Boy Band will feature undiscovered young talent from across the country competing to become a member of the next big music group. The 10-episode first season begins with thousands of talented male vocalists auditioning to land one of 18 spots in three bands. Those bands must impressive the architects to avoid being sent home.

On each episode, architects will shuffle contestants to find the best combination of voices to perform, live, for America. Architects will also critique each band's performance and collectively decide which two contestants should be put up for elimination. After performing solo "survival" songs, viewers watching at home will be able to vote to save their favorite. On the finale, America's five favorite bandmembers will be announced and perform a brand-new single together for the first time.

For Carter, the move to Boy Band comes nearly two decades after he found success as one-fifth of Backstreet Boys. The group was formed by manager Lou Pearlman, who went on to also create NSYNC. Pearlman later formed the group O-Town on the ABC reality showMaking the Band before it moved to MTV with Sean "Puffy" Combs.

Read more: ABC Reality Chief Reveals 'American Idol' Reboot Plans (Exclusive)

The Spice Girls were formed in a similar fashion in the early 1990s by managers Bob and Chris Herbert, who put out on an ad in a trade magazine to invite young female singers to try out for a new all-girl group.

The Spice Girls went onto sell 85 million records, while Backstreet Boys have sold 130 million records, making them the best-selling boy band in history. The latter just kicked off their Las Vegas residency, Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life, earlier this year.

In addition to hosting the most recent season of America's Top Next Model (Tyra Banks will reprise her hosting duties for the next season), Ora has appeared as a coach on the fourth season of The Voice UK and as a judge on season 12 of The X Factor UK. Her hits include "R.I.P.," "I Will Never Let You Down" and "Black Widow."

Boy Band is set to premiere Thursday, June 22, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.


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