Are you a ‘Sucker’ for the boy bands?

Shreya Ramachandran, Reporter

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Every teenage girl is internally screaming because their childhood dreams have been fulfilled: The Jonas Brothers have reunited. Their new single, “Sucker,” debuted at Midnight on March 1, 2019, their first release since 2013.

The Jonas Brothers came together as a band in 2005 and released four studio albums between 2006 and 2009. I guess you can also say they have been together since birth.

Disney Channel capitalized on the Jonas Brothers, featuring them in the two Camp Rock movies and their own sitcom Jonas L.A.

Nick Jonas initiated the break up in 2013 in order to go his own direction. Now they’re back. “Sucker” rose to No. 1 song on Billboard’s Top 100, the first Jonas Brothers’ song to do so. Their new song “Cool” was released today.

Seniors Jade Fung and Keagan Bouman are among the Jonas Brothers’ many fans and have been since childhood.  Fung explained that she first got into the Jonas Brothers because of her swim team, and then it became that adolescent marker for all American teenage girls: her first boy band obsession.

“Most people listened to One Direction or Justin Bieber, but I was a Jonas Brothers girl,” Fung said.

She owned a lot of paraphernalia.

“I had t-shirts, and a blanket that I put away because my friends thought it was weird, but I recently got it out again,” Fung said.

Fung didn’t go to any concerts because she was too young, but she is currently saving up to go to one this time around.

Bouman’s love for the Jonas Brothers is comparable to Fung’s. “My neighbors and I would illegally burn CDs so that if one of us had one, the other would burn it so that we all had it.”

Joe Jonas was her favorite.

“I remember writing love songs about the Jonas Brothers,” Bouman said.

When the Jonas Brothers announced their reunion, both Fung and Bouman were sitting together in Spanish class. Fung had heard rumors but dismissed them. She first saw the news on Twitter, and both the girls started obsessing together. “I was on a high for the next five days,” Fung said. “I tweeted instantly that 2019 is the best year because the Jonas Brothers got back together.”

Bouman said she has concerns about the stars maintaining their family life. “I hope that they can balance it all and still make music, without sacrificing their family,” Bouman said.

Fung hopes that it is the music that is reuniting them. “I know that they are doing it for themselves and not just the fans. They have a genuine desire to play together as a family again.”

Librarian and interim Consumer Economics teacher, Megan Fleri-Summers had a different opinion. Although she appreciated listening to the Jonas Brothers during their pre-Disney channel era, Fleri-Summers has a more skeptical view of their reunion.

“I thought it was hilarious that the Jonas Brothers got back together. They’re brothers so how could they have broken up in the first place?” Fleri-Summers said.  “Why create something new when they can just capitalize on everyone’s nostalgia. It will ruin their previous reputation to produce music that people don’t listen to; it’s a risk.”

More than the Jonas Brothers, Fleri-Summers would say she was a fan of the Backstreet Boys, a second-hand love, stemming from her older sister’s obsession. Fleri-Summers had multiple CDs and her sister brought her back a folder and pen from a concert.

“I liked Aaron Carter, Nick Carter’s little brother. He appeared on Lizzy McGuire,” Fleri-Summers said.

Backstreet Boys or NSYNC? That is the question that haunted many teenage girls during the late 90s, early 2000s, and it haunted English teacher, Rebekah Hoffman.

“When I was growing up you could not cross over,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman claims that she can still sing any song by NSYNC that comes on.

“‘No Strings Attached’ was the album I could have sung on my own from beginning to end,” Hoffman said. “That’s when I started to understand how artists craft an album, how they put songs in different orders and follow bops with ballads.”

Not only was she obsessed with the music, but the people as well. JC Chasez was her guy, and this was motivated by the desire to be unique, since most girls were crushing on Justin Timberlake. “He was the ‘tall, dark, and handsome’ and also had many lead vocals,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman, like the others, had posters, which she indicated are probably still hanging up in her parents’ home.

“I had posters of all of them, but I had a Justin Timberlake poster on my ceiling,” Hoffman said. “It was right above my head, but at a little bit of an angle, so I could look up at it comfortably.”

NSYNC’s breakup was softened by the fact the Justin Timberlake was still around, but in 2014 NSYNC performed together in the Grammy’s. Hoffman said this performance turned an ordinary night of grading papers in her apartment into nostalgic excitement.

“Justin Timberlake started singing, so I started tuning in,” Hoffman said. “But then I looked up and saw JC and I literally screamed.”

Although Hoffman loves NSYNC’s vocals and dance moves, she conceded that she has a lot more respect for a band like the Jonas Brothers who play their own instruments.

But these young fans of boy bands may have met their match in two social science teachers who prove that today’s fandom doesn’t compare to what it was when they were teenagers. Kirsten Hany and Kate Pole were both extreme fans.

“There wasn’t internet in our era. Our only outlets were cable- which I didn’t have- or magazines and the radio,” Hany said. The only pop boy band at the time getting airtime was New Kids on the Block. They had no competition.

Both Hany and Pole describe their room being “wallpapered” with posters. 

“My love for them could be quantified for how much money I spent on paraphernalia,” Pole said. “When I ran out of space, I covered the ceiling and hung the posters with string.”

Hany’ said her love bordered on an obsession.

“I had NKOTB sheets and pillows. I would flip the Joey pillow up and pretend he was my husband. I had t-shirts, buttons, and CDs. I still have my Joey barbie doll, that I thought would be worth a lot today, but it’s not,” Hany said.

Hany was in love with Joey McIntyre, the youngest member, and Pole with Jordan Knight, the lead vocalist.

“I thought that if there was a chance I would just meet Joey, he would love me back,” Hany said, “Joey is my one true love…and also my husband of 15 years.”

Pole mentioned that her signature was based off of Jordan Knight’s signature, which she still uses to this day.

Both had a chance to attend a concert.

“I went to concert in Minneapolis,” Pole, who lived in North Dakota at the time, said. ”I got up at 6 am in the morning for 5 pm concert. We had convinced ourselves we were going to meet NKOTB.”

Hany was twelve years old when she went to see NKOTB at the Peoria Civic Center. “This was in the era when parents didn’t have to accompany you, so I just walked in by myself to a sold out concert,” she said.

Hany was devastated when NKOTB broke up, though how she learned of the news was a far cry from today’s instantaneous information.

“I read an article in Teen Beat about their going separate ways. I kept the article because I thought it would be historic. It felt like family was breaking up,” Hany said.

Four different bands across three different eras, all competing for the attention of teenage girls. Perhaps Hoffman summed it up best: “It doesn’t matter what group you were attached to when you were young. They’re going to stay with you forever.”

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