Hangin’ Tough: Which Boy Bands Should Reunite with NKOTB, 98 Degrees, and Boyz II Men on Tour?

Get this: Boy bands New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees, and Boyz II Men are joining forces for a national tour called The Package Tour (mmm, Jonathan Knight, give it to us!), and I assume they’re planning on calling their giant supegroup NKOTBIIM98DEGREEZ or something equally catchy. I picture mashup medleys called things like “Please Don’t Go, Girl, While I’m on Bended Kneee (Una Noche)” and “I’ll Make Love to You Step by Step, Which is the Hardest Thing.” I’m already whooping and dropkicking several pairs of panties at the stage.

But I think this gives us an important chance to think about the boy bands who aren’t a part of this magical reunion tour. Here are my five candidates for groups who should reunite and tag along with NKOTB2M98D. Some of these picks are disturbing, but that’s the price I pay for reporting real journalism. 

1. ’N Sync

Here’s why ’N Sync should be a part of this tour: They had that “Drive Myself Crazy” video where they played asylum inhabitants who wore silk pajamas, and you know Boys II Men loves silk pajamas. Like, LOVES. Those two groups could enjoy a mini-pajama party segment onstage and invite audience members to hurl soft pillows and teddy bears at them. Don’t tell me you can’t picture JC Chasez crooning “End of the Road” and meaning it so much. I’m thinking of it right now and now I have to join a pajama asylum too.

Likelihood: Slim to none. Justin Timberlake just announced his solo comeback, which leaves little room for the jean-jacketed splendor of Joey Fatone.

2. Immature

Tell me you remember Immature. They were the baby R&B crooner troupe (singers Marques “Batman” Houston and Jerome “Romeo” Jones were 11 when their first record dropped) who made an appearance on the Nickelodeon variety series All That. If that’s news to you, we can’t be friends. Or rather, you should be afraid to be friends with me. Because I remember everything that God forgot.

The group renamed themselves IMx for a late ’90s reunion, and they’re only 31-2 years old now! Obviously this tour could use a youthful edge, wouldn’t you say? 

Likelihood: This reunion could actually happen! The group promised to release new material in 2011, but never made good on it. Perhaps the hard-bodied presence of Drew Lachey would inspire a couple of double albums? It would for me, anyway. 

3. Youngstown

Never forget that most boy bands looked like they shopped at Kohl’s. Never forget.

Youngstown was a musical trio named for their Ohio roots, and if you own the esteemed Inspector Gadget soundtrack, you know their signature non-hit “I’ll Be Your Everything.” One of the singers looks like Suede from Project Runway, and that’s kind of unexpected. The point is, Youngstown and 98 Degrees are all Ohio natives, so they could join forces onstage for renditions of The Drew Carey Show’s theme song and recitations of Hot in Cleveland scripts. Nick Lachey gets to be Jane Leeves, finally!

Likelihood: Considering we haven’t heard from Youngstown since their 2001 album Down For The Get Down, I’d say they’re content with their breakup.

4. 5ive

All you need to know about the English boy band 5ive is this: One of the members was named Abz Love. That is almost a post-apocalyptic boy bander name. The British don’t mess around! They name their crooners after sexy body parts if they want! The band is less known for their hits than for turning down “Bye, Bye, Bye,” the record that would’ve made them huge and eventually went to N ’Sync. Then-mastermind Simon Cowell lamented the group’s failure, noting of the “Bye, Bye, Bye” snafu, “I would’ve broken that band.”

Likelihood: Quite! The group is reuniting with fellow overseas acts B*Witched and Atomic Kitten for a special called The Big Reunion this month, but because original J. Brown member doesn’t want to be a part of it, they put out their searchlight for a fifth member. Pardon me: a 5i5th member.

5. Dream Street

Before Jesse McCartney went on to gain Tiger Beat fame with his song “Beautiful Soul” and a major songwriting credit on Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love,” he was a member of the dapper and freakishly young boy band Dream Street. McCartney was just 13 during the group’s heyday, which is apparently old enough to wear oversize burgundy shirts and brandish roses. Look at those gents! Ready to serve you emotions.

Likelihood: Slim to none. The members are all doing separate projects, and McCartney’s the voice of Theodore in those Alvin and the Chipmunks movies, which I’m certain is a scarily lucrative and dependable business.

Who do you want to reunite?