3 Reasons Why The #BSBCruise2016 Acoustic Set Hit Us In The Feels

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Many Backstreet Boys fans have always wanted the Boys to do an acoustic album, an acoustic tour, or perhaps a few acoustic shows between albums. No one really expected it on a cruise. Weren’t things supposed to be hype all the time? Wouldn’t an acoustic set mellow everyone out? These things were on the minds of a few fans as they set sail on the first European cruise this past week.

Then it happened.

Fans at home were a little shocked and lot thrilled when, within hours of the Boys boarding the cruise, they periscoped the group rehearsing “Darlin'” acapella. When was the last time we had even heard that song?! Bonus: they sounded even more flawless than usual.

Then came the actual acoustic concert.

And we remembered why we’re Backstreet Boys fans.

It wasn’t just because they were singing live in front of us (or online) for the first time in months. It was so many reasons and so many feelings beyond that.

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1. They Brought Back The Classics.

Did we ever think in a million years that we’d be SO ecstatic to hear “Just To Be Close” after hearing it acapella every time the Backstreet Boys turned around in the beginning? Hearing it now took us back. It took us back to basics, stripped our Boys down of everything that happened in 23 years, and reminded us what made us fans in the first place.

Then there’s “Let’s Have A Party” and “Lay Down Beside Me”, a song that instantly reminds us of the Orlando Coming Home concert and A Night Out With The Backstreet Boys, both of which most of us were only lucky to watch repeatedly when we were tweens.

There’s also the fact that Kevin, Brian, Howie, AJ and Nick also got emotional – like they were going back with us. We were all in the same head space, all back in the beginning, to 98, 99, and 2000s. It was like hearing our journey as fans and their journey as a group come to life. We weren’t ready for those emotions.

And we want to do it again!

2. They Listened To Us!

Months before the cruise set sail, an email was sent out to cruisers to ask for their opinions on what they wanted to hear during the acoustic set on board. We’ve been through this before – we get emails, we respond, and nothing ever happens with them or we’re left wondering if this is what people ACTUALLY replied with, because it didn’t seem like it.

But this setlist… well… it was straight from the fans. These are the songs we’ve wanted to hear again since they’ve disappeared from tour and live performances. These are the songs that are fan-loved, not world-loved. In short, the best.

An “I Want It That Way”-free set list with “Don’t Wanna Lose You Now”? Yep. That’s ours.

3. That Sound.

Of course, every good BSB fan always argues that they sound amazing all the time, best vocals, blah blah blah.

But there isn’t one fan that wasn’t taken aback by how incredible they sounded during the acoustic set. Honestly, most of us, there or simply watching online, shed a few tears, as did the Boys themselves. As if bringing back the songs we originally fell in love with wasn’t enough, they stripped it down to the vocals we’d forgotten we needed.

No flash. No choreography. Just five guys with talent and big dreams who seemed to be really taking in how far they’ve come.

We can’t write this point without talking about the vocals of Brian Littrell. Wow. We couldn’t be more proud of the progression he’s made and the strength he has shown. Hearing him sing “Darlin'” with such a purity, a vocal clarity, a confidence… well, moved doesn’t even seem to cover it. It’s pretty safe to say, by the looks of the faces of the other four guys, that we aren’t the only ones. As the crowd chanted Brian’s name, our hearts were never more full.

Michael Jordan is back.

 If you haven’t seen the acoustic performance, the French Backstreet Team was kind enough to put one of the performances (Group B) into one video. Check it out (and have your tissues ready)!

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5 Positives (And Suggestions) About BSB Cruise 2016

So, Kristie’s Korner has been on a slight hiatus, due to me, Kristie, cruising with BSB. I can’t believe it’s been a week since we boarded the boat with BSB, but I’m back, and ready to share with everyone about the cruise! I’m sure you’ve heard the good, the bad, and the ugly. However, I am here to focus on the positives, and to bring you the main pros and suggestions that I’ve come to realize. I mean, we were on VACATION with the Backstreet Boys; how bad could it be?!

 

1. The concert.

Holy smokes. For those of you who have seen the concert either live or in videos, I bet you cried at least seven times. AT LEAST. For those of you who have not seen it, do yourselves a favor, and search it on YouTube immediately. I really don’t think there was a dry eye in the room; and Brian, just wow. So. Many. Emotions. This concert was probably one of my favorites, ever; and definitely, surprisingly upbeat for an acoustic concert.

Hey BSB: Keep bringing back the “oldies” and classics that do not usually get performed. There is a reason why so many of us voted for them! They definitely brought us back in time, and we thank you for that. It was a special moment felt by all as to why we became fans many moons ago.

 

2. Free time.

Points for free time to get to explore in the ports (and/or sleep, eat, spa, etc). However, call me old fashioned, but I still missed the beach party. So if that could be brought back next year, I know I would be extremely happy (as I’m sure others will, as well). The 4 nights worked out really well, too. I feel like it was plenty of time to fit everything in, while also getting our Backstreet fill. Whether it is a cruise, or a land event, I am sure we will be there, and ready to party!

 

3. The preferred event.

This year, the boys wanted to do a little something extra special for those fans who got the higher end cabins. The event was complete with free champagne, and was supposed to be a chill event for these fans to get to hang out with the boys, and for some of the time, it was. Note to boys: this was an amazing idea, and we appreciate the thought SO much. However, this event would be GREAT to do in the future if it was handled slightly differently (e.g. maybe everyone would have to be sitting down at a table in order to get a picture with the boys).

 

4. Solo events.

YES, yes and more yes. The more personal and intimate they can be while incorporating fans; the better. Kevin’s was my personal favorite; how AMAZING were those duets?! BSB has a lot of talented fans, that’s for sure! And Kevin wasn’t so bad, himself. Again, for those of you who have not seen videos, I strongly urge you to do so.

 

5. Deck parties.

Well, let’s start with the positives. The way these boys dressed up for theme nights still makes me laugh. Nick was once again the woman of the group– Anyone else starting to get a little concerned…? LOL. The costumes were so creative, and they really went all out this year. The boys really tried to have fun with their time to make it worthwhile for the fans; and we are SO appreciative of that.

 

To the fans: You have GOT to stop pushing, chasing, “stalking”, etc. In the wise words of BSB, “I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did, as long as you…” just stop being aggressive. I know there were a lot of first timers on this cruise, but let me tell you, on past cruises, the guys hung out around the ship ALL the time. This cruise, they were forced to hide and take back hallways to get back to their room just to avoid getting followed by mass amounts of people. If they see that you are calm, they WILL hang out with you, and you WILL get the attention you want from them; because that’s what they are on the boat for. They are on the cruise for YOU. They WANT to hang out with you, as a calm and civil adult fan; not someone they have to risk their personal safety to be around.

I will leave it at that as to not dwell on the past, because we cannot change it. We can only make positive change for the future. So, as a collective fandom– “I don’t care where you’re from”, but let’s vow to make this change for the better… so that next cruise can be better… because WE, as a whole, made it that way. #BackstreetArmy

The Perfect Fan: 10 Fans Share Stories About Their BSB Loving Moms

For this Mother’s Day, we asked fans to share stories of their Perfect Fans aka Moms. From taking us to concerts, buying us CDs, going on cruises and VIPs with us, the Backstreet Boys have brought some of us closer to our moms through the years and some have even made US into fans.

“My mom and I always loved the Backstreet Boys. As far as I remember, we were dancing for hours in the living room, and the teenager I was, dreamed about the guys, especially about Nick. As a French Canadian, I’ve learned English by listening to Backstreet Boys music, looking for the lyrics on the net and translating them. I went to my first Backstreet Boys concert with my mom, and if her work schedule would permit, she would have come to cruise with me. Now, I instantly send her pictures of my meet and greet to get her informed how I’m lucky!” – Vanessa Martin Roy

“My mum has always been a BSB fan, but since I was MJ obsessed 6 years ago, she would not let me know who the BSB were. One day, in the summer of 2013, I was watching a PTX (Pentatonix) video on youtube, where they were doing the Evolution of Music and I heard “I want it that way.” I went to watch the video of that song, but the guys didn’t catch me very much. Then, what happened? After a year, my mum came to me and made me watch the same video. I re-watched the BSB video, and on July 23rd, 2014, I was at the BSB concert in Lucca. So, I have to thank mom if for my love of the BSB now, and I’m going to the cruise.” – Gaia Ugoletti

“I have a couple stories that my mom has done to help support my love for the Boys. Backstreet Boys were in Chicago for their Millennium tour 3 days in a row. I attended all 3 shows, one with friends in a sky box, then the next 2 days my mom got us tickets each night a little closer. I thought she was a trooper just for coming with! Let alone, spending $200 a ticket to only get as close as 15th row! Also, for that tour, the BSB had a contest going with Burger King that whoever sends in the most BK labels wins a limo ride, meeting them and tickets to the show. For weeks, my mom and I would get Burger King’s garbage bags, dug through them and found labels, cleaned them, then cut the labels out. Unfortunately My 6,636 labels didn’t win. But what my mom wouldn’t do to get my opportunity to meet them! She is my perfect fan!” – Kym McMillen

“My mum has always enjoyed the Backstreet Boys music as much as I have, so when their In a World Like This tour stopped in Winnipeg, MB last May, I knew we had to go together. The show was actually on Mother’s Day, so that made it even more special! We did a gold VIP together, and she was just beside herself meeting them. When she was walking through the line to shake the guy’s hands she was so excited and she told them “I’m here with my daughter!” They were super sweet of course, and wished her a happy Mother’s Day. We had amazing seats for the concert – front row center! The boys were amazing and Howie bent down and wished her a happy mother’s day from the stage. She really enjoyed the concert and wore her BSB t-shirt to work the next day proudly, telling everyone how much fun she had. It was such a great experience!!” – @sakabelle

“Since 1995, my mum and I have been huge BSB fans. Unfortunately, the boys never included Scotland in their tours back in the early days and it wasn’t an option for us to travel to see them in England at that time. I remember being so upset at a young age that I’d never get to see the boys and my mum equally gutted. As time went on, I didn’t follow the boys as much (grew up and focused my energy on other things). However, we still loved their songs and said when Kevin left thought we would never get a chance to see all 5 guys….until 2013 when we saw an announcement that all 5 Backstreet Boys were going on tour and they were coming to Scotland!!! Tickets were purchased and after 18 years we both finally saw our boys….lots of tears were shed. The Glasgow, Scotland concert reignited my BSB love and since then, me and my sister have traveled to see the boys many times. We also attended the 2014 cruise and will be on the 2016 cruise next week. Thank you BSB for making me feel 9 years old again and thank you to my mum for attending our 1st BSB Concert together.” – @sexykelz86

“My mom loves BSB. When I was a teenager my mom took me to two BSB concerts. To make me happy, we would listen to BSB songs in the car. I am 33 years old and my mom is my best friend and a BSB fan. She is the only mom I know that’s a fan. She got me BSB CDs because she knew how much I loved them. My mom is my biggest fan – love her and love BSB.” – Rebecca McLachlan

“My mom and I were planning to drive to Atlanta to see some relatives (and Brian if we got lucky, haha). That was an 8-hour drive from where we lived, and my mom was cool with me playing my Backstreet Boys CDs the entire drive there AND back! Also, this was back when I only had the first three albums and the For the Fans CDs, so you can imagine how many times we listened to the same songs over and over again. My mother is a very patient woman.” – Rebecca Peter

“My mom was a closet Backstreet Boys fan in 98/99. I recently became a fan and got her to embrace her Backstreet pride. We went to see Nick Carter on his All American tour and we both had a great time.” – Rayanne Tijan
“My favorite moments with my mom were when we ran into the Backstreet Boys in Kansas City. She was so mad that she was upstairs taking a shower instead of getting to meet them. My mom was of the mind if you can’t beat them join them so at every concert she would sing along cheer and scream just like us girls. She drove us from city to city so we could live out our dream but in the process she became a huge Kevin and AJ fan. My fave memories of my mom involve the Backstreet Boys and when I lost her in 2013 I got back into the Backstreet Boys scene that way I could feel closer to my mom. It’s often hard and it brings back a flood of memories of my mom and me, which is bittersweet. Thanks Mom and Happy Mother’s Day – I miss you everyday. Love your little overly obsessed daughter Carrie.” – @CarrieLGraham85

“I’ve been a BSB fan since I was 13 years old and because of that my mom always listened to their music with me. Every time we went out it was their CD that was blasting on my mom’s car. Her first BSB concert and VIP experience was back in 2012 during NKOTBSB tour. We were traveling on vacations and I told her I’d go to the concert and that she could wait for me in our hotel and she was like “no way, I’m going with you”. Now she’s going with me on my first BSB cruise and is all excited because her new photo will have all 5 boys together again. My mom rocks!” – @DannynhaMansani

So You’re Not Going On The Backstreet Boys Cruise: 9 Other Things To Do

In an effort to help soften the blow of not being on the Backstreet Boys 2016 Cruise, here is a list of things to keep you busy until the ship comes back. At that point, you will turn into a zombie, trying to soak up every bit of information about what happened on the boat that you weren’t on. For now though…

1. Follow all your friends that are on the cruise like an expert stalker.

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Spend an hour commenting “Have fun!”, “Wish I was there :(“, “Take me withhhh yooouuu”

…. then unfollow those suckers. You don’t need that kind of heartache. (Because it ain’t nothin’ but a heartache…)

2. Find your group of non-cruisers.

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Talk about how the cruise is going to suck for everyone because you’re not on it, talk about past cruises/events you’ve been to….then eventually cry together. “WHHHYYY GOD, WHHYYY?!”

3. Tweet the Backstreet Boys account about how you’re so excited for them and hope they have a GREAT time.

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For some reason, we all have guilt about not going – like out of the 3,000,000 on the boat, they’re going to know YOU aren’t there and ban you for life from anything else.

 

4. Tell yourself that there will be fun events next year!

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Grab the aforementioned non-cruising group and plan your hypothetical trip to Vegas during the unknown-dates in January for the residency test run. If you’re into Nick and AJ, check out all of the events they’re doing this year as well (Walker Stalker Con, Rewind Con, Fandom Fest, more of the All American tour…)

5. Tweet the NKOTB.

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This may not work for everyone. We’re bi-boyband fangirls. And yes, we cheat on cruises. Maybe just tweet Jordan about Nick?

6. Be glad you’re not stuck on a boat with some of the people that are on the boat.

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Don’t act like you don’t know….you’re picturing someone RIGHT now.

7. Feel in solidarity with 4/5 of the BSB wives.

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Yeah girls, we TOTALLY wouldn’t want to be on that boat either. Woah. Yeah. Okay.

8. Live BSB-Free for a few days.

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This is only for your health, guys. You can have your Boys back in four days. And a whole lot of “nauti” stories.

9. Eff everything on this list and keep up with all of the latest Cruise News. 

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Follow live tweets from the boat on @WHOthebckstreet and updates on the Couch Cruise!

The Reason Brian Littrell’s ‘Welcome Home’ Was A Game Changer

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10 years ago today, Brian Littrell released Welcome Home, his first and only solo album to date.

And he changed the game and broke the boundaries of what a “pop star” could be.

While still successful in the Backstreet Boys’ career, Brian poured his heart out in a predominantly Christian album that had critics talking. They expected bubblegum pop, love songs similar to what he had been singing for the previous 13 years, maybe even country… but who was this “teen idol” singing about his faith? Didn’t that break every rule in Hollywood?

But he did it anyway. And people loved it.

Actually people more than loved it. We felt it in our souls. There’s not one of us that didn’t (still doesn’t) cry listening to “Gone Without Goodbye” and most of us had someone in mind upon hearing “Angels and Heroes”. Most of all, we felt Brian’s soul. His passion is so evident in his voice, enough to make all of us feel something…. and isn’t that what music is supposed to do? Brian Littrell, with a single album, succeeded in inspiring us, in moving us, and in giving us music that, 10 years later, still resonates deep inside all of us. There is something for everyone on Welcome Home and if he never recorded another solo album in his life (although we’d love for him to), we have all been blessed to be able to hear his heart through music at least once in our lifetime.

10 years later, there are still fans talking about this album, listening to it daily, searching for something they might have lost. Personally speaking, this album was something I didn’t even know I needed when it came out. It brought me out of a dark time and I know that I’m not alone.

Thank you, Brian Littrell, for always being real, staying true to yourself, and making music that will last until the end of time.

Happy 10th Birthday, Welcome Home – you’re a beauty!

 

 

10 Dos and Don’ts of Backstreet Boys Cruise Door Decorating

The Backstreet Boys cruise is just over a week away! Cruisegoers are packing their bags, have every theme night outfit set, camera battery charged, and roommates in a group text. One thing that might be forgotten until last minute is the decorating of cruise doors! Kristie and I have collaborate to bring you to the top 5 dos and don’ts of cruise door decorating – just in case you need a little help.

DO

1. DO Make It Funny. Have fun with it- remember the BSB cruise is one big, fun, party and your door should be a part of that. Themes are even better.

2. DO Make It Large. You can take up door AND surrounding area so make it larger than life! (Pun intended.)

3. DO Make It Personal. Your door decor is meant to best represent YOU and your roommates. Use pictures of you and your roommates (and the Backstreet Boys, of course).

4.  DO Make It Loud. You want to win, right? Make sure you’re going to catch everyone’s eye. You never know who could be looking at your door.

5. DO Make It Collapsible. Remember, you have to get it to Barcelona and onto the boat. You don’t want any bent Boys.

DON’T

1. DON’T Be Inappropriate. You want to grab everyone’s attention for the right reasons!

2. DON’T Be Basic. Like we said, make it loud and be creative. This is the time to show off your wild side. Unless you have pictures of Nick in yoga pants and AJ with his Starbucks frap, basic is not your friend on this occasion.

3. DON’T Skip Decorating! You never know what could happen until you try. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to win – you just have to put a little effort into it.

4. DON’T Stress. Everyone on the cruise is there to have fun. While you should definitely decorate, if it’s not exactly how you pictured, don’t stress about it. There’s always next time.

5. DON’T Hate. Make friends on the cruise and compliment other peoples’ doors if you like them. You may be trying to win, but if you’re hating on others’ efforts, it’s a losing situation for everyone.

If you want to share sneak peeks of your #BSBCruise2016 door on Twitter, use the hashtag #BSBDoorSneakPeek and we’ll retweet! Happy Sailing!

5 Thoughts We’re Having About Kevin’s Man Bun

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We should have seen it coming. No, not the return of the IAWLT red pants (which we’re thrilled about). We’re obviously referring to Kevin’s new hairdo – the talk of the Backstreet fans for the past 48 hours. The last time he grew his hair out, it was styled onstage and this time was no different. The oldest Backstreet Boy has become the trendiest, sporting a man bun that will make you say ZAYN MALIK WHO?! We know Kevin though and we know that this is not for trend. No – this hairstyle has definitely made us think…and here’s a few thoughts.

1. Should We Expect Cornrows Soon?

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We allllll remember the last time Kevin started growing out his hair and styling it (which happened to be the time that my mother proclaimed that Kevin must be my favorite because “he looks like Jesus”). It went from flat ironed, to flipped out, the… corn rows. That’s right, Kevin Richardson rocked those cornrows so hard during the Black & Blue tour and as his hair got longer, his biceps got bigger. Perhaps the man bun is the new cornrow.

2. Are Nick and Kevin in a Secret Hair Battle?

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We all know that Nick loves attention for his follicle styling. Have we ever considered the fact that Nick seems to adopt Kevin’s hair styles shortly after Kevin’s had them for a while….and then points it out repeatedly until we love it on him too? The infamous Nick Carter banana split hair made a transition to short and spiky after Kevin’s Millennium look. Most recently, it’s been a battle of the slicked back hair and vintage poof on top.

Nick, if you’re reading this, leave Kevin to the man bun. We won’t tolerate this behavior out of you.

3. Why Does He Look Like A Wise Ninja?

Was he inspired by Dead 7? As trendy as the man bun has been in the past year, something about Kevin with one makes us feel like we should ask him things – the great mysteries of the world. Like we should be doing yoga with him on a mountainside while drinking hot tea and absorbing the Earth.

4. Should We Buy Him Bobby Pins?

Ladies – we all have had our own man buns that we refer to has top knots or messy buns. We also know that if you’re hair is layered, bobby pins are life savers. Is Kevin aware of the magic that are bobby pins? Should we gift him next VIP experience? WHAT KIND OF HAIR TIES IS HE USING?! Is he that magical that he’s not even using anything? Ugh. The mystery and power that is Kevin.

5. Why Does This Man Have SO MUCH Hair?

The hair on his head grows like he’s been eating magic beans. Don’t even get us started on his eyebrows. It’s obviously not hereditary (Sorry, Brian…). So, what gives?! If he didn’t shave, would he actually be just a furball? The questions are actually endless.

One thing is for sure, whatever Kevin does with his hair, he does it like a boss. You better WERK, Mr. Richardson.

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