Backstreet's Back on Watch What Happens Live to dish on everything from Super Bowl regrets to a possible tour with NSYNC.
The Backstreet Boys were open books as they dropped by Andy Cohen's clubhouse for "Watch What Happens Live" on Tuesday night, talking about everything from rumors to regrets, Ryan Gosling to that long-awaited Christmas album.
During the appearance, the boys got the chance to address one of the bigger rumors that's been circulating about the group, even gaining more traction in recent years, and that's the theory that Ryan Gosling actually tried out for the group.
There are always wild theories about these interconnected pop stars because so many of them were connected through "The Mickey Mouse Club." But while no members of BSB were on that show with Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, AJ McLean said they lived in the same apartment complex with Gosling at the time.
This was when BSB was just coming together. "I told him that Backstreet Boys is gonna be huge and he's like, 'It's not gonna happen. New Kids [on the Block] did their thing, you know, whatever,'" AJ said of Gosling. "Cut to, he was wrong."
They hung out and played basketball together, which the media somehow twisted into Gosling trying out for them. So the rumor is not true, but at leat AJ got to call out Ryan for being wrong about BSB's success on national television. That counts as a win.
Here's what else went down during their appearance:
Out of Sync with JT
As a boy band who's found success with a reunited lineup after Kevin rejoined them permanently in 2012 following a seven-year hiatus, Andy asked them their thoughts about another "Mickey Mouse Club" alum, Justin Timberlake's seeming lack of interest in collaborating with the other members of NSYNC.
"I think he has things as far as acting career and things that he wants to do," Kevin said. "But he's accomplished pretty much everything you can as a solo artist, so I think someday it's gonna happen."
It's not uncommon for artists to circle back to projects or groups from earlier in their career later in life, so Kevin may have something there. In the meantime, Nick had an offer for the other four members of their boy band rival throughout the '90s.
"Maybe in the future, after we're done with our world tour, maybe we could do a tour with Backstreet and the four of them, maybe like a package tour," he mused. The NKOTB collaboration tour has been a massive success for BSB, and we can imagine seeing NSYNC -- even without JT -- would be exciting for that group's rabid fanbase.
Plus, despite their so-called feud, both bands had a lot of crossover fans. Turns out there was plenty of room for two boy bands on the world stage at the same time.
And yet, that perceived feud permeated both groups throughout the '90s and into the early 2000s, until NSYNC broke up for good in 2002. But Kevin emphasized it just wasn't the reality on the ground.
"The thing with us and NSYNC, we were brothers," he said. "We were just on different teams. It was healthy competition."
But there were competitive elements, with Brian Littrell getting real for a second to lay it down. "When we said no to things, they got the yes," he said. "When NSYNC came along, it was like if we said no to something, it was kind of threatened to us, like, hey you know somebody will say yes. That's how it happened."
Kevin said that was their management's way of leveraging the group when they were simply exhausted and ready to take a break. "We were managed by the same management company," he added. "But it was all love between us individually."
One of those things they passed on that wound up going to NSYNC was the 2001 Super Bowl halftime show. It turns out the Boys were given a choice between doing the halftime show or doing the national anthem, and they opted for the latter.
It's unfathomable now to think of any act turning down one of the biggest stages in the world, but the halftime show hadn't quite become the Halftime Show just yet.
"That half time was actually NSYNC, Britney and Aerosmith," Nick said. "We chose the national anthem. So looking back, though, we sort of regret it a little bit here, because it's gotten so big over the years."
Of course, Justin Timberlake put the Halftime Show on the map in a huge way just three years later in 2004 with that whole debacle with Janet Jackson.
While they played a few games throughout the night, showing off their prowess in naming Spice Girls, "Friends" characters (first and last names) and even the opening lines of Meredith Brooks' "Bitch," things never got more candid than during a flashlight game of "Never Have I Ever."
A light in the face meant they had indeed done it. And with questions like trailer hookups, making love to your own music and pulling a fan onstage simply because they were hot, the boys were definitely the ones in the hot seat. But the funniest question -- and lone flashlight-illuminated face -- had to be when Andy asked if any of them had "unexpectedly gotten a boner on stage."
At least he was honest. But you'll have to check out the video above to find out who fessed up to that one!
It's kind of amazing to think that throughout their long career, the Boys have never put out a Christmas album. Most acts that see the level of success they enjoyed right off the bat seem to pump out a holiday album almost immediately. And yet, it's not because they have no interest. In fact, Nick Carter said the group is currently in negotiations with their label to try and get one for their fans.
"That's one of the only things left on the bucket list that we've not done," Kevin Richardson added. "We all love Christmas music and we have families. Yeah, we need to make it, we need to make it happen."
He then doubled down and got even more assertive about it, telling Andy, "It's gonna happen. It's happening. You're not gonna have to wait more than a year."
It sounds like the group is committed and determined to making this project come together. It's bold to put a time frame like that on something that hasn't yet been agreed upon, which is indicative of just how confident Kevin is. Hopefully, that means BSB Christmas music in 2020!