In Real Life Is the Only Good American Boy Band

Last summer, ABC debuted Boy Band, a musical competition television series in which boys from around the country fought for the chance to become a member of the next great American boy band—we certainly haven’t had one of those in a while. Hosted by model/actress/singer Rita Ora, the show was fan-freaking-tastic, probably secretly canceled, but did serve to birth In Real Life, an adorable quintet of diverse backgrounds and talents who, I’m not gonna lie, do kinda remind me of One Direction every now and again.


The boys made their late night TV debut Wednesday with a performance of their 2017 single “Eyes Closed” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! While the entire thing could’ve used some professional mixing (why are the live drums so goddamn loud), it did serve to highlight their natural gifts—I’m talkin’ cheekbones and vocal ability.

The best part of “Eyes Closed” is the lyrical line in the oft-repeated chorus: “Even with my eyes closed, you’re beautiful,” which could’ve been taken from the 2011 One Direction single “What Makes You Beautiful,” let’s be real. Hell, boy bands are formulaic by design, so if these guys remind you of things you loved in the past, too, chances are, you’ll fall for ‘em.


Boy bands: don’t fix what ain’t broke.

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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