Backstreet Boys Out Of Boy-Band Battle? Westlife Are Surprised Too

'When I saw the bands that were listed, I thought we haven't got a hope in hell in this,' group member Nicky Byrne says.

The first round of MTV’s Battle of the Boy Bands certainly shocked a lot of fans when Westlife overtook early favorites the Backstreet Boys. And fans aren’t the only ones surprised by this early victory: Westlife themselves never thought they would be able to overtake BSB.

“When I saw the bands that were listed, I thought we haven’t got a hope in hell in this, especially being up against the Backstreet Boys, to be honest with you. When I looked, I thought, well, these guys are probably going to win this, gonna be there or thereabout,” Westlife member Nicky Byrne told MTV News on Thursday (April 26) via Skype from Dublin, Ireland.

“How it came about, I noticed it on Twitter and I went into the MTV website and I said, ‘What’s all this about?’ and I see us up against the Backstreet Boys and I thought, ‘Oh no, what a challenge that is!’ So I put it on my Twitter account and it kind of snowballed from there,” he continued.

And snowball it did. The group beat the Backstreet Boys by a fairly large margin after their fans from all over the world rallied for their victory. Yet, according to Byrne, even though he’s ecstatic with the win, he expects there will be no hard feelings between the two groups.

“The funny thing is we’ve met the Backstreet Boys quite a number of times,” Byrne said. “It will be interesting to see if and when we ever bump into the guys again to have a little bit of fun, a bit of a chat about it.”

Westlife, who have been together since 1998, had minimal success in the United States, with only one single, “Swear It Again,” charting Stateside, back in 1999. Last year, the group announced that after 14 years they were calling it quits following their Greatest Hits Tour, which kicks off next month.

“I think our manager really wanted us to announce it as a break, just to say to people that it’s going to be a couple years. We’ll do some different things on our own and see where we go,” Byrne said. “But I think we all knew it was the right time to get away from each other for a long time. And genuinely, I would hate to think that I spent half of my life — more than half my life with the lads — I would hate to think that we would never sing again. But I think what we couldn’t do was lead people on false promises, and you know, whatever the rest of us go on to do, we can’t be holding on to maybe one day do a tour again. So it was the right decision to be made. Everybody is going to walk away from this with great memories and, most importantly, our friendship intact. ”

And even though they will remain close after the tour, Byrne is adamant that this will be the last time they will be together as a group.

“Right now, there’s no chance of anything ever again with Westlife,” he said. “I know when I’m on my Twitter account, the amount of fans that would love me to say, or would love us all to say, ‘No, there’s still a hope, we’ll do something down the road,’ … but right now, if that happens, that would be incredible. But we haven’t even finished yet. The right thing to say … is right now, Westlife, come June 23, will be no more.”

Before they go their separate ways, Westlife are still hoping to have some success in the United States, and what better way to do that than to win MTV’s Battle of the Boy Bands?

“What an amazing story it would be to finish our final 14 years to be named or even get far in this competition,” Byrne said. “But even if we don’t, we’ll hold our heads very high and say we never cracked the States, but we gave them a run for their money.”

Voting in round two of MTV’s Battle of the Boy Bands runs until noon ET on Monday, April 30. Winners are determined by fan votes, so if your favorite band made the cut, make sure you keep voting. Tune in to AMTV and MTV Hits for their boy-band video takeovers each day and make sure to spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #BBB and like us on Facebook for updates!

Christina Garibaldi has been an on-camera reporter for MTV News since 2011. When not interviewing or writing about her favorite stars, she keeps herself busy with baby animal videos and boy bands.
@ChristinaMTV