In its three-year history, MTV's Musical March Madness tournament has seen its fair share of Cinderella stories — Owl City's dream run to the Sweet 16 in 2010, Disturbed's unlikely ride to the Final Four last year — but the clock eventually strikes midnight, the carriage transforms back into a pumpkin and the glass slipper breaks.
In other words, they've all come up short in their quest for the championship. But with the 2012 MMM tournament set to tip off Monday, there's a whole new group of upset-minded upstarts looking to engrave their names in the big gold trophy — and this year, they just might pull it off.
Take, for example,
"If you watch 'Friday Night Lights,' I would say we're like the East Dillon Lions of the situation," guitarist Jack Antonoff said. "No one's expecting it, we're a ... ragtag crew of weirdos and freaks, but we're going to pull through, and we're going to do it with a lot of heart, and we're going to win State."
Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose. But will all that Coach Taylor rah-rah be enough to guide them past the bracket of 63 other bands gunning for the MMM title? Probably not, which is why the guys in Fun. have another ace up their sleeves: multi-instrumentalist Andrew Dost, his freakishly huge hands (good for ball security) and his penchant for destruction.
"Have you seen the size of his hands?" frontman Nate Reuss laughed. "At the end of the night, Andrew starts to get really, really weird. And he starts to do a lot of things like 'Oooh!' This isn't going to sell us. Your personality is going to take us to the bottom.
"I'm going to take us straight to the top. I like to destroy things," Reuss added. "I'm going to put the team on my back."
Can Fun. go where no Cinderella band has gone before? We'll just have to wait until Musical March Madness gets under way this Monday. But until then, well, let's just say they like their chances.
"I think it's going to be a blowout every time," Reuss said. "I'm confident in our abilities."
MTV's 2012 Musical March Madness Tournament begins Monday, March 12, when we'll unveil the full field of 64 bands that will battle for this year's championship. Winners are determined by fan votes, so if your favorite act made the cut, it'll be up to you to guide them to glory. You can rally the troops on Twitter using the hashtag #MMM — but get ready, it's gonna be a war.