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Boy Bands

KURT: With a new crop of allegedly hunky boy acts now populating the music scene, among them, the Backstreet Boys, Hanson, and Boyzone, we decided to convene a panel of young women to rate their respective assets. Observe.

MIKEY GRAHAM, Boyzone: I think it's time now in America that they're ready for a bit more maybe popish music or a softer kind of rock music, or whatever you want to call it. I think they're ready for us.

MTV: So who needs alienation and angst? Fresh-faced acts like Boyzone and the Backstreet Boys are hoping that their version of Hanson's hooks-and-looks approach will draw the same volume of crushed-out adolescent girls stateside that they've successfully courted overseas.

GRAHAM, Boyzone: We're quite confident it's going to do okay over here. We've done very well in Ireland, the U.K., all over Southeast Asia, Australia, Europe, South America. So hopefully, it will follow suit in North America, you know?

A.J. MCLEAN, Backstreet Boys:

Now it will be a little bit easier for us then it would've two or three years ago, before the pop scene started making a massive comeback

TAYLOR HANSON, Hanson: I think things are going away from the alternative thing, so I guess in a way it's where music is headed just because the music we make is more up and just more fun.

MTV: Yes... but it is it art? Who cares?! Boy bands have always been rock and roll's entry level fan experience, and their perky appeal isn't designed to win critical acclaim.

KEVIN RICHARDSON, Backstreet Boys: You can't always listen to what critics have to say. I mean, it interests me what they're writing about us, but what's important to us is what the people who are buying our music and listening to our music think.

MTV: So what will they think? We showed the groups' videos to the primary boy band demographic [four young middle class white girls].

(Watching Boyzone's video)

KELLY: They're trying to be Boyz II

Men! Look!

EVERYONE: Ahh! Posers! (They throw paper balls at the TV)

(Watching Hanson's video)

KELLY: They're fine, they're gorgeous.

(Watching Backstreet Boys)

KELLY: Hotties... 10... 10!

SABRINA: 10!

STEFANIE: 10!

(Best Smile goes to...)

TRULY: Hanson has really good smiles because they smile more and it seems to me that the other guys had more different expressions.

(Most Romantic goes to...)

STEFANIE: Backstreet, 'cause they're older. But I would think they would like diss us for older chicks.

(Best band band goes to...)

SABRINA: I would describe the first one [Boyzone] as... they sucked. The second ones [Hanson], they're like cute. And the third ones [Backstreet Boys], they are... ohhhhhhh... (sighs)

KURT: Tough room! Hanson, by the way, will be performing at a tennis extravaganza in New York City on August 23rd, called the "Arthur Ashe Kids' Day," after the late tennis

champion. CBS will tape the show and air it the following afternoon. And those with a serious interest in pin-up culture should keep an eye out for a new book called "Who's Your Fave Rave?", by Randi Reisfeld and music biz legend Danny Fields, which collects some fairly hilarious reprints from the teen fan bible "16," along with interviews with former teen idols. Unusually entertaining.