Boy band showdown: The Wanted vs. One Direction
Sam Stryker | Monday, April 23, 2012
The Yankees and the Red Sox. India and Pakistan. Jennifer and Angelina. The Jets and the Sharks.
And now, One Direction and The Wanted.
If history has taught us one thing, it is that humans are naturally drawn to conflict – and no conflict is more appealing than a good old-fashioned head-to-head rivalry.
For the past few weeks, popular music has been dominated by these eerily similar groups. Both are five-member British-Irish boy bands. Both have made appearances on television shows – One Direction on “Saturday Night Live” and Nickelodeon’s “Kid’s Choice Awards,” and The Wanted on “American Idol” and “The Voice.”
But like any good rivalry, someone has to win – just as the Rebel Alliance defeated the Evil Empire in “Star Wars” and Coke outsells Pepsi, one group of lads will need to come out on top. Who will emerge victorious in the second coming of the British Invasion?
“What Makes You Beautiful” and “Glad You Came” are duking it out for dorm party and dingy bar dominance, and it’s hard to choose between the two. “What Makes You Beautiful” is a sunny ode to a girl unaware of her stunning looks. On the other hand, “Glad You Came” is a slinkier, slicker dance-floor track. The two signature tracks set the tone for each act. One Direction’s jam is bright, vibrant and catchy – something you just can’t get out of your head.
But The Wanted takes the cake here. Their single is infectious, and from the first note, the song takes control of you. One Direction’s song may be cute and catchy, but “Glad You Came” is like a fever pulsating through every vain in your body.
Advantage, The Wanted.
The Leading Man
In any music group, there is going to be a shining star – think Justin Timberlake from ‘N Sync or BeyoncÃ© from Destiny’s Child. People naturally gravitate to the biggest star, the most talented in a group – contrary to what your mother told you, not everyone gets to be a winner.
It is quite evident who the spotlight shines on in each group – buzz-cut babe-magnet Max George of The Wanted and mop-topped Harry Styles of One Direction.
These two boys could not look any more different. On one hand, there is George, with steely-green eyes and smoldering good looks. In contrast there is Styles, with a puppy-dog smile and bouncy persona. While George is seeing British soap star Michelle Keegan, Styles seems to be the hot dish in the boy-band buffet. He has attracted the attention of Taylor Swift and Rihanna, who have both admitted to crushes on the barely-legal teenybopper.
This one is like picking apples or oranges. Let’s call it a draw.
You know you’ve made it when your music is covered on “Glee,” and The Wanted beat One Direction to the punch – the Warblers sang “Glad You Came” at Regionals. While it has been announced “What Makes You Beautiful” will be in an upcoming episode, The Wanted have gotten out to a quick lead.
Not to be outdone, One Direction appears to be a hot ticket – literally. While The Wanted have just wrapped up their first U.S. tour, One Direction is just getting started. The group is set to kick off the U.S. leg of their “Up All Night Tour” in May, and their December concert at Madison Square Garden sold out in less than 10 minutes. When most kids their age are worrying about getting into college, these boys are packing The World’s Most Famous Arena.
The Wanted didn’t do too shabby in the concert business either, opening for both Britney Spears and Justin Bieber. But in the battle over the Biebs, One Direction has come out fighting.
Niall Horan of One Direction has done the unthinkable – he’s gotten on Justin Bieber’s bad side after flirting with Selena Gomez at the “Kid’s Choice Awards.” While this may have most normal people shaking in their boots, Horan appears to be safe for now. There are also rumblings of a Bieber-One Direction collaboration.
In between selling out Madison Square Garden and making the Biebs angry, One Direction also managed to snub the First Lady. Michelle Obama personally invited the group to the White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll, but the group had to turn down the invitation due to “prior commitments.” Snubbing the First Lady – now that’s a bold move.
Case closed – not only has One Direction drawn the ire of the Biebs, but they’re too busy for the White House. These guys have swag.
This one may have to go an extra round. Choosing between One Direction and The Wanted is like trying to pick between Chipotle and Five Guys after a hard night out – you can’t go wrong. In this battle, we all come out as winners.
Contact Sam Stryker at [email protected]