Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Backstreet Lineup

Most everyone has their favorite Backstreet Boy. Even though every once in a while you'll hear the politically correct answer of "I love them all," I still think its natural human tendency to prefer one BSB over another. There's always one boy you'd rather get a hug from or one you'd want to be serenaded by.

Now I've been a Nick girl from day one. That hasn't changed. But the rest of the boys seem to be constantly on the move. I know for some of you out there your favorite might depend on who last waved at you in concert, but for me it is definitely is a gradual move. Reference this lovely graph below.

My Love for the Backstreet Boys Over the Years
Sorry for my blurry graph. It was the best I could come up with.
I actually amused myself watching how my preferences have changed over the years. When I was younger there was definitely a larger gap between my favorite and how shall I say, well not my favorites. I was young and couldn't really appreciate all the members for their specific contributions to the group. Over time that age gap has closed and while I still have my preferences, I still can respect what each member brings to the group as a whole.

Evolution of Nick

I suppose my taste for Nick hasn't really changed much over time. He won me over from the beginning with his boyish charm and good lucks and has been my main man ever since. I really think he's grown a lot as an artist and as a person in the last 20 years. I saw Nick perform solo not too long ago and was blown away by how good he sounded. Nick has interestingly never been my favorite voice, but I was very impressed. I can tell he's grown tremendously.

I do constantly question if Nick is worthy of my #1 spot. He's certainly not perfect, but I like that he's human.

Evolution of Brian

It's surprised me how Brian has been slipping on my list recently. I've always been drawn to his sense of humor. In the earlier years I particularly enjoyed his dynamic with Nick, the days of Frick and Frack. It was very entertaining and for the longest time.

Recently, however, I feel like his goofy antics haven't been doing it for me like they used to. I think as I've matured as a person, I've come to the realization that the Brian we see is on stage is not necessarily who he is off stage. I think its his stage persona. This actually became clear to me while on the cruise because I actually got to see Brian around the ship when he's not "on" and he appears to be quite a different person.

The other reason Brian has been slipping on my list is I feel like he's been largely the same person for the 20 years. Many of you may not view this as a negative, but the way I see it is the other three backstreet boys have grown as people, artists, singers, etc which I respect. Meanwhile Brian has the same look, same voice, same demeanor, etc. In fact, I think his voice has actually gotten slightly worse over time.

Brian fans- no hate mail, please. I still have lots of love for Brian. No one can make me laugh like Brian can. I have a lot of respect for him as a person. It's just that he's had some tough competition recently.

Evolution of AJ

As per my graph, AJ has been my recent new obsession. I think that's why you hear me talk about him so much. In the earlier years, I didn't really have strong opinions on AJ. I was never really drawn to him. He had a great sense of humor, but it wasn't as overt as Brian's. He was good looking, but not as cute as Nick. Thus AJ flew under the radar for a while.

When AJ finally released his solo album, I immediately fell in love with his song, London. It was at this point I really started to take note of AJ individually. How did I never realize what an amazing voice he had? His voice is hands down my fave now.

In the past few years I've seen a side of AJ I've never noticed before. He's not afraid to be himself, he's fun, has a great stage persona, so good with the fans, and the list goes on and on. What can I say? I guess I've developed a taste for bad boys.

Evolution of Howie

I view Howie as the underrated member of the group. He's a lot quieter and its tough to compete with the bolder personalities of Nick, AJ, and Brian. And its been that way since the beginning of the Backstreet Boys. It's no secret that Howie isn't necessarily the fan favorite.

Honestly, my opinion of Howie has improved drastically in the past few years. In the beginning I truthfully just couldn't get past the long curly pony tail. Physically, I think he looks better now than he ever has. I show pictures of the Backstreet Boys to my non-bsb friends and are all really impressed with Howie. They're like, "Wow! Howie is the hot one now."

But its not all about looks. I'm not that shallow.  I think since Kevin has left the group, Howie has been given more of a chance to shine and showcase his vocals. I'm also really impressed with Howie's recent album. I'm enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. I'm still really hoping for a Howie US tour. *Fingers crossed*

Truthfully Howie hit his peak with me on the 2011 cruise and I hope he continues to climb on my list. I loved seeing his more outgoing/sexual side. It seemed like he was really comfortable letting loose. Not to mention that he continues to be the best (in my opinion) taking the time to do pictures/hugs/autographs with the fans during his down time. Shows just how humble he is and I really appreciate that about him.

Evolution of Kevin

I wasn't sure if I should take a look at Kevin, however I feel like the boys keep alluding to the fact that he may come back to the group, so why not.

There is a huge age gap between Kevin and I, which makes it tougher to relate to him. Though interestingly if I had to pick which Backstreet Boy I was most like, I'd say Kevin. I'm generally pretty responsible and the voice of reason.

Kevin fell off my list when he decided to leave the group but with his cameo appearance on the cruise last year, I started to open back up to the idea of him rejoining the group. I can't believe it's already been seven years since he left. It's almost tough for me to say how I currently feel about him since he's been largely out of my life for almost a decade. If he ever does decide to rejoin the group, I have no doubt he'll be able to reclaim his spot.

There you have it. I love all of them but all for different reasons. I'll have to revisit this post after the next cruise to see if and how my order changes.

So what are your Backstreet lineups? Who's your fave and why? Feel free to post your comments below!

Friday, March 23, 2012

2011 Cruise Playlist

Just like last year, there were several songs played throughout the cruise that helped make the cruise experience what it was. Now every time I hear one of these songs, its transports me back to the lido deck of the Imagination. Clearly the anthem for this cruise was LMFAO's 'Sexy and I Know It' but here are a few other songs that were played throughout the cruise. I've also linked them to a video of where you may have heard it.

  1. Gimme More - AJ dedicated this song to Howie, who wasn't familiar with it despite having just toured with Britney. Makes me smile.

  2. Pour Some Sugar on Me - Classic 80's song will now always remind me of AJ rocking out to this song.

  3. Danza Kuduro - Happy song also heard quite a bit throughout the cruise.

  4. Party Rock - This one got me so pumped up. Hearing it now brings back fond memories of the boys in the Caribbean.

  5. We Found Love - For me, this is my favorite song of cruise 2011. I can't not smile hearing it.

  6. If You Want it to be Good Girl - So amazing to hear an old school BSB song that I've never heard live before. Definitely worthy to be on the playlist.

  7. I Know You Want Me - Another fun one heard during prom night.

  8. Only Girl - Felt like we heard this song several times throughout the cruise.

  9. Yeah Yeah Yeah - While Im not a huge Chris Brown fan, Brian did crowd surf to this song. 

  10. Sexy and I Know It - Voted by you guys as best song from the cruise!

    My favorite instance of Sexy and I Know It
  11. Shots Shots Shots- I still vote this the anthem of the 2010 cruise, but it made several cameo appearances on the 2011 cruise, so still worthy to get on my playlist this year.  
I know there were a ton more but these were the ones I could easily find videos for. Let me know if I missed any other good ones!

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    8 Cruisers to Avoid

    Of course I'm being optimistic that we'll have a third Backstreet cruise to look forward to in the future. Now a big part of that experience will be the Backstreet Boys, though another huge element are your fellow cruisers. Most cruisers are pleasant to be around, but I noticed that there are 8 general types of cruisers that you will probably cause you some headache. And unfortunately I can guarantee you won't be able to avoid them.

    8 Cruisers to Avoid
    1. The Teenybopper- This fan still seems to think they are 13-years old and truly wants to have Nick Carter's babies. They can generally be spotted because they will always be wearing a BSB tee, even when it may not always be appropriate (such as in the dining room) The teenybopper will also be seen either squealing or possibly even crying out of sheer happiness while in the presence of a Backstreet Boy.
      Now, I am no stranger to donning a BSB t-shirt. Nor am I bashful about the blanket of backstreet posters I once had in my room. But at this point in my life I'd like to think most of us have moved past that phase of our lives and we can conduct ourselves as adults, even around our childhood idols. I will, however, give everyone a free teenybopper pass when Nick takes his shirt off.

    2. The Reluctant Significant Other- While few in number, representatives of this population do make cameo appearances aboard the cruise. Almost all of them are tolerantly playing the role of the unwilling boyfriend/husband, dragged on the ship in exchange for promises of a Caribbean vacation. He has to protect his macho image and thus make it incredibly obvious that he isn't there by choice and hates the Backstreet Boys. This comes in the form of teasing and mocking other Backstreet fans. He also likes stir up trouble by bringing up taboo topics such as Nsync. Even though he fervently pretends to hate the Backstreet Boys, he can secretly been spotting singing Everybody when he thinks no one else is watching.

    3. The Too Cool for BSB Fan- Similar to the reluctant significant other, this person thinks they are too good to be here. No one knows why they forked over all this money to go on the cruise, because they simply don't seem to want to be there. The too cool for BSB fan also seems to know shockingly little about the boys, considering they are on a freakin cruise with them. They will make comments like "Which Backstreet Boy was the one that left?" And as luck would have it, you will most likely end up sitting next to this person. That is if they even bother to show up to the events. Apparently they feel there are better things to be doing than seeing the boys do their game show. Like lose their money at the casino.

    4. The Scantily Dressed Fan- Let's face it, you're on a cruise with thousands of woman trying desperately to capture the attention of four men. There will undoubtedly be plenty of fans in this category. These fans are typically armed with with a skirt line that practically exposes their lady regions, a tube top barely covering their upper half, and a pair of five-inch stilettos to complete the ensemble. They’re sole purpose on that ship is to capture the attention of Nick, Brian, Howie and AJ. And when that fails, you can generally find her desperately trying to flirt with the closest security guard or Rose Tour staff member.

    5. The Eternal Drunk- In my opinion, this person is the king (or queen) of annoying fans to encounter. While there's nothing wrong with having a few drinks on the ship, the chronic drunk whizzes right past the jovial tipsy fan, and progresses right into the overtly obnoxious lush. I can promise you at least at one point during the cruise you'll be doomed to encounter this fan. Just pray you wont be in front of them- aka in prime drink spilling zone. And should you find yourself suffering through a beer shower, will you get an apology? Not in hell. Instead you will be in for a medley of off-key singing, unwanted pushing, and random inane comments.
      And while some can tune out their particular frequency of annoying, I sadly cannot. My attention shifts from an awesome evening spent watching Howie to ensuring this drunk doesn't girl stumble on top of me.

    6. The Stalker- Always seen with a camera glued to her hand and following Brian around like a lost puppy dog. You can tell their sole intent of being on the ship is to spend every waking minute as close to the Backstreet Boys as possible. This includes not so indiscreetly waiting for Howie to finish his lunch, approximately 3 feet away from his table. If she's not there, she may also be seen waiting for Nick outside the bathroom. The only reason she isn't right at the urinal next to him is because security stopped her. The stalker fan is generally unaccompanied because most find it too embarrassing to be seen with her. She also can't spend any second of her attention on another person that isn't a Backstreet Boy. You will usually find this breed of fan glued firmly to the floor outside of AJ's cabin.

    7. The Debbie Downer- I don't know how this person functions on a regular basis, because even on a cruise with the Backstreet Boys, they have absolutely nothing positive to say. No matter how amazing an event is or how much interaction they get with Brian, its never enough. The downer fan is unwavering in their dedication to annoy everyone around them by pointing out any minor gripe that crosses their mind. "The food is bad." "The DJ isn't playing enough Backstreet songs." "Howie winked at me with his right eye, instead of his left." Really, folks?
      This fan is like a parasite. Their negative comments get lodged in your brain and you can't seem to think they may have a point. It's not long before your ability to concentrate on the trip you paid well over $2,000 to enjoy will be replaced with fantasies of throwing this person overboard so you can finally enjoy Brian's goofy antics with her negative comments ruining it. Should you find yourself encountering this fan, my advice- Stay Away.

    8. The Scary Obsessive Fan- Characteristics of this fan include screaming. Lots of screaming. They may hold up signs asking inappropriate personal questions such as "AJ, Can I Have Your Babies?" They make you seem outright normal in comparison, which is a feat in itself. In fact, the scary obsessive fan comes across as just plain creepy. Any information they share with you makes you want to move further and further away from them. They disclose things such as: "I touched Howie's hand 3 years ago and haven't washed it since." These are the fans that you wonder how they got on board because they probably have a restraining order placed against them.
    There are only two plausible explanations why you wouldn't encounter one of these fans. It either means you're on the wrong ship or you ARE one of these 8 types of fans.

        Wednesday, March 14, 2012

        You're Not a Real Backstreet Cruiser Until...

        I've been brainstorming some fun posts to do to kill time until the next cruise is announced. I also enjoy making lists. In fact, you should anticipate a lot more lists in the near future. So here's my latest creation.

        You're Not a Real Backstreet Cruiser Until You've...

        • Scarfed down several pieces of pizza at 3am after a deck party

        • Gotten ready to meet you dream men in a bathroom the size of a shoe box, and still able to come out looking fabulous

        • Had regular nightmares about missing the ship for some silly reason like forgetting your passport

        • Spent more hours working on your door decoration than it actually spent hanging up

        • Seriously contemplated getting extra friendly with a member of Rose tours security to get into the VIP sections and be closer to AJ

        • Bought new clothes/accessories for the cruise that you didn't even end up wearing for one reason or another

        • Pondered stealing a cabin stewards uniform so you could try and sneak into Howie's cabin

        • Gotten to the point where you aren't fazed when you bump into Nick at the buffet

        • Encountered fans who are ten times crazier than you are; when you're already pretty fanatical in the grand scheme things

        • Posed inappropriately with pictures/cardboard cutouts of BSB around the ship

        • Gotten to know all the members of Rose Tour staff by name.

        • Actually figured out how to get to your cabin with out getting lost or having to look at a sign

        • Gotten to the point where you're actually comfortable eating in the presence of Brian

        • Stopped complaining about how much money the trip costs because you know its worth every penny and you'd do it again in a heartbeat.

        • Run into countless fans on the ship that you "know" because of twitter, facebook, and the fan club; even though you've never actually met them before

        • Been recognized by the boy themselves and/or their security guard.

        • Memorized the lineup for Backstreet TV

        • Cried at least once on board due to a surplus of emotion

        • Spent over $100 on cruise merchandise that you won't even use/wear for fear that the item will get ruined

        • Stopped worrying about where every Backstreet Boy is every second of the day

        And yes, this post is also inspired by How I Met Your Mother. I've been watching the show a lot more now that there's no cruise to preoccupy myself with.

        So can you come up with anymore to add to this list?

          Friday, March 9, 2012

          Karaoke Unabridged

          Karaoke took place during the last day of the cruise and it proved to be a very different experience than karaoke from the 2010 cruise. Most notably it took place outside on the pool deck, which in theory was a nice concept but due to rain that didn't work out so well. Also, I think due to the railings and karaoke equipment, there weren't too many good spots on deck to get a good view.

          But anyway, karaoke of course was running on Backstreet time and they boys were running late. Before they came out, Hal Roseman came out and announced the winners of the door decoration contest. Congrats again Ash and Cort!

          At this point Howie announced that they would be shaving a fan named Michelle's head because she was about to start cancer treatment. It was a very touching moment.

          About 20 minutes later karaoke finally started. The fans who got to participate were pre-selected and informed via email that they would have an opportunity to sing with the boys. You had to sign up to qualify and give your top 3 song choices. I signed up to participate and was half disappointed I didn't get picked, and half relieved. I would've been a wreck up there. Talk about nerves. So I sat back and enjoyed the show.

          The songs in order were:
           Nick- “Who wants to get wet with Backstreet?”
            One of my other favorite moments was the ending banter between the guys. In fact I think it was the best part of the event. They had some great zingers in there. Just watch...

            Nick- “Chestnuts roasting on Rochelle’s dinner plate.”

            Karaoke had a lot of sexual comments throughout, which I can't pretend I didn't enjoy. I wish we could see this side of the Backstreet Boys more often.

            Karaoke was ultimately cut short due to the weather. I have to say, this was probably my least favorite event of the cruise (which is again probably evident in the length of this post). But still being my least favorite event on a BSB cruise still trumps any other possible activity. So on a scale of 1-10 it may have been a 15 instead of a 20. After all, its still an event with the Backstreet Boys.

            There were a number of reasons why it wasn't my favorite. It started off late due to the boys being late and it was further postponed by the head shaving, so I was already antsy by the time they started. I also think that leading into the karaoke with such a somber event set a rather gloomy tone. Furthermore it was tough to see given the setup of the stage. The rain wasn't ideal. Expectations were high from the previous cruise. I felt the boys weren't as into it. And there were a few other reasons for why I just wasn't feeling it.

            Gosh, I feel bad being so negative. Again, still had fun, but just not as much fun as say the beach party. The boys are definitely spoiling me and it's not good. Now I call it a "bad" event if there aren't at least 2 Backstreet Boys with no shirts on. All that said, Karaoke did have various elements that I did like. I thought it was very well organized in how they picked contestants. I like that it was pre-selected randomly to give everyone a fair shot. It minimized chaos at the event. I think it's nice they give the opportunity to a lot of fans to be on stage with them. Plus I enjoy the fact that you can't really get that kind of karaoke experience with BSB anywhere else. It's unique to the cruise.

            I personally think they should retire doing karaoke but if they do bring it back I think they need to bring a new twist to it. Maybe have the boys split into 2 teams so they can go head to head. The boys seem very competitive so I think they'd get more into. It just needs something to make it fresh again.

            PS- Thanks again to Anne Marie for letting me borrow her vids.

            Monday, March 5, 2012

            I’m Too Old for This Stuff

            I was looking back to the things my younger self would do for the Backstreet Boys. Don’t get me wrong, I still do them, but I think I’m getting too old for some of this stuff. Some cruise related, but most just good ole general BSB antics. Perhaps you all can assure me that these things are still okay... I hope.

            I’m Too Old to…

            • Camp out for a general admission event. Especially when the temperature is below freezing and/or if it’s raining. Even just standing around for any more than two hours is quite absurd.
            • Split hotel rooms with ‘strangers’ just to save money for a BSB event. Lucky this has resulted in me making some awesome friends…but in NO other normal situation would I be willing share a hotel with people I’ve never met before. I mean, really? It still sounds crazy when I say it aloud.
            • Go to after parties on a work night. Unfortunately being an adult means I have responsibilities and I just can't be staying up until 3 if i have to go to work the next day.
            • Still secretly hope that you will one day be Mrs. Carter. Okay, I may have briefly had this delusion for a hot second when I was younger, but rest assured I no longer feel this way or would even want it.
            • Stay up until 6am for deck parties.
            • Go to McDonalds for a post-concert meal. The thought alone of eating that greasy food at midnight makes me feel gross. I used to look forward to that after a concert. Not anymore.
            • ‘Fight’ with other fans because they cut in front of you in line or something else silly. You put 4 Backstreet Boys in front of us and sometimes we seem to forget normal social behavior. We're all theoretically adults here and this behavior is just absurd if you really think about it.
            • Put up BSB posters in my room. Well, without frames anyway. Putting them in a frame helps me justify it and makes me feel more like an adult though :)
            • Take more pictures of the Backstreet Boys during the cruise than I have the entire last 3 years of all my friends and family combined. True story. One day if I have kids they'll be wondering why there are more pictures of the Backstreet Boys in my albums than of them.
            • Scream at the top of my lungs during a concert. You’d think after seeing them so many times in concert the urge to scream so loud would fade away, but it doesn’t.
            • Dress overly revealing to try and capture the attention of the Backstreet Boys. I think I'd be a little delusional if I still thought this might work.
            • Spend an absurd amount of my free time checking Backstreet websites or doing other Backstreet related things (including writing in this blog) If I could re-focus all that time on something more positive, I could be such a productive member of society. Or more realistically at least get some household chores done with that time.
            • Spend lots of money on BSB activities when I really should do the responsible thing and save that for a down payment on a house, invest in the stock market, or something else adults do.

            PS- For any of you wondering, I did in fact get the inspiration for this post from on one of my favorite episodes of How I Met your Mother- Murtaugh. Challenge accepted, anyone?

            Thursday, March 1, 2012

            Announcing: Cruising with the Backstreet Boys!

            I'm excited to announce I've given my blog a long overdue facelift. Fresh new look, new title, and made it a lot easier for you to search for what you need. The new title of my blog is Cruising with the Backstreet Boys. So don't be fooled, you're still in the right place! But I've been wanting to do this for a while and finally got around to it. Meanwhile I realized I had no idea how to use tags properly, so I've gone back through all 215 of my old posts and properly tagged them. You can view those tags in the right sidebar to easily access older content.

            Obviously we still have a little while until another cruise announcement, let alone another cruise. Jen has indicated they're aiming for summer of 2013. Over the next few months you can expect my posts to be not quite as frequent as they've been in the past, but I still intend to update with lots of fun stuff. There's still a lot of post-cruise items I want to blog about so please keep checking back.

            As we continue to wait for the announcement, I will probably expand the topics of my posts a bit to cover just general Backstreet items and whatever random Backstreet thoughts might pop in my head on any given day. However I still want the majority of my posts to be Backstreet cruise related, after all, that's what this blog is about.

            As always, I'd love to hear your feedback about what you might want to see on the blog. Feel free to email me with any comments/suggestions or even if you just want to chat with another fan.

            Last thing- I want to give credit to Justin Segura for his lovely photos in my new banner.