DAY 3

Day 3 brought a slight sleep in (830ish…) and a need to get up and get going to get the 2 roomies to Singled Out for check in. We all got up and got ready, talking again about the premise of the show and how 50 contestants were going to compete for these boys affection. 

What we got, was far better than anything we could’ve imagined. Singled Out was most definitely a highlight of the whole event. 

We reached the venue and lined up outside, waiting for a good chunk of time to be let into the arena. Both contestants and audience members lined up together, so we got to keep chatting with our roomies and hyping them up for the event. 

Once inside, they took off for check in and we went straight to the bar. After grabbing a drink, we found our seats, about halfway back in the room and right in the middle of the space with a giant screen directly in front of us. I couldn’t see the stage well, but that screen would cover me. We drank and chatted as we waited for the show to start, excited to see what kinds of pranks they would be pulling. 

The announcer and MC came over the speaker, asking everyone to stand for the Backstreet Boys national anthem. At first, I scoffed, annoyed I had to stand. Then “I Want It That Way” started playing and I was almost rolling with laughter. The host came out and introduced himself and the show, before bringing all 5 boys out on stage. Of course, the crowd went crazy as the boys settled into their couches in the back. 

Seriously though, this show was a thing of magic. Each boy took their turn in the hot seat, with AJ first. They boys were blindfolded and asked to sit in a chair right at the front of the stage. Behind them were 50 contestants who were competing to win that title of Singled Out Backstreet Boy queen or king. The host asked a “this or that” question (Nintendo 64 or PlayStation), and the contestants would have to choose the corresponding box to stand in. Once everyone was placed, the BSB would share their answer. Anyone who had chosen correctly would remain on stage, while the rest were herded off, back into the audience. 

One of the best parts of this whole experience was when one of the boys, (almost always Nick) jumped in to play as a contestant. There were a few times that Nick claimed to know how the other boy would answer, but 9 times out of 10, he was completely wrong, leading him to sit himself down shame-faced. He was a good sport and the fans seemed to really enjoy this playful display.

Once each boy had gotten the group of 50 down to 4, the remaining contestants were given a challenge which was tailored to each boy. For AJ, the contestants were given an easel and markers and told they were to design a tattoo, and AJ would choose his favorite. Of course, AJ is AJ, and he announced before seeing any of the options that whoever won the challenge with not only win for his team, but that he would get that design tattooed on himself. AJ sat down, blindfolded, and listened to the chaos that was happening around him as the contestants were trying to find the best tattoo design they could come up with for AJ. 

Of course, Nick is Nick, and he had to jump in and took over the design for one of the contestants. The best part of this? He drew a clown…AJ’s biggest fear. The cackle that came from Nick when AJ saw that design was classic Nick and as always, brought joy to all of us fans. AJ surveyed the rest of the contenders, since that clown was most definitely out, and chose the BSB tattoo design. AJ and his winner retreated to the back, and then Howie was up.

Howie went through his 50 contestants, whittling down to 4, before his challenge was announced. Margaritas! Each contestant was given a mini bartending station and told to make the best Margarita they could make. Howie wandered around, watching each of them as they worked, and commenting on their techniques, before time was called and the real fun began. Howie went through the 4 options, tasting each one, and then tasting each one again, and then going back again, just for good measure. He finally crowned a winner, and he and his winner then made their way to the back, sitting down and watching as Brian came up.

For Brian’s challenge, each contestant was given a basketball and had to complete a set of dribbling drills. Of course, Brian being Brian, he grabbed a ball before anyone else got to the them and started playing around with it. He was showing off his skills before the contestants took over. They had to dribble one handed, then two handed, then through the legs…at the end of it, only 1 remained…mostly because no one else was able to actually keep control of the ball. Brian and his winner were announced, and then they took a seat.

Nick was next. Nick’s 50 contestants collectively spent to least amount of time on stage. Why? Because they only got 1 question to go from 50 down to 4. Nick’s first and only “this or that” prompt was “MTV or Vh1”? Of the 50 contestants, 4 chose Vh1, and the rest rapidly moved to MTV. MTV seems like the obvious choice, given that he is a Backstreet Boy and they did rule the TRL era. But Nick likes to throw curveballs, so he chose Vh1, eliminating all but 4 people. And then his task? A Mario Kart tournament. The staff attempted to set up the Nintendo system to play Mario Kart, but with the spotty internet service, the game wasn’t loading. So Nick took charge, creating a new challenge: Real Life Mario Kart. He directed all of the contestants to find a space on the floor and to pretend they were in the game themselves. At first, they seemed a bit shy, pretending to drive, mildly moving from side to side. Nick began yelling Mario Kart obstacles at them, “a banana just came your way!” “He threw the star!” And slowly the contestants began to get into it, spinning around like they had been hit, diving forward and backward in their “kart”, and pretending to hit the sides of the track. After the race was over, Nick chose his winner, a male who had done an excellent job slipping on a banana, and they were announced and went to sit down.

Last, but never least, was Kevin. Kevin’s group went down to 3 before they were asked to play quarterback, highlighting Kevin’s love of football. A big net was brought out and the boys being the boys, all jumped up to play. AJ and Nick stood on either side of the net, Brian behind the quarterback of the moment, playing catch and delivering the balls to them. On occasion, Nick or AJ interfered, snatching the ball out of the air or picking up and moving the net. When all was said and done, there was only 1 winner.

And then the real games began. 

Together with their winner, each boy had to compete for the ultimate Singled Out team. The first challenge? The coconut game. Yes, the very same one that you see in the movies. Each pair was given a coconut and had to place it between them at their stomachs. They then had to find a way to shimmy the coconut up to their necks without using their hands. Of course, hilarity ensued, and at the end of this task, Howie was knocked out, having the slowest entry.

The second task required the boys to use only their bodies to pop three balloons. Nick, ever the creative one, grabbed the balloons, placed them between him and his partner, and went in for a strong hug, popping each balloon in less than a second and then declared himself the winner, displaying himself for the crowd proudly. The others had a much harder time trying to find ways to pop those balloons. It was quite the site watching them attempt and fail at this task. In the end, Kevin had been knocked out.

Then, the twerking began. The boys and their partners had an open box (which looked suspiciously like an empty box of exam gloves) with 5 ping pong size balls strapped to them. The box was open and rested just at their low back…just above their butts. The game required that they shake their asses to get all of those balls out the fastest. As you can imagine, more hilarity ensued. And there was definitely chatter amongst the fans and the boys about who might’ve had the advantage amongst the remaining contestants, with AJ complaining that he had no ass to shake. And somehow, he was right, and he was the next to be eliminated.

The final activity had the pairs sitting on the floor, back to back, with arms linked. They were tasked with finding a way to move from sitting to standing without using their hands. You’d be surprised how hard it is to do this! But they did…well one pair did anyway. Brian was being pulled all over the place as he and his partner attempted to stand. At one point it looked like he was an overturned turtle, with his legs flailing as they tried to get up. But Nick was victorious, working well with his partner and getting to their feet first. 

Singled Out had crowned its winners! The King and King of the Backstreet Boys game show were announced and gave a speech. Nick gave the crown to his partner, as he took the tiara, taking the title of Queen, and thanked his partner, letting him know that there ways no way he could’ve done it without him. His partner, King of Singled Out, then thanked Nick, before turning his attention to his wife, saying “thank you to my wife for bringing me to this” which caused a roar of laughter. I’d love to hear from that wife of his on her perspective of this spectacle. But it did seem like there wasn’t a single fan who was not rolling in laughter.  What a fun time!

After the game show, we made our way back down to the outdoor theater to get ready for Howie D’s Guac and Shots. Howie’s solo event involved 6 contestants making their best version of guacamole and Judge Howie D would choose the winner. While this was happening, the tequila shots would be flowing. When Howie came out, he was joined with a dancing avocado, which egged on the contestants and the crowd. That avocado provided some great entertainment as the contestants were crafting their dishes.

Howie did his best to interact with the crowd, but often got sidetracked by the tequila. He did attempt to send some tequila shooting into the audience with a squirt gun, but it really only served to get everyone a little wet. So, he reverted to the traditional shot, sharing shots with a few members of the audience. He also had a few fans up on stage to dance while the “chefs” were working.

Howie then proceeded to taste all the guacamole and crowned a winner, but only after going back and retasting all of the delicious Guac that his fans had slaved over for him. Afterwards, Howie stuck around and mingled with fans, passing out shots and taking photos. As usual, he closed the place down, and then it was back to the pool for us!

After a short stop at the pool, we headed back to The Grand for dinner. We got dressed and ready for “Safari Night” and had an earlier dinner at JC Steakhouse at the Grand. After that, we rushed over to the beach where DJ Kevy Kev was spinning. Kevin was the most adorable DJ around. He was so focused on his task, and had clearly worked hard to create a set that we would enjoy. Kevin is a joy to watch when he is performing because he always takes it all in, sits in the moment, and wears the appreciation he has for these opportunities right on his sleeve. This was no different. It’s nice to see the boys in a different element, but still rocking it.

After DJ Kevy Kev’s set, it was over to the outdoor amphitheatre for the after party. We posted up on the corner of the stage and waited for the boys to arrive. This spot worked out ok for us, as we were able to see pretty well and we did get a chance to see a couple of the boys as they came around.

On this night, Howie was feeling the day of drinks and didn’t last very long. Most of the night he sat on the steps and chatted with us or sang along, and then headed out early. AJ was again on DJ duty, directing the actual DJ of which songs to sing, and then entertaining the hell out of the crowd singing along to those songs. Kevin and Brian spent some time on stage, but also took their time going through the fans and taking pictures.

From where we stood, it was a fairly chill evening, although we did experience a little of the pushing and shoving that we had heard was happening in previous nights. At one point, Kevin was right in front of us and I got to take a quick picture with him. I got a chance to give him a friendship bracelet, which he genuinely thanked me for, eye contact, hands in prayer, nodding his head at me…the way he gets me every time he does that. He hadn’t read that it said “I’m on Backstreet Time”, which I think is fitting for Kevin anyway and I hope when he finally did look at it, he laughed. As he was making his way through our area, some fans that were behind us were pushing their way up. Kevin stopped what he was doing, took a step back, and put his hands up to signal that he wanted them to stop and calm down. He took on a protective stance there, making sure that those of us that were in the front were safe, before returning to greeting each and every fan.

AJ, Brian, and Kevin returned to the stage and were playfully singing along to a ton of songs, clearly enjoying themselves. They stuck around for a little while longer, before Kevin announced that they would be leaving for the night. We took the cue and headed back to our hotel room to crash for the night.

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We are a group of women who love and support the Backstreet Boys. We are professionals in various aspects of business with backgrounds in marketing, journalism, writing, and psychology. 

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