Two months after announcing it would search for America's next boy band, ABC has confirmed the artists who will be part of that search. The network issued a press release on Tuesday declaring that "Boy Band" will be hosted by singer Rita Ora, and that Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter and Spice Girls' Emma Bunton will be the celebrity mentors, which the network is calling "architects."
This is Rita Ora's fourth venture into reality TV and third with a singing competition. She previously hosted one season of "America's Next Top Model" for VH1, replacing Tyra Banks, before Banks announced her return for the upcoming 24th cycle. The "I Will Never Let You Down" singer also served as a coach on the fourth season of "The Voice UK" before moving over to the same position on the twelfth season of "The X Factor." Ora, who had previously been a guest judge during the ninth season of "The X Factor," won season twelve with Louisa Johnson.
"Boy Band" will be Nick Carter's first appearance on a singing competition, though he and Sharna Burgess were the runners-up in the 21st season of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" in 2015, so he will be a familiar face to the new show's audience. Carter hasn't released an album since 2015's All American, though he and the other members of Backstreet Boys were featured on the Florida Georgia Line singer "God, Your Mama and Me" earlier this year.
Emma Bunton will forever be known as "Baby Spice" from the hit girl group Spice Girls. While the group themselves have not performed as a quintet since the 2012 Summer Olympics, Bunton has appeared individually on the British version of "The X Factor" three times, the most recent being in 2016 when she worked alongside Simon Cowell in the thirteenth season. She was also a guest judge on "Britain's Got Talent" in 2015.
While these names may not create as big a splash as ABC's recent hiring for its new "American Idol", the "Boy Band" roster makes sense. It consists of a host who has plenty of experience with singing competition shows, and two artists who were members of internationally successful pop groups. But will they also make for good TV? That's something that audiences will have to discover next month.
"Boy Band" premieres Thursday, June 22 at 8 p.m. on ABC.