It’s official: New Kids on the Block are reuniting. Today had the big “reveal” this morning, sending Meredith Vieira and Natalie Morales out onto the rain-soaked Rockefeller Plaza — where the besuited man band magically appeared from behind a red curtain. The girls in the crowd went apes— as the guys quickly fell into their old roles: Jordan Knight, Donnie Wahlberg, and Joey McIntyre did all the talking, while Jonathan Knight stood behind them looking uncomfortable. Danny Wood was there, too. Off to the side. (The good news: neither Jonathan nor Danny was as awkward as Today‘s cut from the screaming New Kids crowd to a somber Al Roker, who was reporting from outside the Memphis hotel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 40 years ago today. Seriously. Awkward.)
But, using the same let’s lighten things up! segue Today did, back to the New Kids! They’ve been recording since last August. On May 16, they’ll return to Today for their first live performance together in 15 years. They’ll release an album this summer (same signature sound, “maybe a few less oh-ohs,” said Wahlberg). And they’ll launch a limited tour this fall (yes, there will be dancing). Frankly, that’s all we needed to know. But Morales kept the guys around for another segment so she could ask this poorly worded question: “You guys went from the biggest act around to just disappearing. We didn’t see you. Some of you went on to have your own singles, and your own albums, but we really didn’t hear about a lot of you. Where did you all go?” Honestly, I think she just wanted to get into a real-estate conversation with Jonathan (sales are terrible, he said), but instead, she got always-serious Donnie talking about his acting career. “I shot a film with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino called Righteous Kill, and I guess after that, it was kinda like, what more could I do in acting? So I get back with my boys and make some music.”
Of course, the question is: Do we want to hear that music? I suppose I’ll tune in May 16, because I want to know if Jordan’s and Joey’s voices are still as good as Donnie said they are. And whether Jonathan, who, let’s face it, was never the best dancer, will keep up (or even show up). And if I’m really switching allegiances from Jordan to Joey after all these years. You?
addCredit(“Danny Wood, Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg and Jonathan Knight: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage”)