Our second boy band on offer is Varsity Fanclub. We don't know whether they came up with their name before or after V Factory came up with theirs, but someone should have done a little asking around first. It's like if Lou Pearlman had sat down with his second batch of fresh-faced Orlando-ites and said, "Okay, for you I'm thinking Frontstreet Boys." Also, what the hell does "Varsity Fanclub" mean?
Image: Well, it ain’t good. Everything about Varsity Fanclub is unappealing. It looks like someone sanded them all down with a fine-grit sandpaper, then dropped them into Panic at the Disco’s castoff wardrobe, after it had been dyed neon colors. The amount of shriekingly bright scarves, skinny jeans, ruffly or low-cut shirts, and terrible, terrible vests is appalling, and the one in the trucker hat has apparently not twigged to the fact that “trucker hat” is shorthand for “douche.” It doesn’t help that at least three of them are seriously unattractive. Yes, that’s shallow and mean, but come on, this is a boy band. 1 out of 5.
Archetypes: Jayk, by virtue of his misspelled name and trucker hat, is clearly The Bad Boy. However, he is also the incredibly unappealing one who we hate, so that’s sad for him. Drew Ryan Scott, he of the three first names, is The Little Blond One, but one does not suspect, by looking at him, that he will pull a Carter/Timberlake and become The Heartthrob. The Heartthrob is kind of up in the air right now; it used to be Thomas, who also appears to be an aspiring gay porn star (see below), but he has since left this train wreck of a band, presumably to star in gay porn. Way to go, Thomas. (He also gets points for listing DuckTales as his favorite movie, even though it’s not a movie.) He has been replaced by another guy named Thomas, or T.C., but Varsity Fanclub’s terrible, terrible website still only has pictures of Thomas 1.0 on it, so we cannot speak to T.C.’s role. Bobby, who has the gratifying credentials of having appeared on Veronica Mars, may be the new Heartthrob, or possibly The Shy One, based only on the fact that he looks kind of like a normal dude and not a lunatic. And then there’s David, who we forgot about until we counted, which makes him The Other One. Surprisingly, 4 out of 5.
(Thomas may also have been brewed in the same genetic experiment that created Drake Bell and Zac Efron. We are investigating.)
Music Video: You'll have to click the link, as VFC's ex-record label has disabled embedding. Because why would a record label want one of their music videos to be easily disseminated? You know, this is actually a great boy band video. They’re wearing silver on some futuristic set with girls admiring but not touching them, there’s choreography, they introduce them all, Thomas winks and all the confused middle school boys feel funny…it’s great. Unfortunately, they’re really unappealing, so although the video contains all the ingredients for entertainment, it falls flat in execution. Also, there’s a “dance break” towards the end that appears to come from another song entirely. 3 out of 5.
Personality: On the Varsity Fanclub website, there’s a tab for comedy videos. It doesn’t work, because the Varsity Fanclub webmaster should be fired. But if you look on their YouTube channel, you can find a video of Drew Ryan Scott lip syncing to a terrible, terrible song called “I Hope You’re Not a Man,” about how gross it would be if you accidentally danced with a man and/or ugly woman in a dark club instead of a hot chick. And, you know, it’s good that Varsity Fanclub realizes that they need to put out footage of themselves being likable and funny. Unfortunately, they are incapable of being likable and funny, and Drew Ryan Scott’s performance comes off as simultaneously homophobic and offensive, while also the gayest thing that has ever happened in a boy band, including Lance Bass coming out. This is a pretty good example of how awful the whole band is (except for Bobby, who seems like just some dude). Also, they are already at a point where they are suing their label, and their album has been delayed a couple of times, and they’ve replaced a member, and their website doesn’t work, and basically the whole thing is an insufferable train wreck. 0 out of 5.
Oh yeah, the music: So boy bandy. Way more so than V Factory; they almost sound like a parody of a boy band, like 2Ge+her or Kim Possible’s Oh Boyz. Or, you know, O-Town, who were basically a parody. (Don’t tell them that.) The voices we heard on the three songs available on the website were seriously not good, but the music itself was pretty catchy. Sung by a JC Chasez or a Brian Littrell, it would be in frequent play on our iPods. 2 out of 5.
Bonus hilarious lyrics: “I think I gotta get your hair right/ Loosen up, you’re so tight/ Baby come on (Let me in tonight)/ You got me lost inside your circus/ You got me feeling nervous/ Baby come on.” GEE I WONDER WHAT THAT’S ABOUT?
Final Score: 10/25. They divided up nicely into archetypes, but that’s because they were put together by somebody who knows boy bands. Don’t let the not-completely-abysmal score fool you, though – we hated them.