It’s on! Bracket Madness polls have closed on Round 1, and we are one step closer to crowning The Greatest Artist of the 00s. The battle of the boy bands racked up 71,000 votes, with *NSYNC beating out the Backstreet Boys; and 360,000 votes were cast between them, but Britney Spears has trumped Beyoncé. That leaves us with an extra special match-up and an extra difficult choice for Round 2: Britney Spears versus Justin Timberlake! *NSYNC or Britney Spears? This pairing may pull at your heart strings and resurface emotions that have been buried for more than a decade now, but a decision must be made: who should it be?
As a couple, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears were the biggest thing in pop in the early 00s. The two met when they were young and working on The Mickey Mouse Club, and things got serious between them just as each was reaching the peak as performers. Pop’s dream team, they were a picture of pop perfection — holding hands, wearing matching outfits, and mostly staying out of trouble. They became the obsession of fans and the probing media alike with their every move. And from their eventual break-up came one of pop’s all-time greatest songs: Justin Timberlake’s Britney referencing “Cry Me A River.”
Unfortunately, this is round of Bracket Madness is not to decide Greatest Couple of the 00s but Greatest Artist of the 00s, and so sides must be taken. Both Britney and the boys of *NSYNC represented a new breed of pop star, trained in the trenches at Disney and armed with glossy singles, slick dance moves, and cautiously provocative public lives. As a pop group, *NSYNC had all the bases covered — Justin with the moves and the smile, JC the attitude; Lance was the nice one, Joey the funny one, and Chris Kirkpatrick the quirky one– and to each their own, there was something for everyone. Britney, meanwhile, found her stride as a solo artist and as the decades premier pop star. In her music and videos, she took on different characters — independent woman of “Overprotected”, the sweet girl from “Somewhere”, the bad girl from “Oops” — depending on what the moment called for.
Who will it be? Polls close Tuesday, September 4 at 4PM, so vote now and then check back in to see which group advances to the next round!