Jordan, Danny, Joe, Donnie, Jon

If there’s one talent I have, it is determining which New Kid (on the Block) someone was a fan of 20 (!) years ago. The other day at work, I pegged a girl as a Donnie fan, and could have wagered a month’s pay on this prediction.  It’s simple really, and I’ll let you in on the secrets if you want a fun-slash-lame bar game.

Let’s start with my favorite, Joe “Joey Joe” McIntyre. The youngest by a few years, fair-haired, blue eyed, vocals on the edge of puberty, just plain-out adorable and sweet.  And the most likely to be a virgin (as though any of them resisted groupies for long).  Nonthreatening. Hammy.  With a twist of Oliver Twist. Joe fans are the girls who date younger men, love the nice guys, and go for clean-cut, corn-fed cuties.

Next up, Donnie “Donnie D” Wahlberg, without whom we may never have known Dirk Diggler.  Donnie was the “bad boy,” although if you are really that bad, you either wouldn’t be singing lead on songs like “Cover Girl” or you are in deeply self-loathing (as may have been indeed been the case with A.J. McLean, see below).  In Donnie’s case, “bad boy” meant an earring, a motorcycle, rumors of (gasp!) drinking, and … oh … those pesky allegations of attempted arson.  No big.  These days, Donnie is quite the nice looking older chap, has a decent resume (although dwarfed by that of his kid brother) and his shit together.  Donnie fans may have had a nose ring in high school and like the “alternative” guys, or at least guys with tattoos and/or in bands.

Then there is Jordan Knight.  If we deny his disgusting and bloated performance on The Surreal Life, we are left with a good looking simpleton and front man.  Jordan was the one who shed his shirt in front of a wind machine, whose dimples could make even the Moms in the audience melt, and who took the leading role more often than he didn’t.  Jordan fans can be one of two things. Either they were fringe New Kids fans, who didn’t know much else, or they are the girls who maybe aren’t that bright and assimilate with the pretty face, empty head.  (No offense to Jordan fans! Ahem.)

Jon Knight? Jordan’s long-suffering older brother.  He was “shy.”  He was “quiet.”  He was “mature.” He was boring!  For years there have been gay rumors about Jonathan, which actually makes some sense.  Jon fans are the hardest to figure out.  Sometimes he attracted Donnie girls that were a little offput by the “craziness” but still wanted to be alternative.  And obviously, shy girls would be drawn to him as well.

And finally, Danny Wood. Okay, in all my time as a “hardcore” Kidophile, I never met one fan of the completely Simian Danny (who has grown into his features and looks better these days by a country mile).  Perhaps using performance-enhancing drugs (and the performance he was enhancing was his dancing … and lifting weighs in videos), Danny rarely sang and rarely had solo pinup shots in Bop.  I would imagine the girl who claimed to be a Danny fan is, like all Andy Taylor fans, first of all lying, and second of all trying real damn hard to be contrarian.  To which I would say, sweetheart, he’s still a New Kid, even if he’s the ugly New Kid.

This formula extends with great ease to the Backstreet Boys:

Nick Carter = Joe (young, cute, blonde)

A.J. McLean = Donnie (bad to the bone, tortured)

Kevin Richardson = Jon (older relative to Brian, quiet, lame)

Brian Littrell = Jordan (front man, “cute,” minus a heavy degree of douchery)

Howie Dorough = Danny (uhhhh … whatever. Have you seen the “I Want it That Way” video?)

And some extent, even the Beatles fit the mold.  Paul is Jordan/Brian, John is Donnie/AJ, George is Jon/Kevin, and Ringo falls somewhere in between the youthfully/goofy and the not-so-attractive. Ringo, incidentally, nabs my favorite slot there as well.

So who had the right stuff for you?