Guilty Pleasures, Round Two: Meat Loaf (5) vs. Backstreet Boys (4)

EW’s Music Mix is searching for the Greatest Guilty Pleasure Musical Act of All Time. With 16 seeded contestants remaining (see all the matchups), this tournament is continuing to change hearts, minds, and lives, as well as make some people remarkably agitated! Read/listen to the following, and then cast your vote in the poll after the jump; reader comments will be used from here on out, so we encourage you to also post a comment explaining why you chose the way you did. Note: In case of a tie, please select the artist you feel more ashamed to adore. Also note: Yes, the bracket was rearranged to be in proper bracketing order. Thank you.

Meat Loaf Backstreet Boys


Mr. Loaf squeaked out the closest win of Round One, over possible secret twin Garth Brooks. Fans celebrated the sing-along qualities of Meat’s more melodramatic songs, and most were refreshingly honest about the guilt involved.

“Meatloaf, oh, Meatloaf, I will only admit to liking you when I belt out your tune in my car on an abandoned street…which is like every week.” — Kristi

“I do not reveal that my friends and I had an entirely choreographed routine to ‘2 out of 3 ain’t bad’ and that when I am sad, that is still my go to song for a good cry.” — Mandy

“This was a hard choice. But I thought back and realized, everyone, I mean everyone, including people who were there for Meat Loaf’s heyday laugh at me when I reveal that at 20 I love to rock out to ‘Paradise by Dashboard Lights’ and have sung it with my friends at karaoke. My sister’s kids love Elvis, but just look at us funny when we sing Meat Loaf at the top of our lungs.” — Charlotte

“MeatLoaf is one of those artists rock critics hate, which makes him one the fans LOVE.” — wakeforce


We thought for a while that the Backstreet Boys might have a hard time with Duran Duran, but thanks to a global army of rabid fans, they absolutely demolished their competition. No reason to think that won’t happen again.

“…all we 90s children know is the complete awesomeness of Backstreet Boys. Start singing “I Want It That Way” in the presence of 90s kids, and you will instantly be singing with a chorus. Backstreet Boys FTW.” — Austin

“I’d have to say BACKSTREET BOYS all the way. Those key changes cause the serotonin levels to SOAR — almost orgasmic if you get my drift and the Boys have song after song after song with those changes.” — Twilight

“EU AMO OS BACKSTREET BOYS ♥ aqui no Brasil todos amam eles! as músicas deles são perfeitas:) e eles também hahaha” — Dai

“The Backstreet Boys! We were just kids back then, when these 5 lovely people took us by storm. Our wallpapers was made of backstreet boys posters, we spent hours and hours talking about them. Me and my best friend Anna stood in front of the whole class and danced and sang to “Get Down,” 11 years old and even the guys in our class thought we were good and they hated BSB. They are vocalists, preformers and maybe most of all artists – carrying the amazing gift to touch people with their songs. Me and Anna are going to see them in Stockholm in Dec. Proud Backstreet girls!” — Nora

“how do i vote for phish?” — Possum

Want to vote in a previous matchup? Click here to visit Guilty Pleasure Bracket Central!

Photo Credit: Meat Loaf: Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis; Backstreet Boys: Everett Collection

Comments (118 total) Add your comment
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  • Elizabeth

    Seriously, just send the BSB through to the Final Four when they *might* face some competition from ABBA.

    BTW: 34 days till the new album, “This Is Us” comes out. Yeah, I’m 33 and yeah, I’ve got the countdown widget on my work computer keeping track of that!

    • Harshal

      5 thumbs-up to you..
      am listening to ‘straight through my heart’ right now on utube and counting down the days for album release

  • Kristi

    I can’t believe my Meatloaf comment made the article. :)

    This one’s particularly hard for me, because it’s either:
    a. admitting to still swooning like a tween everytime ‘I want it that way’ shuffles to my Ipod screen


    b. admitting that I DVR-ed Meatloaf and his daughter butcher every other song except his own on ‘Don’t Forget the Lyrics’ last season, just because it was Meatloaf . . .hmmm

  • E.B. Berman

    “Note: In case of a tie, please select the artist you feel more ashamed to adore.” All right, then. Backstreet Boys, it is.

  • Ugly Jenny

    A lot of my memories from back in the day in some way involve the Backstreet Boys. I remember my sister, friends, and I spending a whole week making our own dance moves to “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” (Alright!) while watching our video All Access: Backstreet Boys (true fans remember that). I also remember anxiously awaiting for Millenium to come out and proudly showing off that CD in junior high. Oh the memories…

    • Elizabeth

      “My brother Bill, and my brother Phil… don’t make them angry.”

    • Beth

      All Access is the best video ever! I’m gonna go through my old tapes now and pop it in! :) Did you have A Night With the Backstreet Boys? Good version of 10,000 Promises on that.

      • Nani

        Best version of 10,000 promises EVER!!!

      • Carter Rules

        I LOVE that video.

    • Ugly Jenny

      I was so excited that some people remember All Access! That was the day I fell in love with Brian! My absolute favorite part was when Howie was modeling with his shirt off and Brian walks in front of him and says “Censored!”

      • Renee

        Man, you’re taking me back! I remember that exact moment in the video – Brian was my fave back then. :) I’m looking forward to their new album.

      • Beth

        Don’t know if you’ll read this, but sometimes my friends and I still say “Censored!” and laugh our heads off.

      • Ugly Jenny

        That’s so awesome! I had no idea All Access was so well remembered. I want to dust off the video and watch it right now!

  • L J

    My first concert was 5 days before my 12th birthday in Munich when BSB opened for DJ Bobo. It was their first tour ever. It is still and will always be one of the best memories of my life. BSB 4 EVER!

  • paige

    i give it to meat because at least he strives for originality…

    • Caryl

      Yes, Meat always strives for originality, and no-one puts more into a live performance than he does. He gets my vote every time .. although I’m proud to follow him and would never feel guilty :) He’s just the best!!

  • dublin04

    Although I love how Meatloaf reminds me of riding the bus in high school, BSB are probably the most GUILTY pleaure. I wouldn’t even label the cd I burned of their Greatest Hits…

  • toni

    I’m sorry but I agree with the person that said just put the Boys in the top 4, I think top 2 would be better. I’ve been a fan since I got a download before they broke in the states and I’ve never looked back. I look forward to every new cd, new articles, new tours and tv appearances. I’m 38 and they still make me swoon too :)

    • Nani

      OH!!! I’m 38 also… I thought I was the only one.

  • Derek Jeter

    I agree with the poll results…

    The backstreet boys are FAR worse than Meatloaf

    • Nani

      WHAT polls?? the poll is not over yet!!!

  • alicia mclean

    backstreet boys is not a guilty pleasure is the best band ever

    • Derek Jeter

      Then keep voting them to the top Phanner!

  • Katie G

    BSB was my obsession between the ages of 12 and 14…my walls were covered in posters (some of which were expensively laminated and mounted)and picture cut outs from magazines.
    I was pathetically in deep…. but to be honest, to this day I still sing along with them on the radio. Can’t deny the catchiness of some of those tunes!

  • Ambee

    When talking to a past boyfriend last year about my type, I told him it was a mix of Brian Litrell and A.J. McClean. Is this embarassing to admit? Probably. Do I still feel that way? Oh yes, yes I do. I want my guy that way.

    • Carter Rules


      Mine would be a mix of Nick & AJ ;-)

  • Danielle Mansani

    Backstreet Boys fans are always ready to support them, even when people thought they were gone, we were there, and we’re here now to make them to the finals.

  • Elena


  • Erley

    Guilty? Nah, but the Backstreet Boys sure are a PLEASURE!

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