As expected, 19 years after Justin Timberlake left the group and ten since their last performance together, the five members of NSYNC reunited again on Tuesday at the VMAs at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Their return was greeted with no small amount of enthusiasm by the crowd and especially Taylor Swift, who was seated up front next to Ice Spice.
The quintet, dressed in shades of blue, grey and white, began by recalling their VMA award-winning videos and then went straight to the Best Pop award, which not surprisingly was won by, as Timberlake put it, “the unstoppable Taylor Swift” for “Antihero.” She got a big hug from Ice Spice and other friends, then gushed over seeing the group onstage, accepting one of her “Eras” tour friendship bracelets from one of them.
“I’m not doing well pivoting from this to this [from being an NSYNC fan to accepting an award],” she said. “Like, I had your [NSYNC] dolls!”
Swift then continued the group’s ongoing reunion teasers by saying, “Are you guys gonna do something? I need to know what it is!” She gave a characteristically gracious speech, thanking her fans.
What might they be doing next? While there’s been no official word, the hints couldn’t be much less subtle.
For weeks the internet has been filled with reports that the group has recorded a new song, written by Timberlake, for “Trolls Band Together,” the upcoming third installment in DreamWorks’ animated franchise, which, judging by the trailers, has a boy band reunion storyline for Justin Timberlake’s character, Branch. The group’s other four members — JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick — and also expected to join Timberlake in the film.
The trailer shows the film’s boy band bears the awesome name BroZone, and there’s even a boy-band referencing bit of dialog:
“My brothers walked out on me!”
“Branch, we’re out of synch. We’ve gone from boys to men, and now there’s only one direction for us to go: The backstreets!”
The hints continued as posters bearing NSYNC’s familiar logo — accompanied by an animated troll hairstyle — appeared around Los Angeles this week.
Along with stars Timberlake and Anna Kendrick, the film also features Camila Cabello, Troye Sivan, Kid Cudi, Daveed Diggs, Amy Schumer, Andrew Rannells, RuPaul, Zosia Mamet, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Icona Pop duo Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt, Anderson .Paak, Ron Funches, Kunal Nayyar and Kenan Thompson.