Once upon a time, there was a boy band called the Backstreet Boys, and they were cute and sang to kajillions of pre-pubescent girls and wore questionable outfits. But the "rebellious one," A.J. McLean, went on a downward spiral of drug and alcohol addiction. Fast forward to today, when the #1 teen heartthrob of America (ugh), Justin Bieber, has been arrested after smoking and taking pills, is apparently allergic to wearing shirts, and reportedly loves drinking sizzurp.
McLean, who went to rehab in 2001 and 2002 and is now clean, wants to reach out to Justin Bieber, because he sees in Bieber what he was himself at one time: a young boy in trouble. The 36-year-old plans to contact Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, and set something up, because McLean knows the benefits of being around "really supportive people who didn't 'yes' us to death," he says.
"[I want to] reach out to Justin and see if we can have a sit-down, take him under my wing, and tell him what it was like for me at that age, and maybe see if he will actually hear me," says McLean to People at a pre-Grammy party.
Better you than me, A.J.
"Who knows who he's surrounding himself with that are egging him on, no pun intended," McLean says. "One of the first things I would say is one of the tattoos that I have on me that says, 'What are you doing?' Are you trying to prove something to yourself? Are you trying to prove something to the press and the media? Are you trying to flip everyone the bird and say, 'I can do what I want!'? Or are you trying to ask for help and you're not going about it the right way? This could be a cry for help for all we know."
If that's the way we're looking at it, I think it's not so much a cry as it is a whale of a tantrum/meltdown.
"Hopefully he'll want to sit down and we can have a little chat," McLean says. "Obviously he has to go through what he's going through, and hopefully he comes out the other end a better, stronger human being."
Look, Biebs. The Backstreet Boys may seem kind of corny to you, but guess what: THEY'RE NOT (screams my 12-year-old self, grooving along to Millenium on my Discman with braces on my teeth and butterfly clips in my hair). Without them, you would have never had a chance, since they bravely paved the way for you by testing out tightly-choreographed dance moves, low-slung pants, and enthralling melodies that made girls wilt. Wearing sunglasses indoors with fingerless gloves and sporting a bouffant was all you, however.
All in all, it's really nice of A.J. to offer to do his once-a-troubled-teen-heartthrob good deed. Biebs, it's probably best that you sit your tiny ass down with A.J. and have a chat. After all, if you're going to hang out with one of the Backstreet Boys, it's better that it's the rebellious and fiery one and not Howie Dorough, the sweet one.