True Life: my very first CD (that I purchased on my own with my 4th grade allowance) was Backstreet Boys' Millennium. Every time the "bow, bow, bow-dow" opening of "Larger Than Life" came on, I would be transported to a world of "yaaaaas." Well, looks like I'm making a return trip, because Gigi Hadid is doing Backstreet Boys' "Larger Than Life" on Lip Sync Battle this week, making my inner 10-year-old devolve into fangirlish peals of "yas, yas, yas!" And, if that isn't enough, she's also doing it flanked by two out of five members of beloved boy band (and hey, two out of five is better than none).
In this week's sneak peak, we see the model catsuit-clad and flanked by Nick Carter and A.J. McClean at a pivotal moment in the song. Naturally, everyone in the audience (and, you know, Chrissy Teigen) is pumped for this like it's the Second Coming. Suffice it to say it's a beautiful thing, and there's no doubt Hadid is killing it. Regardless of the outcome of this episode, she's already a winner to me, and already a winner to America. But what I like in particular is that the backup dancers are all wearing futuristic get-ups that throw us back to the OG "Larger Than Life" video.
In case none of you remember that (or that one video you could get at Burger King that summed up that tour), "Larger Than Life" was defined by pseudo-hoverboards and transformer suits. Akin to Britney Spears' iconic "Oops... I Did It Again" video "Larger Than Life" was all about space and technology. I guess at the border of 1999 and 2000, we all felt like capitalizing on the future.
Moving forward into the 2000s seemed like the stuff of sci-fi novels, so everyone with even the faintest pop sensibilities figured, "Hey, why don't we celebrate this glorious time with some top-level CGI effects and space ships?" And that's how you end up with hilarious moments like this:
What is even happening there? And more importantly, why is it happening? I really need you guys to understand this; "Larger Than Life" is probably one of the best-at-the-time, worst-in-this-era music videos of the past 20 years. Please rewatch that again to relive the gloriousness, because there's no doubt you'll appreciate Hadid and the boys' performance even more with that reinforced context.
It's art, to be honest. And it makes you really catch those nostalgia feels hard when watching the Lip Sync Battle rendition, because that obsession with the future? It's so 1999. But hey, you should feel that for yourself. You can catch the full performance on the February 25 episode of Lip Sync Battle, but until then check out the magical clip below and get ready to relive the turn of the millennium all over again.
Images: Giphy (2); Spike TV