If you're still reeling from seeing and hearing Ariana Grande and *NSYNC together at Coachella last night, first of all, right there with you. Second, you are probably going to want to take a look at Ariana Grande and *NSYNC's behind-the-scenes photos. And yes, these pictures will without a doubt leave you reeling, too.
When She Who Must Be Ponytail’d shared two *NSYNC-themed pieces of content a few days before her historic Coachella headlining performance, fans began to suspect a Coachellaboration (sorry) was in the works. The rumblings were not far-fetched (Ari is a diehard *NSYNC fan! Ari sampled “It Makes Me Ill” by *NSYNC on “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored”! Ari's dropping hints! Coachella and guest spots go together like grilled cheese and tomato soup! *NSYNC has only gotten back together a few times since hitting the "hiatus" button in 2002, but every reunion has taken place at a grand event! Arichella is a grand event!), but I would not let myself get my hopes up. As tethered to reality as the rumor was, the idea of one of my favorite pop groups of all time singing and dancing alongside one of my favorite solo artists of all time at Coachella still felt too good and beautiful to be true.
But on April 14, this Coachella dream became a Coachella reality. Shortly before Sunday night turned into Monday morning, Grande welcomed *NSYNC to the stage during her set.
Er, she welcomed 80% of *NSYNC to the stage; JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, and Lance Bass were all present and accounted for, but original member Justin Timberlake was not part of the reunion. However, he was there in spirit, i.e., he watched the recording of the performance and posted a little something about it on Instagram. Monday morning, Timberlake shared a selfie his former bandmates took with Grande and wrote, “You guys killed it last night.” He is not wrong.
The day after Grande and four members of *NSYNC crushed a mashup of "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored"/"It Makes Me Ill" and an exhilarating rendition of "Tearin' Up My Heart," they released some choice behind-the-scenes photos. And these photos are all I ever wanted and all I ever needed. These photos broke the mold when they came in this world.
She is the youngest person to headline the festival ever. She got to perform alongside her pal and frequent collaborator Nicki Minaj. She was joined by legends Diddy and Mase. And she got to do the "Tearin' Up My Heart" choreography with *NSYNC. Sorry to state the obvious, but jeez, what a moment for Ari.
And based on one of her post-Coachella IG captions, it sounds like she's not going to get over this moment anytime soon:
"i’ll be recovering from this moment for the next twenty years tbh. the nicest human beings possible. it can go either way when you meet your childhood heroes and no one has ever been kinder or cooler or sillier or more lovely to be around. ever! also how the f*ck do y’all still sound and dance exactly like you did when my mom and i followed you around on tour when i was 5? thank you thank you thank you for your time and energy and i love you so much forever.”
Talk about full circle. Two decades after Ariana and Joan Grande saw *NSYNC in concert and ended up in the pay-per-view concert special, Ariana performed two songs with *NSYNC during her headlining set at Coachella.
And whew, did Chasez, Kirkpatrick, Fatone, Bass, and Grande ever bring da noise to the desert. They brought down the house. They turned the party out. They raised the roof. And yes, they gave ‘em proof that they can get loose.