Boy Band Scorecard: One Direction, koalas. The Wanted? Playmates

The crooning, adolescent faces in boy bands One Direction and the Wanted continue to dazzle the world over, and while the Ministry has been busy with Brangelina engagements and such, we’ve decided to take notice.

Both groups, of British-Irish origin, have deftly recruited their own screaming fans and triggered a nostalgia in those folks who that grew up with the Backstreet Boys, ‘NSync and 98 Degrees.

The cultural inclination is, naturally, to assume a massive feud exists between the two young groups (complete with physical confrontations), but both sides deny any beef. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t take note of their respective progress in a peaceful manner, right?

Thus the Ministry will occasionally post scorecards evaluating their relevance, chart power, skinny jeans and undying teenage female support. Like this week ...

Cute factor: One Direction’s floppy-haired, crooked-smile machine Harry Styles is a definite fan favorite (note his cheeky moment on “Saturday Night Live”), and really upped the band’s awww game in Sydney on Wednesday by hanging out with this koala.

Sex factor: Koalas are nice for some, but bunnies are apparently the preferred creature comfort for the Wanted. Member Nathan Sykes celebrated his 19th birthday this week at the Playboy Mansion. Under the watchful eye of Hugh Hefner, Nathan and his mates frolicked on the grounds with magazine models and “Glee” actor Chord Overstreet.

Shriek factor: One Direction is Down Under for a four-date tour across Australia, and it’s going really well. Billboard described the fever pitch they incited at a Brisbane arena as a “teary, screaming frenzy.” Hanging with Hefner is cool, but all those warm tears equal record sales.

Friend factor: Another check in the Wanted’s cool column: They’ve got some famous friends, including MTV Video Music Award winner Tyler the Creator, who targeted the boys for an episode of MTV’s “Punk’d.” That means cable facetime in the U.S. market and good promotion for their hit “Glad You Came,” already in the Top 10.

The winner: While we love inside favorites, we’re giving One Direction higher marks on this inaugural scorecard. Luxuriating with Playboy models and having your artist friends embarrass you on television in the style of Ashton Kutcher does make us giggle, the Wanted, but One Direction is on its grind just as hard. Even if that grind is a bit more wholesome.

Tell us your thoughts on both bands in comments.


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Follow Matt Donnelly on Twitter @mattdonnelly.