After a great deal of speculation over the past week, ‘N Sync reunited for the first time in more than ten years at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday. With the level of anticipation generated by rumors of the reunion, however, many felt that the band’s performance was too short.
Justin Timberlake, the recipient of the 2013 Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, performed a medley of his other hits before bringing out his former band mates. Timberlake sang “Take Back The Night”, “SexyBack”, “Cry Me a River” and other solo tunes in reverse-chronological order to build anticipation for ‘N Sync’s arrival. When the other members of the former boy band joined him on stage, however, they performed a mash-up of only two of their singles (“Girlfriend” and “Bye Bye Bye”) before Timberlake continued his solo performance with recent songs “Suit and Tie” and “Mirrors.”
Many excited fans came away unsatisfied by the length of the “reunion” element of the performance. “I know ‘N Sync was pissed off ’cause he only let them do one song,” comedian Kevin Hart joked after the commercial break, though many fans agreed with the sentiment. Still, Timberlake’s performance was undoubtedly one of the best of the night, displaying an impressive compilation of tunes from over the years.
Upon accepting his award from presenter Jimmy Fallon, Timberlake went on to acknowledge the band that introduced him to the world. “Half of the moonmen I’ve ever won, I won with those four guys right there. So, above all else—we can keep it at my house—but I’m gonna share this award with them.” Timberlake also took home the biggest award of the night, Video of the Year.
The ‘N Sync section of the performance is available here—complete with the original choreography.