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One Direction Vs. The Wanted: Music Showdown

VO: Rebecca Brayton
One Direction and The Wanted are both British-Irish musical groups that have found massive success in a short amount of time. So, the two contenders will be judged on their songs, personalities, breakout success, bad boy factor and recognition to fight for the title of best boy band. Join as we host this showdown between One Direction and The Wanted.

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They’re both British-Irish boy bands with a whole lotta female fans. Welcome to and in this installment of versus, we pit One Direction against The Wanted to find out which is the better boy band.

Round 1: The Tunes

When it comes to music, One Direction is PG-pop: upbeat lyrics about puppy love and having fun are the norm on “One Thing,” but 1D does bare their souls in “Gotta Be You.” They’re not the first act to play the innocent card, but try as we might: we still like to pretend they’re singing to us when “What Makes You Beautiful” hits the airwaves.

On the other side: Take mature themes, add some partying and a dash of sexual innuendo and you’ve got The Wanted. “All Time Low” gets us grooving, but “Glad You Came” is the bubbly dance pop we expect from a boy band. Meanwhile, the heartfelt “Warzone” showcases their experience – and was co-written by a couple of the boys themselves.

The Wanted are at an all-time high in round one for giving us darker music and heavier dance beats.

Round 2: The Dudes

The well-groomed young boys of 1D aren’t afraid to show their sweet sides. You’ve got Irish cutie Niall, enigmatic Zayn, responsible Liam, charismatic Harry and comedian Louis. Together, One Direction’s classic style is the epitome of a boy band. We’d never worry about bringing these prepsters home to our parents.

The Wanted are stylish rebels with naughty lyrics and even naughtier videos. Bad boy Max, baby Nathan, mature Siva, geeky Jay and player Tom travel to far-off places, and are even known to live it up at the Playboy Mansion. Bonus: they’re not afraid to take it all off for the cameras!

One Direction may be “Up All Night,” but we’ll give round two to The Wanted since they’re the guys we’d rather break curfew with.

Round 3: The Breakthroughs

If we’re rating these bands on a “Glee”-meter, The Wanted get points for seeing their tunes on the show first. Our bad boys also made their American TV debut thanks to “Ellen,” and got on Xtina’s bad side on “The Voice.” They’ve opened for Britney and are managed by Bieber’s bud, Scooter Braun – not too shabby!

But then you’ve got One Direction: they formed on “The X Factor,” sold out Madison Square Garden in minutes, and were so busy they snubbed Michelle Obama. They also made lots of girls stay up past bedtime by cranking up the cuteness on “Saturday Night Live.”

The Wanted sings about being “Invincible,” but One Direction: “Everything About You” gives you the win in round 3.

Round 4: The Bad Boy Element

One Direction has a squeaky-clean image, but they have their share of dirty little secrets. Cutie Harry’s hook-up with a woman 14 years his senior was pretty shocking. If you look hard enough, you’ll also find some tattoos…somewhere. Look, trying to give 1D some bad boy cred is tough when all we wanna do is mess up their hair.

The Wanted up the danger factor. They speak their minds, and trash-talk everyone from Christina Aguilera to Britney Spears and even 1D. Max even posed nude for a gay magazine in support of cancer research. They even got punk'd by Tyler the Creator, but we were really hoping for a strip search. And did we mention that thing about partying at the Playboy Mansion? You can’t beat that.

Bad boys may be sexy, but there’s no room for trash talk in pop: Round 4 goes to 1D.

Round 5: The Recognition

The Wanted tops charts and rakes in nominations. We’d love to hear them charm their way through an acceptance speech, but we haven’t had many chances thanks to One Direction!

The 1D guys beat out The Wanted for a Nickelodeon UK Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite UK band, and beat them again for Best British single at the BRIT Awards. But, the boys made an acceptance speech faux-pas and got banned by a British radio station. Oops!

This category is a “Battleground,” but numbers don’t lie: One Direction “stole our hearts.”

The Winner

We’re definitely “Glad You Came,” The Wanted, but One Direction: “Gotta Be You.” Stellar sales, international success and boy band charm give 1D their edge – plus, One Direction’s music just won’t get out, get out, get outta our heads.

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