Which band is better looking?
When Moses Mackay made an off-hand remark that his group, Sol3 Mio (the ''3'' differentiates them from the song), were ''better dancers and better looking'' than One Direction, it was obvious to most people he wasn't being terribly serious.
But One Direction fans are not most people.
Fan website onedirection.net ran photos of both groups with the question: ''Better looking? Let's be honest, there are very few people that are walking the earth who are more attractive than the One Direction lads. No offense, Mr Mackay ...''
Fan Forever Directioner echoed hundreds of comments when he blogged: ''LOL THEY CAN'T BE SERIOUS! 1D beat without even thinking about it. BTW, I have never even heard of these guys. I wonder who is more popular ...''
Who indeed. Let's consider the essentials on both groups. The similarities? Apart from the fact both are touring Australia in coming months, not much.
One Direction are a group of five unfeasibly synchronised and symmetrical young gentleman pop singers - Harry, Niall, Liam, Louis and Zayn (do they really need that last guy?) discovered on Simon Cowell's X-Factor show in Britain in 2010. They have since sold more than 30 million records (singles and albums combined) and luxuriate in the estimated combined wealth of $120 million, according to that well-known accounting journal Hello!magazine. That may be something to do with the 19.4 million One Directioners who follow their every move on Twitter.
Sol3 Mio are three talented opera soloists from the same Samoan-New Zealand family. The trio outsold Lorde in her home country last year and remain a chart force in Australia, but they have a pitiable 853 Twitter followers. There's no escaping they are less statistically impressive than 1D.
But what of Mackay's claims that Sol3 Mio are better dancers and better looking? If by ''dancing'' Mackay meant ''standing still and singing like angels'', then Sol3 Mio would clearly win. However, if moving in a co-ordinated way was what he meant, the cheeky chappie Brits take that one, hands-down.
What about being better looking?
Physically, Sol3 Mio are more imposing if not prettier; if by ''beauty'' Mackay meant ''bulk'', Sol3 Mio would win. We have not confirmed this, but we believe the togs (NZ-speak for cozzie) belonging to just one of the three Sol3 Mio lads would weigh more than the entire body weight of the five One Directioners combined.
Beauty, though, is in the eye of the beer-holder. The trouble is One Direction's fans are just discovering alcohol, while Sol3 Mio's are so much older they mostly have cirrhosis of the liver and are now unable to enjoy a tipple, let alone the joy of tweeting. So no help from gin goggles.
In truth, the beholder would have to be a little short-sighted or prepared to place above all factors the appeal of a tidy black suit for Sol3 Mio to win the beauty battle. If Mackay meant being photogenic, symmetrical and cute-faced, Sol3 Mio probably miss out again.
But not even this writer, who shares a homeland with Sol3 Mio, would say that to three guys who look a little like an All Black front row. In a good way. Honest.
Still, perhaps the contest isn't over. If beauty is considered as a wider notion of general attractiveness, well, that becomes more complex.
As we said, Sol3 Mio wins on vocal abilities. One Direction seem endearingly affable, but even they cannot match the James Bond-like charm of Sol3 Mio, three of the most likeable fellows to grace the music industry. And they probably also win on the nature of the group's respective artforms: disposable teentastic tracks reflecting young fun and angst v classic songs reflecting timeless stories of love and loss.
Does that make it a tie?
But enough from us. What do readers think?
- Sydney Morning Herald