Photos by Caitlin Abrams
KDWB's Jingle Ball and its almost-mythological annual parade of popsters, means one heckuva show for the teeny bopping Top 40 set, but an even better red carpet experience for intrepid reporters. From Nico & Vinz on the merits of lefse to Jessie J on the merits of Smokey Robinson, here's what our intrepid reporter gleaned:
NICO & VINZ
Cool guys who love their Norwegian-African heritage and are terrible storytellers.
Erin Kincheloe: Pickled beets or lutefisk?
Nico: What's pickled beets?
Nico: That's a tough one, I hate both!
Vinz: Yeah, that's tough!
Nico: I think I'd say lutefisk. It's a little better.
EK: Lutefisk or lefse?
Nico & Vinz: Lefse!
EK: Ice fishing or ice hockey?
Vinz: Hockey I tried. Ice fishing? Haven't tried it.
EK: You used to be substitute teachers. What was the worst thing you did as a student?
Nico: As a student? I remember once we made our teacher cry. You know when you're a kid and you don't really know how bad you are? She was actually a substitute teacher, too. It was a long time. I just remember her crying, and afterward I felt really bad.
EK: If you were an emoji, which would you be?
Vinz: I don't have emojis, but I remember I used to have MSN Messenger–remember the "H"? The guy with the glasses? The super cool one?
Nico: MSN, that was a long time ago.
EK: It was the super cool one. That's all you need to know, Nico.
Nico: I don't have emojis either, but the one smiley I use a lot is this one (winks).
EK: You would, Nico.
Adorable and bubbly 17-year-old who can hide herself entirely behind a normal-sized person and is more comfortable with me than I am with her.
EK: Would you rather: read YouTube comments under one of your videos or perform in front of 10,000 people?
Becky G: Perform in front of 10,000 people! I love doing that one, so I guess that one!
EK: Instagram or Twitter?
Becky G: Instagram.
EK: Al pastor or Carnitas?
Becky G: Carnitas!
EK: J Lo or Selena?
Becky G: J Lo!
EK: I thought that one would be harder.
Becky G: I know! It's just, Selena, especially to us Latinas, she inspired people like Jennifer Lopez, but growing up J Lo was at the tip of our fingers. Sadly we didn't get to make that much of a connection with Selena. I still love her, but J Lo, just because I know her and I'm so proud of everything she's done.
EK: Now that you're famous, what do people yell at you on the street?
Becky G: I get a lot of "Becky G I love you!" "Becky G you are the queen!" "Becky G can you sign my forehead?!" It's cool, but it's weird. I get up in the morning and brush my teeth like everybody else.
EK: If you were an emoji, which would you be?
Becky G: I would love to be one of the monkeys! Those three monkeys are my favorite. I guess this one [covers her mouth with her hands]. I always do that because of my gap. It's been my habit since I was little. [covers mouth and giggles]
The ones I went in being annoyed by but now think we could be friends.
EK: Do you give each other Christmas gifts?
Ryan Tedder: Yes.
Eddie Fisher: We do.
Someone else in OneRepublic: We do, we do.
EK: Best gift ever given?
Eddie Fisher: Whispers.
Ryan Tedder: I got a gift—I got a trophy for an all-black bowling league [everyone in OneRepublic stops talking to listen] Arguably the best gift. It was a trophy from 1985, junior African-American bowling league. I still have it, probably.
EK: You should have asked for the Crag.
Drew Brown: I saw someone with that on his wall on Instagram. Like a week ago.
Ryan Tedder: It's up there with Garbage Pail Kids.
EK: Beatles or U2?
Ryan Tedder: Beatles! I love U2, but man, the Beatles.
EK: Have you ever been Yoko-ed?
Brent Kutzle, previously silent: No. Never do it. Never do it. Never do it.
Ryan Tedder: No. They've tried.
Eddie Fisher: Chicks be tryin'.
Drew Brown: [aside] Have they tried?
EK: What do people yell at you when you're walking down the street together?
Ryan Tedder: [in teenage girl voice] One Direction!
Drew Brown: Sir, you have to pay for that!
Eddie Fisher: Yeah, that one.
EK: Dream collaborator?
Eddie Fisher: Demi Lovato. Just kidding. Don't put that.
EK: It's all on the record.
Ryan Tedder: Peter Gabriel would be a dream collaborator. I'm a huge Rodrigo Y Gabriela fan so I just did something with them, and they want to do something on our next album, so that could be cool.
EK: We'll be looking for the next "Sussudio" from you guys.
Eddie Fisher: You are ON it!
Ryan Tedder: [sings "Sussudio" in a falsetto]
EK: The youths need to be re-introduced.
Ryan Tedder: What you don't know is that two nights ago we were watching Phil Collins videos, just on loop. [sings "Easy Lover" in falsetto] He's got it, and he's had it for a long time, and he carries it and occasionally gives it to somebody else.
Drew Brown: I hear he doesn't have it anymore.
Ryan Tedder: What! Horseshit!
Brent Kutzle: He just cancelled all his shows, man.
Ryan Tedder: That's 'cause he has carpal tunnel. He still has it!
Eddie Fisher: [impersonates Phil Collins with degenerative disease]
Ryan Tedder: Maybe don't do that.
Lanky teen who emits the most piercing screams of the night from tweens with glow sticks. Sheepish, new to celebrity, totally normal.
Would you rather read YouTube comments on one of your videos or perform in front of 10,000 people?
Shawn Mendes: Easily perform in front of 10,000 people.
EK: Do people recognize you on the street these days?
Shawn Mendes: More and more every day, actually.
EK: What do they yell at you?
Shawn Mendes: Sometimes it doesn't even sound like English. It's just a loud yell.
EK: When did you get in the most trouble?
Shawn Mendes: It probably sounds like I'm lying, but I'm a pretty good kid and never got in trouble as a kid.
EK: That's while you're here.
Shawn Mendes: Yeah, maybe. When I was really young I remember getting in big trouble for throwing a rock through my garage door window when I was mad or something. Something stupid.
EK: What is your most treasured possession?
Shawn Mendes: I think it has to be my guitar. I'm in love with my guitar a little bit. Maybe a little too much. I just got a new one. I feel like I just want every guitar in the world.
EK: Ok. Hockey or ice fishing?
Shawn Mendes: Hockey, easily. I played hockey for two years.
EK: If you could be an emoji, which would you be?
Shawn Mendes: I'd be the monkey emoji. The covering the ears one.
EK: Becky G picked the covering mouth one.
Shawn Mendes: Oh really? Nice.
EK: So, the '90s. You love them; I love them. What is your favorite style inspiration from that era?
Kiesza: I guess right now I'm rocking the one-piece rolled down and tied. It changes. I don't have one favorite style. I do like the baggy on bottom, tight on top look. Or the reverse! Baggy on top, tight on bottom. Gotta balance it out. I like fashion in general.
EK: Grace Jones or Madonna?
Kiesza: Oh my gosh, that's a hard one! I'm gonna go with Madonna. That's a really hard one. But I love Grace.
EK: Janet or Michael?
EK: Michael or Prince?
Kiesza: Michael. But Prince is great!
The one I didn't expect to interview and totally lost my journalistic integrity with softball questions couched in compliments.
EK: How does it feel to be a bad ass role model to women everywhere?
Jessie J: Oh, I mean, I think you just got to be yourself. And if people take what you do as inspiration, I feel very lucky and honored that so many people admire the way I live my life. I live it for myself, but always understanding there's young people watching me, anyone really watching me. I enjoy bringing good.
EK: What qualities do you most admire in women?
Jessie J: Ambition. Confidence. Loyalty. Generosity.
EK: Favorite collaborators?
Jessie J: Mary J. Blige, Smokey Robinson, Ariana, and Nicki.
That's quite a list.
Jessie J: Yeah, that's not bad, right? James Morrison.