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The Big Reunion: 27 things we learned from 3T, Eternal and A1

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There's just one band left to meet properly on The Big Reunion - yes, it's time for 3T to step up to the plate with talk of their aunt's nipples, being a Jackson and intense games of Pictionary. As if that wasn't enough, this episode also saw Eternal and A1 meeting up again, so it was packed full of juice. Read on to find out what we learned from the instalment...

3T together for The Big Reunion

© ITV


1. 3T really were properly successful back in the day.
Yes, yes, they had the Jackson connection, but seriously - in 1996 they were ranked second only to the Spice Girls as the biggest-selling group in Europe. That's intense. Of course, it basically ran in their veins, and there was super cute home video footage of them as children having a go at the old music thing.

2. Michael Jackson refused to let 3T break into showbusiness as children.
The guys say that the King of Pop taught them a lot, but one thing he didn't do was let them get into the business too early. Adorably, Taryll revealed that they used to pretend to be the Jackson Five ("Sometimes I would be Randy and Jackie...") but Michael wouldn't let them grab on to a record deal when they were too young. "He wanted us to enjoy our childhood," TJ explained. That's both sweet and sad, because it suggests Michael didn't really enjoy his own childhood fame, doesn't it?

3. 3T's career was unexpectedly halted, volume one
The guys' mum Dee Dee "spearheaded" their career plans when they were kids, Taj said, but things got shaken up when she divorced their dad Tito in 1988. "I was 11 years old, living in a fairytale, everything great, and it came to a screeching halt," TJ said. But Michael was there to help them out.

4. 3T's career was unexpectedly halted, volume two - and this one is a real tragedy.
This was so hard to watch, but 3T signed a record deal in 1992 (TJ was just 14), and with their album two-thirds written in 1994, tragedy struck. Their mum was found dead in suspicious circumstances. Unsurprisingly, the boys decided that music wasn't really their priority at that point. "I couldn't cry like I wanted to cry in front of them," Taj said. "I had to be the strong one, the older brother, like she told me to be." That is just so sad. What a terrible thing to go through. Again, Michael was a source of comfort for them, and Taryll said he kept them motivated by reminding them to make their mum proud.

3T star Taj Jackson on The Big Reunion

© ITV


5. For some reason, all anyone cared about when 3T started out was their uncle.
In 1996, the guys decided to release an album and single... and guess what? The record label wanted them to release 'Why', which featured one Michael Jackson. Good on the boys for refusing and getting 'Anything' out there, though. Still, that didn't stop the MJ talk: "There was always something they wanted from our uncle in order to play us," TJ said. "Like, 'We'll play your song if you get us a giveaway to Neverland for our listeners'." Harsh. No big surprise that 3T skipped America and went to Europe, is it?

6. 3T's career was unexpectedly halted, volume three
Again, it's totally understandable, but 3T kind of put the whole music thing on the back burner in 1997, when they got the trial date for the wrongful death case regarding their mother. "It was hard to relive all that and be face to face with that guy," Taryll said, in what must be a huge understatement. When her ex-boyfriend was convicted of second degree murder, obviously it took a long time for the boys to get motivated by music again.

7. 3T's career was unexpectedly halted, volume four
Yeah, these guys really don't have much luck. After Michael inspired them to get back in the studio, they began work on their new album, picked a single and were all ready to go... and then Michael publicly went to war with Sony head Tommy Mottola ("He's mean, he's racist, and he's very, very, very devilish"). 3T ended up as "pawns in a huge chess game", as TJ put it, and were basically stuck on their label. Luckily, they could fall back on auntie Janet, who got them free of Sony - but they couldn't take their album with them. "We didn't do anything wrong," Taryll sighed. "It's just... we are who we are." At this point, they all felt pretty depressed. TJ "checked out", and Taj lost his "identity".

3T star Taryll Jackson on The Big Reunion

© ITV


8. Vernie Bennett's daughter is adorably confused about Eternal.
Vernie's son knew one of Eternal's songs - 'What'Cha Gonna Do', in fact. On the other hand, her daughter ventured: 'Say My Name'. "It's a very similar group," Vernie joked. (Incidentally, as well as raising two adorable kids, Vernie trained as a barrister after Eternal. Fancy.)

9. All of Eternal were properly nervous about reuniting.
Obviously. Vernie admitted that she was trying not to think about it too much, because she "might back out". Easther admitted that she hadn't prepared herself for people Googling her. And Kéllé admitted that because it was her and two sisters, it always felt a little bit 'two against one'. Yikes. Luckily, no-one came out of the reunion with any injuries!

10. Kéllé was never invited to Eternal's recording sessions.
During their reunion, Kéllé admitted that she didn't want to leave - whatever Vernie thought. And when Easther asked how they ended up recording in different countries, Kéllé claimed that she was never invited to the sessions ("especially all the LA trips and stuff like that"). Harsh. On the other hand, she admitted saying she was only in the band for the money, but defended it: "It was to be real. It was to try and be truthful and honestly tell you where I was at, which is that for me it was a job."

Eternal pose together for The Big Reunion

© ITV


11. Vernie and Easther had nothing to do with Kéllé getting fired by fax.
All Kéllé wanted was a phone call, guys. We're still not over how harsh firing by fax is (the "fax of doom", as Andi put it), but Vernie and Easther insisted it was nothing to do with them. "That's a bizarre way of communicating you're no longer in the band," Vernie said. "That was done by the solicitors." So there you go.

12. Kéllé's solo career was cut short by illness.
First of all, Kéllé was amazing about being offered a solo record deal ("Oh please, I'm not the best singer in the world") but hey, if you were offered £1.2m, you'd take it, right? But her dreams of solo stardom were cut short when she was diagnosed with lupus - and she didn't realise what that meant, asking if she could go back to work after a week. In the end, the doctor had to warn her that she could end up in a wheelchair - and she's still not fully recovered. The worst thing, though, is that none of her former band members got in touch with her. "I found out through the papers," Easther admitted. "It's such a shame. It would have been nice to pick up the phone and talk to her, yes, but the relationship now had passed that, unfortunately." Things really were bad.

13. Eternal addressed the whole 'sisters vs non-sister' thing.
To be fair to the Bennetts, they acknowledged how this could have been tough for Kéllé, who said it felt like there was a "wall" between her and the other girls. "It was more in your face after Louise leaves," Easther suggested, while Vernie suspected that had they not been sisters but had disagreed with Kéllé, it would have been easier. But they insisted they didn't sit down and plan to disagree with Kéllé - it was just natural.

Eternal pose together for The Big Reunion

© ITV


14. No-one knows what's going on with Louise.
Kéllé awkwardly brought up the fact that Louise isn't along for the ride by waving at the space next to her, but we're no clearer on that front, really. "I don't think Louise is up for doing it," Vernie said vaguely. "I haven't heard from her in terms of her thoughts or how she feels," Kéllé added. And that was that.

15. Vernie and Easther apologised to Kéllé.
They both said "sorry". So that's nice. And there were lots of smiles after the reunion, too. Viva Eternal!

16. 3T's career was unexpectedly halted, volume five
After leaving Sony, 3T decided to sign to a label in France and started winning over fans again with their cover of 'Stuck on You'. But, in another display of their terrible luck, it all just happened to coincide with... Michael Jackson's trial (he was later acquitted). Suddenly, no-one wanted to play 3T's songs or videos. "It literally hit a brick wall," Taj sighed.

17. 3T's career was unexpectedly halted, volume six
"We have a song that's number one on the radio and all they want to talk about is your aunt's nipple." That's the kind of sentence that makes me love The Big Reunion. But it was bad news for 3T, who - just after the whole MJ trial was over and things were back on track - had to deal with Janet's breast-flop at the Super Bowl. Dearie me.

3T's TJ Jackson on The Big Reunion

© ITV


18. 3T were rocked by the death of their uncle.
Michael Jackson's death obviously shocked the world, but think about what it was like for his relatives. Taryll is obviously still devastated because he could barely say anything, apart from that "everything stopped". Taj felt like he lost another of his role models, and Taryll said it brought back memories of their mother's death - which is why they made sure to look after Michael's kids. TJ said Michael was his "prime saviour", which is why he became co-guardian of Michael's three children.

19. 3T are all family men now.
Taj is now married to a triplet ("They were named by their mother, we were named by our mother; I'm two years apart from Taryll and five years from TJ, and she's two minutes from one and five minutes from another"). Taryll isn't very interested in marriage, but he's been with his partner for ages and they have a couple of sons who are into the drums. ("I see how it happens," Taryll said. "I'm not saying it's going to happen, but I see how it starts.") And TJ has three kids with his wife ("They are my joy, they are my happiness"). Aww.

20. Taj might be from a dynasty of musicians but he gets horrible stage fright.
Taj admitted that he always feels sick before going on stage - Taj was a "complete fabrication", who hid behind his braids because he was projecting who he wanted to be but wasn't. His explanation of being two people - Toriano and Taj - made perfect sense to us, but obviously Taryll and TJ ripped it out of him, the meanies ("Wait, who am I talking to now?"). Brothers, who'd have 'em?

21. The Jackson family loves a good game of Pictionary.
Before the 3T boys headed to the UK for The Big Reunion, they had a big family gathering - complete with Katherine Jackson, Jermajesty and Prince, among others. And how do the Jacksons bond? Over Girls vs Boys Pictionary. "The guys have never lost," Taryll revealed. The boys did, indeed, win when Taj was speaking to camera. "They didn't even need me," he smirked, before joining them for a big hug-and-jump-in-a-circle celebration. Can we go party at the Jacksons', please?

3T together for The Big Reunion

© ITV


22. A1 are quite annoyed about the whole 'Paul not joining them' thing.
The boys did, apparently, "reach out" to Paul but he wasn't "very keen", as Mark put it diplomatically. Christian hasn't actually spoken to him since Paul didn't show up at the airport that fateful day, while Ben says they "probably have a lot of bad feelings towards him, how he left, and why he hasn't been in contact all these years". But they're not going to get the chance to clear the air...

23. Ben has nice knitwear.
"Ben is wearing shorts," Andi Peters sniffed. Andi, man, did you not see the frankly incredible cardigan Ben was rocking?

24. All of the A1 boys were pretty depressed after the end of the band.
Christian sat around in his house for a year playing PlayStation while he waited to see what happened, but things really went downhill after his Norwegian solo career came to an end. "I didn't want to die, but I didn't want to live either," he admitted. "I remember standing on my balcony in a really great apartment at the top of Oslo. I really wanted to jump from that balcony." Thank God he didn't - he says now he's readjusted his expectations of success, and is still making money from music. Ben struggled, too, turning to "drinking on his own" and, well, girls, and Mark felt constantly depressed. "I just didn't know how to carry on without A1 there," he said. "Which is terrible, to be so dependent on something like that. That lifestyle is an addiction." In fact, he still doesn't really know how to "function" out of the band.

A1 pose together for The Big Reunion

© ITV


25. Ben may or may not have slept with a Thai prostitute like the rumours say.
He, um, can't actually remember, because he was very, very drunk. "I have a horrible memory of me being on a stripper stage with only a pair of white socks on." Goodness me. Maybe we want to party with Ben instead.

26. The boys are all still making music.
Christian performs in small venues. Ben produces (and can now make anyone sound good after his years of experience with terrible singers). And Mark is writing a musical. With a song about elephants.

27. The A1 boys actually get on quite well.
They had a big group hug. They are all excited about the show. Well that's nice, isn't it?

What did you learn from this week's Big Reunion? Let us know below!

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