‘N Sync’s Brief VMAs Reunion Is Tearin’ Up Fans’ Hearts

Justin Timberlake received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at Sunday night's 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, and to celebrate, he performed a medley of his hits. But fans weren't tuning in to see a tribute to JT's solo career, as illustrious as it may be. No, they were waiting for that rumored 'N Sync reunion.

Lance Bass had denied it was happening. Joey Fatone had denied it was happening. But everyone remembered that Michelle Williams had claimed over and over again that the Super Bowl Destiny's Child reunion wasn't happening…and look how that turned out. So of course, everyone assumed that the 'N Sync reunion was happening.

And it did happen. After Justin performed alone for several minutes, he quipped, "You asked for it!" — and out came Lance, Joey, Chris Kirkpatrick, and, in probably his first MTV appearance since "America's Best Dance Crew" got canceled, JC Chasez.

It was amazing. It was glorious. It was everything that fans had hoped for. Bathed in dramatic but flattering light, the guys belted out "Bye Bye Bye" — as a fangirling Taylor Swift looked like she was about to cry, and Lady Gaga, still wearing her Venus seashell bikini from her opening performance, just-danced in earnest and showered the reunited boy-banders in applause, applause, applause.

And then…it was over. Just as Beyoncé had only let poor Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland share the Super Bowl stage with her for half a song before she sent them back down to the bowels of the New Orleans Superdome stage, at the VMAs Justin quickly cut the virtual puppet strings and said bye bye bye to his bandmates. Then he continued performing solo for what seemed like another 17 minutes. (Note: Justin's performance actually clocked in at an impressive 15 and a half minutes, from start to finish.)

Adding insult to injury, in a Spinal Tap-like mishap, according to a Yahoo! insider, Chris Kirkpatrick's stage elevator never descended, and he was forced to jump through someone else's shoot...so that Justin could have the stage to himself again.

Yep, Justin totally Beyoncéd his bandmates. And it was tearin' up fans' hearts. The general Twitter consensus was that the reunion was way, way too brief. "Nsync performing at the VMA could be recorded via Vine. It was so short!" tweeted @migomuyot. "That NSYNC performance was short enough to fit the entire thing in an Instagram video," snarked @katemcgui. And then, as if poor Chris hadn't been embarrassed enough, @thejoemorris tweeted: "Guys, the NSYNC reunion went short because Chris Kirkpatrick's manager at Arby's only gives him 15-minute breaks."

Sigh. Will 'N Sync fans ever get the reunion they really want? Maybe someday. Probably not. But until then, they can drive themselves crazy dreaming about it.