Screenshot: Carpool Karaoke/CBS

In the heyday of the Jonas Brothers’ fame, Nick, Joe and Kevin possessed a single prevailing mythology, a conservative gesture that helped progress their squeaky-clean, Christian image: they wore purity rings. So, naturally, during their episode of Carpool Karaoke for The Late Late Show with James Corden on Wednesday night, the English host asked the recently reunited trio to explain what the purity rings stood for, which Joe used as an opportunity to joke around:

“Purity rings were for, to wait for the right person when the time was right. And here’s the catch: when you’re, like, 12, and you do that—because we grew up in a church, and our dad’s a pastor—so it just became natural for everyone we grew up with to go through this, and get one, and say, ‘I’m going to wait for the right person. Some people say, ‘I’ll wait ‘til marriage.’ When you’re about 15, 16 and you start dating and you go, ‘Wait a minute. What did I say I was going to do? What did I say I promised to do?’”

Then Corden pointed out that they not only promised purity to themselves and their families, but they did so publicly, which Joe explained was never the game plan. It was damage control. Emphasis my own:

“The funny thing is, we were never going to talk about it because we were like, ‘This is not really... this is not for the world. It’s our own thing.’ But of course you have three young boys wearing rings on their finger? Everyone’s like, ‘Are they married already? What’s going on here? We were in an interview one day, the guy asked about them and we were like, ‘we don’t want to talk about them,’ and he’s like, ‘well, I’m just going to say you’re in a cult.’ And we’re like, well, we should probably... we’re scared to death. It’s one of our first interviews. And we’re like, ‘Fine, we’ll talk about it.’ We explained, just like I did to you, he runs with it and the next thing we know it’s ‘The Jonas Brothers and their purity rings.’ That’s what people ran with forever. That was a running joke. We found the humor in it sometimes but we just kind of decided at one point, we were just like, ‘Look. This is not who we are. We don’t need to be wearing these anymore. This is annoying. People are making fun of it anyway. We can make fun of it ourselves.’”

That’s a rude, unethical interviewer, but I respect the results!

The Jonas Brothers also reveal that Kevin was the first to remove his purity ring but real stans already know that: he got married in 2009, and the JoBros were active until 2013. He had to remove it.

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Watch the clip below, which reminded me that all the Jonas Brothers singles were bops.