Fatone is ready for a new kind of 'Fame'
By Karen Thomas, USA TODAY http://www.usatoday.com/life/2003-05-27-fatone_x.htm
Justin Timberlake has a tough critic in 'N Sync band mate Joey Fatone, who hopes to catch Timberlake's concert tour with Christina Aguilera in coming months. "We support everybody, but we let them know when something's bad," Fatone says.
The 'N Sync fivesome isn't due to regroup in the recording studio until September, after a year in which most band members did the Me Thing. Timberlake and JC Chasez produced solo albums, and Lance Bass tried to take a rocket ride and was a judge on NBC's America's Most Talented Kid.
Fatone's TV hosting gig debuts tonight, as the frontman for Fame (8 ET/PT, NBC), one of the latest talent-search shows ŕ la American Idol. But these aren't neighborhood kids competing, Fatone says. The stage will be filled with pros who've been preparing for months.
The summer series is a reality-based version of the 1980 movie and '80s TV series. Actress and choreographer Debbie Allen, who starred in the film and the TV show, coaches contestants through the rigorous auditions. Three judges will eliminate candidates (ages 16 and up) based on singing and dancing ability and stage presence.
Fatone, 26, got some pretty good reviews for his four-month Broadway experience in Rent last year, so he says he's up for the job. As host, he's supposed to provide comic relief. "You have to have a little fun," he says. "I'll jazz it up to make folks relax."
Fatone isn't lifting any style techniques from the growing legions of TV talent-show hosts, led by Idol's Ryan Seacrest. But Fatone (a Clay Aiken fan) does promise "honesty. I'll come out and flat-out say how I feel."
Fatone says his year off from touring and recording has been a chance to reconnect with his girlfriend of nine years, Kelly Baldwin, and their daughter Briahna, 2. When the group hits the road next year, Baldwin and Briahna will be with him.
Maybe even as a married family.
"Sometime soon," he says of marriage. "We're still trying to juggle our daughter, and at 2 she's really running around. When she was born, it was hard to think of marriage."
But the idea seems to be gaining a foothold. "Hopefully, (Kelly) says yes," he says.