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Can Lance Bass and Joey Fatone sing?

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Hey, everyone!

Reviews for Fatman are out, and after 12 reviews, the film sits at 33% on Rotten Tomatoes. That number may change as more reviews come out, but I can’t say I’m surprised.

Ramble of the Day

Several months ago, I made a crack that Lance Bass and Joey Fatone would make good contestants on The Masked Singer because neither of them got solos during their NSYNC days. Something like that sets up for the implication that Bass and Fatone may have been useless, but I wouldn’t argue that’s the case.

Part of NSYNC’s appeal was the fact that they genuinely integrated dance into their music videos. JC Chasez led the group as a dancer and eventually went on to be a judge on America’s Best Dance Crew, but it was pretty clear the whole group could keep up with him. Bass and Fatone carried their weight. (Conversation for another time, but “Tearin’ Up My Heart” is NSYNC’s only music video that does not feature at least one terrible creative decision.)

Doing research for this ramble, I also stumbled across the fact that Bass and Fatone can also do the necessary amount of acting for a music video. In “Bye Bye Bye,” Fatone does well enough running from a woman with Chris Kirkpatrick, first on top of a train and then in the same train, while Bass does well as Chasez’s companion in a sports car on the run from the same woman. (Interestingly enough, it’s Chasez that’s the worst actor of this group but he really makes up for it with his singing and dancing ability.)

They do all the performing required, minus two moments in “This I Promise You” (a truly terrible music video, and I mean it when I say that). At one point, Bass and Fatone look like they’re having a conversation instead of lip syncing in the forest like the other band members. At another point, Fatone can be seen grabbing ketchup instead of singing at the restaurant table with the rest. I completely forgive them, I just think it’s funny.

NSYNC/YouTube
NSYNC/YouTube

Still, none of this answers the all-important questions for two people in a band: Is there evidence of them singing, and are they any good? It’s an inquiry many have had, based on the fact that the second query that pops up when searching either of them is “lance bass singing” and “joey fatone singing.” There is one NSYNC song that (partly) answers the question: “Together Again.” (Side note, but Chasez’s fake laughter in this one really proves my point about him being the worst actor of the bunch.)

Fatone, along with everyone else minus Bass, actually has a chunk of lyrics all to himself, minus Chasez’s backup work. Turns out Fatone’s not so bad, and probably could have been of use in a number of the group’s other songs. It’s one of my bigger complaints with the group — Chasez and Justin Timberlake are incredibly gifted, but clearly aren’t the only ones who can sing. Fatone could hack it, as could Chris Kirkpatrick, who got a moment in “Together Again” but got to carry to “I Drive Myself Crazy.” That said, we haven’t accounted for Bass and the first result in the search for him singing is him and Fatone singing the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.”

I will chalk this one up to the fact that Fatone clearly isn’t putting in the effort to really sing this one. Bass probably isn’t putting in maximum effort, but I think I sense an ability to sing there. Fatone’s no effort performance is very different from his normal effort performance in “Together Again,” though, which probably isn’t that weird but is slightly jarring to listen to back to back.

After all this research, I feel confident saying both earned their spots in the band as singers, and I imagine the story about how they ended up with very little singing time is a mundane one.

tl;dr: An exploration in Lance Bass and Joey Fatone’s contributions to NSYNC, roles that saw them do very little singing but pull their weight otherwise.

Stay informed, read this: Kate Santich profiles Chris Nikic, the first person with Down syndrome to complete the Ironman for the Orlando Sentinel

Links of the Day

West Brom’s Branislav Ivanović and Matheus Pereira and six RB Salzburg players tested positive for COVID-19.

The Utah Royals fired head coach Craig Harrington after he was placed on administrative leave in September.

Barcelona’s Ansu Fati will miss six months after getting knee surgery.

A longer read: Rory Smith on Norway’s Bodø/Glimt and the contrasts of enjoying a golden season without supporters in the stands to celebrate for The New York Times