‘N Sync-er Joey Fatone is hitting the dance floor once again. The season 4 runner-up of Dancing With the Stars is taking his dance knowledge to Oxygen’s Dance Your Ass Off, where he’ll appear as a guest judge on Monday night’s episode. He took some time to talk about his guest appearance and what he’s got coming up in the future.Former
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did you want to be involved with Dance Your Ass Off?
JOEY FATONE: It’s an amazing show as far as getting a chance for people to lose weight and have fun with it. That’s the whole thing with it. It’s pretty cool where they do the whole Biggest Loser thing where you work, and you work, and you work. But in this show, you’re working out, but you’re also having fun. You’re learning a dance. You’re learning something that some of them have never done before. And to be able to feel free and to feel confident. It gives them great self-esteem to get out there and to go and dance.
You know how it feels to be judged on your dancing. What was it like in the judge’s seat?
The nice thing is that the pressure is really not on me. I’m just kind of watching and being some sort of a guide who can give maybe one or two pointers or hints and kind of help them along their road as they keep going. I’m only doing the one spot guest celebrity judge. So it’s fun. It’s been interesting. I know exactly how they were right when they start to dance, How their nerves are shot, how tired they are, hw their brain is just going and mile a minute. They’re just like, “Okay, don’t screw up, don’t screw up, don’t screw up.” They forget sometimes that you just have to go out there and have fun.
So was it easy being a judge?
It’s kind of interesting for me because when I judged, I only had one thing. One night to judge. So I never saw their performances prior to [filming] the episode. I don’t know how far some of them have come. I don’t know if maybe they’ve been a good dancer and they’ve been maintaining the whole season through. So that’s what was the interesting thing about it. I kept telling the other judges, but they were like, “N,o it’s great because you’re looking with fresh new eyes that have never seen these people dance. That helps us because there may be some things that you see that we didn’t see.”
In a teaser for the episode, you’re referred to as an “expert.” What do you think about that?
They lie! It’s actually interesting, because I start to pick things up when I watch Dancing With the Stars from doing all of the dance moves. You start picking up things. I know where I made mistakes when I was doing it. And you start to see similar things that you’ve done before. I’m like, “Oh I remember the cha-cha. I remember those moves. I remember the New Yorker.” I remember all those things, so then you start to say, “Oh, that wasn’t good. Their arm wasn’t positioned right.” Of course, I’m no expert [though].
What can viewers expect from Monday’s episode?
The dance that they do, it’s kind of a prom-themed night. They have to do a certain trick in their dance. They have to put it in there. Everybody got a completely different trick, and you have to make sure that it’s in there. Some people are really hesitant, and some people were nervous about doing their trick. And sometimes you don’t even see the trick. So you just have to figure out where it is and you judge them as accurately as you can.
What was it like working with Mel B again? [Fatone and the former Spice Girl hosted TLC's The Singing Office together in 2008.]
She’s a riot. It was just fun because I got to bust her chops. Every time she would start to read the prompt, I kept saying “Don’t screw up!”
Have any future plans you want to share?
I shot a film not to long ago with Robert Englund, the original guy who played Freddy Krueger. I just put out a single called “Radio” which is on iTunes. I just kind of threw it out there to see what happens. And I’m actually going to be the announcer for Family Feud. They’re shooting it now, but I don’t know when they start airing the new one. You’ll start seeing promotions with Steve Harvey, who’s the new host. It was kind of interesting because they are shooting it in Orlando, which is right in my backyard. They came along with this crazy idea to have a celebrity do the announcements. I’ve done voiceover stuff, so I thought, “what the heck?”