Joey on Las Vegas and NSYNC
Currently appearing in not one, but two Las Vegas shows, Fatone just may be one of the busiest guys working in the Entertainment Capital of the World. From now until July 29, fans can catch him hosting “The Price is Right Live” at Bally’s—his fourth time hosting the popular stage show in Las Vegas—and appearing in the hit show “Dancing with the Stars: Live in Las Vegas,” which recently extended its run at the Tropicana until Aug. 5.
“It’s been crazy,” Fatone said when Examiner.com caught up with him in June. “I’ve been away from my family now for six months and I’m starting to get burnt out. But it’s been a blast.”
Fatone returned to Las Vegas in early January to host “The Price is Right Live” for an exclusive engagement that went through April 8, just days before “Dancing with the Stars: Live in Las Vegas’” premiered at the Tropicana. While his original plans had him heading to Vancouver in July to host “The Price is Right Live” there after “Dancing’s” initial 12-week run, when the show was extended by popular demand, Fatone made some schedule changes so that he could do double-duty in Las Vegas.
“It’s been awesome and a lot of fun to get back into ‘Dancing with the Stars’ again,” Fatone, who was the season four runner-up, said. “My body’s been killing me, though; the jive is a beast!”
The 80-minute production, which also stars some of the other fan-favorite contestants from the hit ABC series like Kyle Massey and Sabrina Bryan, brings the excitement of “Dancing with the Stars” to life, showcasing popular dances from past seasons along with thrilling new routines. Fatone can be seen doing the cha-cha he performed during his stint on “Dancing with the Stars” as well as a new dance that combines the two jives he did on the show. He also helps co-host the production, and credits “Dancing with the Stars” with his thriving hosting career, as following the reality competition, he was asked to host “The Singing Bee.” Since then, Fatone has gone on not only to host “The Price is Right Live,” but also TV Guide’s red carpet pre-shows and the short-lived “Celebrity Circus.” He’s currently the announcer for “Family Feud.”
While there’s no doubt Fatone has kept busy since returning to Las Vegas earlier this year, he has had some free time to explore the city’s many restaurants, and just last Thursday (July 12) was seen dining at Tao Asian Bistro inside The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian with some friends. When asked what some of his favorite Vegas restaurants were, Fatone replied that there were just “too many,” but did have a few suggestions for Examiner.com’s readers.
“I love the oversized portions at Hash House A Go Go,” Fatone said. “They’re ridiculously huge and definitely meant to share. Their Tractor Driver Combo with the big-ass pancake is fantastic. Sinatra inside Encore is good, too. And I’m a huge Benihana fan at LVH—me likely. In Las Vegas, there are just so many different places. If you want something high-end, I really like Koi inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino; their rock shrimp is awesome. And I love Japonais inside The Mirage. They have this beef there that you cook on a small hot rock—it’s awesome.”
A man who loves to cook, Fatone said that whenever he’s dining out at an Italian restaurant, the one dish he always has to try is the Chicken Parmesan to “find out what it’s about.” As for dining out pet peeves, Fatone admitted that his diverse resume can lead to some awkward situations when he’s trying to enjoy a nice meal out.
“I hate when the waiter is annoying and keeps asking you all these questions,” he said. “‘Hey, are you the guy from…?’”
When asked what he gets most recognized for these days, Fatone said that it all depends on the age of the person he comes across.
“It’s really a mixture; the demographic is so spread out,” he said. “Grandmas will know me from ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ moms will know me from *NSYNC and their daughters will know me from ‘Hannah Montana.’”
While Fatone is grateful for his varied career opportunities, he said that “Dancing with the Stars” was one of his greatest experiences, as it took him out of the element of what he was used to. When asked if there was any chance of him returning for the show’s star-studded 15th season, which will mix up the format a bit by bringing back past contestants for a chance to win the coveted Mirror Ball trophy, Fatone said he wasn’t sure just yet if that was something he wanted to do.
“I don’t really have to redeem myself, as I came in second place,” he explained. “But maybe for the fun of it. I haven’t gotten a call though [inviting him back], but I should know soon enough.”
For now, Fatone is just hoping to spend some more time with his family as he makes the move from Florida to L.A. Whether or not he’ll extend his contact with “Dancing with the Stars: Live in Las Vegas” should the show be extended again remains to be seen, but, as Fatone noted, with 14 seasons of the hit ABC series already wrapped, there are plenty of celebrities to fill his spot should he decide to leave the Vegas production before it ends.
As for whether or not there will ever be an *NSYNC reunion, Fatone said that maybe once everyone in the group has some time to “settle down, sit back and relax” they might do it, but not right now. Instead, Fatone is relishing his new role as a mentor, giving the new generation of boy bands some helpful advice as he passes the baton.
“I just saw Big Time Rush and they put on a great show,” Fatone said. “Afterward they were asking me what I liked and what I didn’t—they were really excited to hear what I had to say and how they could make the show better.”
“I just hope these new boy bands don’t suck and embarrass us,” he concluded with a laugh.