Ladies and gentlemen, Lance Bass is AVAILABLE.
Not in the romantic sense (based on Bass’s 2016 narrative, he and his husband may be starting a family any day now) – but professionally, he is – as his IMDB page confirms – a “jack-of-all-trades.” No longer just a charming Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cameo, the former *NSYNC member is (not so) quietly making a name for himself in the reality world.
My eyes still well up at the thought of one of the most touching scenes I have seen on television to date – a contestant, about to part with her beloved smartphone, gently cooing loving affirmations minutes before the two were torn apart by a Lance Bass with a plastic bin.
While not his first hosting gig (last year’s Prince Charming is still fresh in the mind of some), Mr. Bass – together with fellow 90s throwback Christina Milan – are breathing new life into an old decade, as they guide young millennials throw a world of blue eye shadow, ‘Blossom’ hats, and multi-colored overalls.
With timewarp-appropriate guests along the way (Mario Lopez stops by to give the crew some pro pointers on creating a 90s sitcom intro), the show has all the makings of excellent mindless viewing.
Not to be outshined by the caliber of their competition’s hosts, the contestants are already showing shimmers of promise for the season to come. In a game-changing moment of the series premiere, competitor Lexus marched in with a selfie stick proclaiming, “I’m unemployed and don’t do shi*t.” The depth of her honesty and aggression of her unapologetic laziness shows a transparency that’s become increasingly rare in reality viewing – but just might make a comeback over the course of the 90’s House season.
New episodes of 90’s House air 11pm ET Tuesday on MTV and are available the next day on-demand.
Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry
The intimacy of Tyler Henry’s séance setting offered a framework to get to know Lance Bass on a deeper level. His appearance with apparent BFF Jamie-Lynn Sigler (he officiated her wedding, so I guess that’s real) revealed not only that the two spend their free time attending séances together (both on camera than off), but that Mr. Bass still openly references his days as pop culture correspondent on the Meredith Vieira Show (but refers to it as his own).
And while Tyler Henry was ultimately most interested in addressing Jamie-Lynn’s brother’s recent death, Lance seemed more than happy to take a step back from the center spotlight, opting for one slightly off to the side instead.
Lance Bass appeared on the second season finale of Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry. Watch select episodes of the second season on E! on-demand.
Battle of the Network Stars
Joining a virtual grab bag of television randos on “Team Variety” (including fellow boyband-er Joey “way faster than he looks” Fatone), Lance Bass offered up his running legs and throwing arm in the name of some healthy competition. He even let (slightly) loose in a show of comradery with his teammates, jumping into the pool to celebrate Team Variety’s victorious TKO in the kayaking challenge.
But the competition wasn’t all dramatic pauses for Kelly Osbourne’s sun allergy (though there was some of that) and snarky commentary from men and women in oversized yellow jackets. Along the way, Joey Fatone dropped a few inside scoops with tales of *NSYNC past.
In one particularly memorable clip, he retold the tale of walking in on Lance Bass with a male friend after a particularly drunken night (but before he had come out to the rest of the group). “I wanted to wait until I was in love with someone to be able to tell someone,” reflected Mr. Bass, promptly launching into lessons for his 16-year-old self. As it turns out, in order for Lance to truly open up, he must be clad in spandex, jazzed by the adrenaline rush only a dunk tank can supply and surrounded by aging stars of The Love Boat (but then again, who doesn’t?)
Lance Bass appeared on episode eight of Battle of the Network Stars. Watch the first season of the reboot on ABC on-demand.
My Kitchen Rules
Amidst the celebrity (and “celebrity”) contestants, the real star of the dinner party challenge was Lance’s dog Dingo (no offense to my own dog, but that is quite possibly the best dog name ever), who had a short cameo on the show’s opening episode.
Still, there’s (sometimes) more to life than cute dogs. Opening the Australian show remake were Lance Bass and his adorably southern mother, going head-to head with pop star Brandy and her brother, Kim Kardashian sex tape costar Ray J. But the experience of dining chez Brandy and Ray J – whose sole function seemed to be spitting food into the farmhouse sink – was no match for Lance’s mom’s shrimp-and-grits. And while fellow competitor (and former Real Housewife) Brandi seemed determined to steal the show, playing off her will they/won’t they antics with her husband’s ex-mistress’s ex-husband, she ultimately could not light a candle to the overpowering luminescence of the Bass family star power.
Watch My Kitchen Rules on FOX on-demand.