Lance Bass Says He'd Pick Darren Criss to Replace Justin Timberlake for *NSYNC Tour: 'He Loves Boy Bands'

·3 min read
American boy band 'N Sync, circa 2000. Clockwise, from top left: Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick, Lance Bass, Justin Timberlake and , JC Chasez. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images); NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26: Darren Criss attends the 74th Annual Tony Awards at Winter Garden Theater on September 26, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
American boy band 'N Sync, circa 2000. Clockwise, from top left: Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick, Lance Bass, Justin Timberlake and , JC Chasez. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images); NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26: Darren Criss attends the 74th Annual Tony Awards at Winter Garden Theater on September 26, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Tim Roney/Getty; Jamie McCarthy/Getty for Tony Awards Productions *NSYNC; Darren Criss

If Lance Bass had to say "Bye Bye Bye" to Justin Timberlake should *NSYNC ever embark on a reunion tour, he already has a backup in mind.

During an appearance on Monday's episode of the Pod Meets World podcast with Danielle Fishel, Rider Strong and Will Friedle, Fishel asked Bass to dream-cast a stand-in should Timberlake, 41, decide not to do a hypothetical tour with the musical group that also included JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick.

"If you guys had to go on the road now as *NSYNC but you were gonna have somebody fill in for Justin — kinda like the way John Mayer is now in the Grateful Dead — who do you think you would choose to be in that role?" asked Fishel, 41.

Responded Bass, 43, "Oh, I know exactly who it would be. He's really great with harmonies. A lot of people don't know that he kinda came from, [in] college, he studied music and [he's] amazing with harmonies: Darren Criss."

Calling Criss, 35, a "great guy," Bass added, "He loves boy bands. He's from that era. He would just be the perfect fit with us."

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75th Annual Tony Awards - Arrivals
75th Annual Tony Awards - Arrivals

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

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A graduate of the University of Michigan, Criss starred in many a musical stage production throughout his adolescence and made his Broadway debut in 2012, replacing Daniel Radcliffe in the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying for a three-week run.

Before his TV breakout role as Blaine Anderson on Glee beginning in late 2010, he co-founded theater company StarKid Productions and was known by Harry Potter fans for playing the boy-wizard lead role (made famous onscreen by Radcliffe, 33) in several of StarKid's musical-parody productions.

He went on to star in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway, and is currently appearing alongside Laurence Fishburne and Sam Rockwell in the Broadway revival of play American Buffalo.

Additionally, Criss received both Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for his role as killer Andrew Cunanan in 2018's The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

Meanwhile, Criss and Bass are longtime friends, with the former having attended the 2014 wedding of Bass and now-husband Michael Turchin.

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And Criss is already versed in at least two *NSYNC songs, having joined Chasez, 46, for a 2018 St. Patrick's Day show in which they performed acoustic versions of the group's early hits "I Want You Back" and "Tearin' Up My Heart."

The whole band, including Timberlake, reunited at their Walk of Fame ceremony in April 2018. Before that, the last time they all got together was for Chasez's 40th birthday in August 2016.

In April 2019, Fatone, 45, Kirkpatrick, 50, Chasez and Bass also reunited onstage during Ariana Grande's performance at Coachella.

*NSYNC formed in 1995 and became one of the most beloved boy bands ever, rivaling the Backstreet Boys. After they went on their Celebrity Tour in 2002, which earned nearly $30 million, the group went on a hiatus, which has lasted 20 years.