Here it is- proof positive of the media's relentless
pressure on Justin.
In a recent radio interview for KUBE 93 Seattle, Justin stated that he's growing his hair out to find proof that fans like him for more than his looks.
--Asked if he's dating anybody now, Timberlake said, "Well, nothing serious. I'll leave it at that." Britney Spears, maybe? "Nothing serious. I'll leave it at that. There's not one exact person I am dating right now, so that's why I say `nothing serious.' " --
Anyone else besides us consider that hounding? He's gotten to the point where if asked again, it seems like he might turn medievil on some reporter.
In one article, Justin was respresented by this line...
"If Elvis was the King, then Justin Timberlake is the Prince."
Does anyone remember what happened to Elvis...?
Danielle was with Chris while they were in New York. At the hotel, girls were throwing things and booing her. She had to have TWO bodyguards, whereas the guys only have one.
This is a sweet story- proof of the Justin- and other 'NSYNCers- inside
"Bananas have no lips. Peel banana, peel peel banana..."
A soft sing-song voice croons through the ward of the German children's hospital. Nurses stand around, not saying a word, their lips pressed together with smiles. at the center of attention is a young, curly-haired Adonis, surrounded by children, some of whom will never get better. He is cross-legged on the floor, at their eye level, singing simple poems. And although the children do not speak English, the point of this meeting reaches them.
"Lean to the left, lean to the right..." he sings, and the children break out in laughter as they follow his movements.
When the meeting is over, the children gather around him, clutching pads of paper for him to sign. Nurses thank him for stopping by. He smiles lightly and leaves without a trace. On the ride down in the elevator, none of the doctors take notice of his watery red eyes and quivering chin.
Outside of the hospital he hops into a waiting limo and returns to his life as Justin Timberlake, the youngest member of the American quintet, *N Sync. His four bandmates are involved in a project today. Justin, sick with a nagging case of laringitus, chose this activity for the day. At this point in time, he seems more saint than sex symbol. He is just 17, but this sudden meeting makes his face seem older.
"We haven't been there in a while," he says, shivering and bundling up into a quilted jacket. "it's very sad, because there were kids here last year who you knew wouldn't be there the next time. Actually going back makes it more realistic."
Justin arrives back at his hotel, where a steady stream of adoring fans stands outside. Taking notice of the arriving limo, they instantly break out into a screaming frenzy. Justin is tired, worn out from the constant travel and, although he denies it, a bit crinkled from the shedding of a few tears. Yet out into the mob he wanders, surrounded by heavy security and a faceless sea of adolescense.
"Justin!" one screams. "I love you!"
He patiently shakes hands and signs more papers. a ball whizzes by his head, just barely hitting him, and that's when security rushes him inside. Justin is in the lobby, a bit shaken, and hidden behind the mask of teenage cockiness is a sign that he is, in fact, terrified of the mass hysteria.
Sauntering through the lobby at that particular mometn is Justin's bandmate, Chris Kirkpatrick. Chris, considered ancient at the age of 27, is a severe, dangerous looking fellow who sports his hair in an array of tiny braids. One sentence from him changes that initial impression.
"Yo!" he screams across the lobby, causing a few people to turn in annoyance. "They've got free cheese in the dining room!"
Chris is childlike in demeanor while Justin, 10 years his junior, is quiet and gaurded. On the ride up in the elevator, Chris can hardly contain himself from telling a joke he just got off the internet. Stopping off at a middle floor, we get out...but Chris cannot contain himself from pushing every button in the elevator, which will make it stop at every floor in the building. This is all it takes to send Justin into a laughing hysteria.
I meet with the boys in a suite of rooms. JC Chasez, 22, is something like the typical box-next-door, almost naive, but very driven. Joey Fatone, 21, a teddy bear-like fellow with facial hair, is feeling cheeky today, and hugs every female in sight. Ending out the mix is Lance Bass, 19, very blonde, with a kind face, who talks gently with a smile.
"See this?" says Joey, turning his face to reveal a red scratch, not too big, but deep enough to be hurtful.
"How did you get that?" I ask, and my question causes the other four boys to exchange knowing glances.
"Fingernail," he says. "See the shape? It's shaped like a nail."
It turns out that Joey received his prize just moments ago, working his way through the mob of fans. A girl tried reaching up to touch his hair, and somehow she ended up scratching her idol when the crownd surged forward. Joey is quick not to blame, however.
"Security made us come inside," he says. "I'm sure she would have apologized, is she had been given the chance."
Nobody is going to take a chance with the wound, as it is quickly rinsed with alcohol.
"Joey always gets hurt," says Chris, light-heartedly but at the same time concerned. "He used up a lot of make-up on our first European tour. All those black eyes to cover up."
"What can I say?" says Joey, smiling. "I'm just lucky."
Nobody asks anybody else about anything else regarding that day. Instead they gather in one room for lunch. They seem rather unspoiled and simple popping open soda cans and piling Swiss cheese and assorted meat onto slices of bread.
"Where's the caviar?" I ask jokingly.
"Haha!" Justin cries with his mouth full, clearly feeling better after his fuel charge. "We ate some of that one, and all of us spent the day taking turns in the bathroom on the bus. We were sick. Except Joey."
Joey stands across the room, hears the comment, and pats his stomach with a smile.
After the meal, it is time to head down to a local radio station for an on-air interview. The fans still wait outside, but security isn't taking anymore chances. They are escprted out a back way, where it is quiet. The limo drives around to the front, where the girls see it and once again begin their charade. One girl manages to climb up on the back of the limo. The driver, infuriated, blows his horn and slams the brake.
"We always check behind us when we drive off," Chris explains, " to make sure nobody is lying dead in the street."
The traffic is heavy on this late day, and the ride is long. But it gives *N Sync enough time to contemplate the immediate givings of life.
"Yeah, we cry sometimes," says JC, speaking of the downside of fame. "You feel lonely. Isolated. I think that's normal. But we accept that. We're doing something we want to do. We're going to enjoy this opportunity while it's here."
"You cry?" asks Chris teasingly. "Not I!"
"Chris cries when he reads fan mail!" barks Lance. "He's happy because people like him."
"Chris cried every night the first week of our first tour," laughs Justin.
"So did you," says Chris, blushing. "OK, I take that first comment back."
*N Sync may be well loved in Europe, but they only recently broke out this year in their homeland, where they now spend most of their time. This trip back to Europe is to basically let their fans know that they are not forgotten.
"It's always been this crazy here," says Joey, waving his arms around. "We'd go back home to Florida, live anonymously, go to movies, clubs, whatever."
"Yeah, it was like a game," says Chris. "To go from insanity to nobody, really. Well, there were some fans. But for the most part, it was like telling somebody you were in a band big overseas, and they laughed at you. Like it was some huge pick-up line or something."
Reaching the radio station, I am ready to leave the group when I choose to venture inside. I sit through the interview, listening as the guys churn out pre-planned answers to fans through an interpreter. After an hour, I follow them to a back room, where a worker's daughter is waiting patiently. She is 10 years-old, is dying from a rare form of cancer which has stunted her growth, yet she once told her father she refused to leave this world until she met her idols. She is brutally honest.
"I have something to tell you," she manages to whisper, and Chris bends down to listen and nobody else can hear.
The guys pile back into the limo, and Chris joins them a few minutes later, waning to fans. Once he hops inside, his eyes are red and teary, his face showing the same hollowed expression that Justin displayed hours earlier.
"She told Chris she feels safe enough to let go now," explains a female manager, smiling.
Chris, biting a fingernail and trying to remain composed, looks out the window and ends on one thought.
"That little girl," he says, "is what makes everything worthwhile."
(Thanks to Emma for this article)
Now, how about a story of proof of what it's done to Lance
As some of you may know, Lance has been rather ill, and was rendered unable to perform in the last three cities. Orlando, Tampa, and Ft. Lauterdale. I cannot even begin to explain how odd it was to be at their concert watching Justin, JC, Chris, and Joey trying to perform as four and not five. *N SYNC was truly N SYC. The other guys were a bit upset, to say the least, playing in front of their hometown crowd short the bass of their superstardom.
Orlando concert, Chris announced that Lance was hospitalized after collapsing and that he wanted to come out on stage in his wheelchair if he could. There was more from Tampa. Chris wandered again on stage, tears evident, as he said, "Hey Tampa...we have some sad news. Our friend, Lance, couldn't be here tonight because he's in the hospital. He collapsed backstage and we had to rush him to the emergency room. He would have been fine but at about 11 he had a mild seizure and he isn't doing so well. So could we all pray for him? He really wanted to be here and he said to tell you his deepest apologies for not being here."
That was the saddest statement I had ever heard. I truly wanted to cry for the kid. It broke my heart seeing his four best friends stumbling around in his honor, the onslaught of fear in Joey's voice when he dedicated the concert to Lance.
I have been a lifegaurd since age 15 and was once pre-med. I have a lot of medical knowledge and experience and am versed enough to know that throwing up will rid the body of necessary nutrients that it needs; enough to collapse or black out. But, I also know that Lance has a slight heart condition. He has a type of heart murmer, much like my own, that gives him an irregular heartbeat. Sometimes this causes the blood to flow so oddly that it doesn't reach all the body parts. When you don't get enough oxygenated blood to the brain, you pass out. You collapse. You throw up. You get weak and very sick and it is exceedingly scary. Sometimes, when a person doesn't rest enough, it can be life threatening.
I know because I have the same thing.
JC was adamant in telling the Tampa audience that it wasn't complete, thumbing his proverbial nose at the higher offices. "We were going to cancel the show, but Lance didn't want us to-so, under Lance's wish, the show must go on. And remember, you're not listening to an *N SYNC concert tonight...just four guys named Chris, Joey, Justin, and JC. We aren't *N SYNC without Lance, so don't go telling your friends you saw *N SYNC, because you didn't. You only saw four high pitched monkeys."
This is a report from Florida: *N SYNC were in West Palm Beach yesterday so I went to talk and check it out a bit. I talked to Fritz (the security guard) and we chit-chatted a bit and I found out two things: a)Lance will not be performing for the next 10 concerts, according to Fritz, because he has a heart condition; and b)Lou Pearlman, *N SYNC's manager, is already looking for another bass voice to take over.
So, I suppose Lance is that unimportant and despensible that Lou feels the need to continue concerts when the rest of his crew is too upset to focus? Here's more: In the concert, three things happened: a)Justin walked off stage when Chris said Lance couldn't be here tonight. He just started crying and walked off. Chris was crying too. I've never seen a grown man cry; b)Chris said about the same thing as Tampa and Orlando, except he added this: "Lance will not be back for awhile because he is really sick and in quite a bit of pain, so please pray for him. He is not doing well at all." That's when Justin walked off; c)All four of them cracked that they were really down and Justin fell twice and didn't seem to care. No one smiled. And,...I dunno what this deal is...but, during "Sailing" they flew Lance's harness.
I do not know what the deal is during "Sailing." They are flying his harness in honor of their fallen groupmate. A symbol much like in the Air Force planes that fly together until one trails right, to commemorate a fallen soldier. I have never seen Justin mess up dancing. I have never seen Justin cry.
TransCon can "cover it up" as much as they please, but I don't think a "stomach flu" would cause Justin and Chris to visibly bawl onstage.
Lance should not die, don't get all uptight. What I am saying is that he and the rest of the boys are finally starting to show signs of being pushed too far. Thay have been going full tilt since '96, and three years later, a member gets seriously sick and the management is trying to get him better quickly so he can get 'back on stage.' A medical emergency that managed to shake up members of the group and an audience or two, and it seems that the most variable point to management is that it's 'screwing up the agenda?' Replace Lance? That is insensitive insanity and will tear the very basis of what *N SYNC stands for. If this is what it means to be famous, I'd rather have my anonymity and college bills.
The guys of *N SYNC need time off. Badly. Justin is a scant 18 and has been on the road for nearly a quarter of his life. Can you imagine living out your teenage years on a bus, and then getting criticized for being a bastard if you don't respond the way someone anticipates you responding? JC looks like he needs one of his famous naps...but this one should be for 100 years so he fully recovers. Joey and Chris just further my arguments, cheerful in the limelight, but shaken and stirred offstage. Even if it's a month to relax, be themselves, get away from the hectic nights and business-filled days. To sleep, eat right, see parents and siblings, not worry if someone sees you with a girl.
To tell management to shove it and be healthy, growing men.
A similar scare was served to fans alike of Backstreet Boys when Brian Littrell underwent heart surgery. A major medical process done to him, and he was back on stage in eight weeks. That is ridiculus. The kid had to go backstage between songs and suck down oxygen from tanks because he still wasn't 100% to perform. In his own words, "I mean, the saddest thing is that I scheduled open-heart surgery around my work schedule. It was like nobody really cared or felt that it was important, because the career was moving on. It's not worth all that to me, to be a star and not have my health? Sorry, but it's not worth it. My mom and my girlfriend said I was real cheerful, and then they wheeled in a transfer bed and said, "Are you ready to go?" and then--I just busted out bawling. Eight weeks to the day of my surgery, I was onstage performing. I was sixty-five percent, really. My mind-set wasn't there. But the show must go on."
Correlate that TransCon also represented and managed the Backstreet Boys at the time of Littrell's surgery. It is similar, his suffering, to that of *N SYNC's Lance Bass--and try to cease upset that Lance was not at a concert you paid for. Three hundred and sixty-three days out of the year these kids get maybe four hours of sleep a night just to entertain us and it's not always their decision how things are run. Despite the fact that we feel in charge because we pay for them, they are normal boys who are in the demand of over a million people daily, and that they try their best to give the public what they want, the best way they know how. Granted, they asked to be famous, but they never knew of the consequence that fame would challenge them with - why should we punish our favorite acts for it?
Remember that Lance is sick, and that he needs help. Remember that he needs your prayers. Remember that he is human. Remember that you are too. Think how it must be for him. Think how it would be for you. Now pray.
(Thanks to Emma for this article)