Day in life of ‘N Sync gives insight into grooming habits

Justin Jürpantz

It’s just past 10 a.m. at the Marriott City Center Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. ‘N Sync is waking up for the day. At least, Joey Fatone is.
“Unlike the other guys, I have to get up early,” explains Joey as he empties out his night bag. The reason he’s up so early spills out across the bathroom counter — several large bottles of hair care products. Joey has to apply touch-ups to his spiked red highlights. And he has to do it all by himself.
“Justin prefers having a stylist put the blonde in his hair (daily), but me, I do it all myself,” winks Joey.
It’s magical how that wink seems to signal the awakening of the four other members of ‘N Sync. Like out of a fairy tale, JC Chasez, Lansten Bass, Chris Kirkpatrick and the average prepubescent fan’s favorite Justin Timberlake sit up in their beds and stretch. Justin is the first out of bed. He runs across the room, pushes Joey out of the way and shuts the bathroom door behind his full six feet of teen heartthrob righteousness.
“He always goes to the bathroom first thing in the morning,” explains Lansten. “It’s just part of his routine.”
‘N Sync’s entire morning is all about routine. And this morning is no different. Gearing up to promote their new album and Justin’s book of poetry this weekend right here in Minneapolis, each member prepares for the day in their own special way. Whether that be Chris trimming his goatee or Justin rushing out of bed and getting to the bathroom just in time so as not to wet himself, it’s all done to a set clock of routine. It’s one of the few ways that they are able to create a facade of stability when they are on the road entertaining banshee-like screeching fans around the world.
‘N Sync decided as a group against bringing their mothers along on this tour (“My mom is too nit-picky,” declares a toenail-filing Chris). Instead, ‘N Sync is doing what most music groups wouldn’t dare think of. ‘N Sync is getting ready for the day. By themselves.
Luckily, ‘N Sync has chosen a fancy hotel to stay in — the sink and the toilet are in different rooms. With Justin in the actual bathroom, the rest of ‘N Sync is free to use the sink and massive vanity mirror. Joey takes advantage of the aptly sized massive vanity mirror to finish adding the red highlights to his spiked hair. Meanwhile, JC makes use of the sink by brushing his teeth.
JC spits and frowns. “You know, a lot of other bands get all fancy and showy. They do the mouthwash; they floss. But we’re just not into that, you know? We just brush. We keep it simple. I think the fans appreciate that.”
Lansten lets the other members of his platinum record-selling group utilize the bathroom. He has more important things to do. Every morning, the Missouri-native randomly picks a new word from his pocket dictionary and tries to use it in a sentence sometime later that day. Today he has chosen ‘cespitose,’ a word to describe something that grows in dense, matlike clumps.
“One time I picked ‘flaxen,’ but I had a real hard time finding a way to use it,” says Lansten. “Finally, someone pointed out that my hair was kind of flaxen. I got a little upset, you know, ’cause I wanted to use the word. Not someone else. It ruined it for me. I was so upset, I couldn’t work on choreography for, like, weeks.”
Like Lansten, Chris also stays out of the bathroom area for the time being. He has his own agenda. Before anyone can notice, Chris pops his favorite CD into the communal boombox. The light acoustic sounds of The Indigo Girls fills the hotel room.
Chris cheerfully sings along. “Closer I am to fi-iiiine!”
“Oh, noooo!” shouts JC with a mouth full of Aim toothpaste. “Turn it off!”
Justin shouts out his muffled concurrence through the bathroom door. Lansten and Joey just laugh as they watch Chris dance around while putting on his form-fitting poly-vinyl clothing. They know it’s not often that Chris gets to choose the morning music.
“Most of us are into the classics,” JC explains. “You know, Sting, Seal.”
Joey nods. “Stevie Wonder all the way, man.”
Lansten (whom has been dubbed the “quiet, shy, reclusive, doesn’t-go-out-in-public” one by his young, possessive, insane, shrill-shrieking fans) smiles to himself in silence. And for a good reason — unlike his bandmates’ mainstream pop musical tastes, Garth Brooks is his music of choice.
“I have the album where he’s that rock-n-roll guy,” says the meek one. “I think it’s better than the one where he’s holding his belt buckle on the cover.”
Justin and a repugnant stench finally come out from the bathroom. He refrains from washing his hands, however, because he says it will enhance his dance moves for this weekend’s show.
“When you’re dancing on stage and you’ve got your fans all screaming at you as if they’re on fire, it feels good to know you’ve got dirty hands,” says a proud Justin. “The fans in the front row really dig it, too, when I give them high-fives.”
When the group is finally ready, they emerge from their hotel room. ‘N Sync is ready for the day, and no one — not other, more successful boy bands, not critics’ hurtful and personal attack-ridden reviews, not even Megatron and his evil legions of Deceptions – can stand in their way.
It is now 2 p.m. ‘N Sync is ready for the day. And they got ready all by themselves.
The fab five make their way to their limousine via the sewer system of downtown Minneapolis to avoid the crowds of adoring, creepy, brainless, freaks that pass for their fans. Suddenly, JC groans and smacks his hand to his forehead with a loud, hollow “thwack!”
“Man, this happens every morning,” shrugs JC. “We forgot to shower again!” The group giggles. When asked if they ever remember to shower, Joey smiles. “We mean to, but it doesn’t happen too often.”
But what about making a habit of a daily routine?
“This is the routine.”
You mean not showering is part of the daily routine?
“…Yeah.”
Lansten is quick to chime in. “Now cespitose fungus can grow on us!”
The group rolls their eyes and laughs. Nothing could be truer.
‘N Sync performs at The Quest this Friday at 2:30 p.m., tickets are $8. Justin Timberlake will have a poetry reading from his new book, “Don’t Judge a Rose by it’s Blonde Highlights,” at the Bryant-Lake Bowl on Saturday at 8 p.m., admission is free.

Justin Jürpantz welcomes comments just where his name indicates.