Joey Fatone has been on Dancing With the Stars, Rachael vs. Guy and Chopped. He’s hosted The Singing Bee and The Price Is Right in Las Vegas. He’s even appeared on Hannah Montana. (Oh, and he was in a little band called ‘N Sync.) Now the singer-turned-TV star is hosting a new show on Food Network, Rewrapped.
The Marc Summers-judged spin-off of Unwrapped debuted on April 21 with two half-hour episodes. Each episode has three contestants working to recreate and innovate on a classic snack food.
“It’s lighthearted — which is what’s fun about the whole thing,” says Fatone, speaking to The EW Community from his California home. “They’re taking it seriously, but you’re creating a Twinkie.”
Part of what’s so fun about the series, in addition to ingredients like Hostess CupCakes and cheddar Goldfish, is Fatone’s goofy-charming personality, and the fact that he’s always ready with a good pun. “I’m always busting chops and being silly, of course,” he laughs. “That’s just my personality. What you see is what you get. So I try not to sugarcoat anything — pun intended!”
Because he brings so much entertainment to the already playful series, we asked Fatone to complete a very important task: Pair five classic ‘N Sync songs with five classic snack foods. Here’s what he came up with:
Bye Bye Bye
“When you’re eating it and it’s gone, it’s ‘bye bye bye.’ So Twinkies would have to be it.”
Just Got Paid
“I think of Paydays. Payday bars or 100 Grand.”
(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time on You
“Red velvet cake comes to mind. I don’t know why, but it just does. Because God spent a little more time on red velvet cake, and it’s awesome.”
Tearin’ Up My Heart
“That’s the little Valentine’s candy hearts. The ones that taste like cardboard.”
“I think of Blow Pops!”
Fatone’s transition from music and dancing into the cooking world only happened a few years ago, after he met Guy Fieri at the Kentucky Derby. Fieri wanted Fatone to appear on Rachael vs. Guy, but the baritone singer wasn’t confident in his cooking ability, despite growing up learning rice-ball recipes from his dad. “But,” he laughs, “a couple of drinks later, [Guy] convinced me to say, ‘Yes, I’ll do it.'”
He’s a full-fledged member of the Food Network family now, regularly working with kitchen celebrities like Marc Summers, Jeff Mauro and Jenny McCoy on the new series. “When you’re with the Food Network, it’s a cult,” Fatone explains. “Once you’re in the club, you’re in the club.”
Every week on Rewrapped, a new snack food is featured, and three chefs compete to do it justice in “recreate” and “innovate” rounds. Although he claims to be more of a salty snack lover, it’s easy to see which food is Fatone’s favorite. In a single conversation, he mentions Twinkies no fewer than six times — more if you include Chocodiles, a sort of chocolate-covered Twinkie he says everyone needs to try. (And in case you’re wondering, yes, he did run out to buy a box of Twinkies as soon as he heard they were being discontinued!)
There’s a Twinkie episode coming up on Rewrapped (on June 23), but it’s actually the Utz Pretzel Rod episode that Fatone says viewers should look forward to. He also teases Wise Cheez Waffies, a snack that he’d never seen or heard of before it was introduced on the show. There’s a new selection of treats to try every week, and there’s only been one dish that Fatone chose not to try. “It looked like it wasn’t even edible,” he explains, describing a burnt waffle from the Hostess CupCake episode that aired earlier this month. “I didn’t even want to touch it. I was cool with not eating it.”
Fatone’s favorite part of every episode actually hit the cutting room floor before the series aired on Food Network. Apparently, producers brought in a candy bar character named Snacky to dance with all the contestants after they had won. We can only hope those outtakes make it to a web exclusive or blooper reel someday!
With seven episodes to go, there’s no word on whether or not the show will return for a second season, but Fatone would “definitely” come back for season 2: “It would be a lot of fun! There are so many different things we could do.”
Even if it doesn’t work out, he’s got a Plan B. “I think it would be fun to do The Price Is Right,” he muses. “I’ll have to wait until Drew [Carey] retires, and see if he wants to give it up.” (He’s also open to Wheel of Fortune, but “always comes up with something stupid” when it’s time to solve the puzzles.)
Rewrapped airs on Mondays at 8/7 C on Food Network.