When someone mentions the Kentucky Derby, your first thought probably doesn't immediately leap to wondering if certain members of *NSYNC will be in attendance (and, if it does, then I sincerely applaud your wonderful mind), but honestly, it might be time that you rethink that approach. The truth is that everyone's third-favorite member of *NSYNC, Joey Fatone, loves the Kentucky Derby; so much so that he's been attending the horse race for the past 16 years in a row. But why? If you're as delightfully puzzled by this pop cultural revelation as I currently am, then take heart, because we're going to figure this one out.
Let's begin by first celebrating how truly wonderful it is to see Fatone on a red carpet; thank you Kentucky Derby for treating this sweet prince of our pop childhoods like the royalty he truly is (while looking seriously sharp in that suit, no less. Yowza). Secondly, let's remind ourselves of what Fatone was doing 16 years ago at that very first Kentucky Derby that he attended.
If, as is implied by his red carpet interview at this year's Derby, he has attended the race for the past 16 consecutive years, then that means that his first experience at the Kentucky Derby would have been in the year 2000. You know what seminal *NSYNC moment happened in the year 2000? Only the release of a gargantuan album known as No Strings Attached.
That's right, Fatone was probably enjoying the height of his fame and living it up, so you can only imagine that he experienced such a stellar good time at the Kentucky Derby that year that he would always be eager to return back to it. It may well be his version of that bar you always have to revisit with your old gang whenever you return to your hometown, and I respect the hell out of that.
And just look at that glorious man — that's a fella who has come to party and I love it. Speaking at the Barnstable Brown Gala, Fatone explained his longstanding relationship with the Kentucky Derby in terms that I can definitely get behind: "All the races are fun, that's what I'm looking for. I'm looking for great food, great friends, great drinks, have fun, and hopefully win something"
Amen to that, fella. Now that he's broken it down into a terminology that I understand, I'm actually surprised that we don't get to see more treasured icons from our youth astounding us with flash suits and fun party sentiments at the Kentucky Derby. Like, can I put together a wish list of people for next year? Because this sounds to me like the perfect opportunity for some kind of beautiful *NSYNC reunion. I want to see matching suits, group portraits on the red carpet, and just a bunch of old friends having a great time together: the works. Make me happy, universe.