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Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 07/11/2006

What's Left of Nick Lachey?

By Liz Kelly

It might shock you to read this, but I want Nick Lachey to succeed. I like him.

Sir, slowly step away from the microphone. (AP)

Just one problem: Nick released this new album that despite sucking out loud has landed in a pretty respectable position on the Billboard chart, which could give him some kind of misapprehension that he should continue with this music stuff. A visit to his beefcake-ified Web site is cringe inducing. What's with the Mad Max meets boot camp in an RV motif? Oof.

The first single off the new album was the obligatory overt reference to his failed marriage. It's what he knows, so who can blame him? But he's unwisely releasing cheesy videos, making Today Show concert appearances and now planning a tour:

"These shows will be performed in a series of smaller theaters, allowing intimate concerts with fans," the record label said in a statement.


Understand he's going for the tweener demographic here (in which case he might want to consider the mall circuit), but I think he's selling himself way short. Tweeners have the attention span of a text message and will not keep Nick in Buds and baseball caps forever.

Let me back up:

I regularly watched "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica" a couple years back. The show chronicled most of the short-lived marriage between Lachey and fellow popster Jessica Simpson and presented an interesting dynamic: two young bubblegum entertainers entering adulthood and marriage together and playing house on a ridiculous scale. What's not to like?

Jessica for one. If the show had a villain, it was surely Simpson. The pouting, airheaded slights to Lachey's earnest efforts at making their manse a home were almost unwatchable. Almost.

Although his career was clearly foundering on the shores of Jessica's building buzz (which has since subsided somewhat), Lachey came off as a pretty good guy -- one who tried to decorate, move furniture, landscape and take on all manner of (usually ill-advised) household projects with the help of only a few buddies and a few beers; a guy who patiently indulged Simpson in her childlike affectations and clear distaste for his interests.

In the face of a shrewish, whining wife, Lachey came off as the optimist, the calm one and the one to whom viewers could relate. We were all victims of Jessica's whims, so of course we bonded with her prime target.

He's just likeable (Don't confuse the man with his music, which isn't) and this is why I want him to prevail.

But the first step toward a solid future will be realizing music is not the way. (It's worth noting that both Justin Timberlake and Mark Wahlberg have survived by switching gears away from a sole focus on music. Watch for a new Timberlake album this fall, though.)

My advice to Nick Lachey: Talk to ESPN or one of the networks about a sports-casting gig and put your best talent -- your personality -- to work.

By Liz Kelly  | July 11, 2006; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities  
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what's timberlake doing besides crap music and cameron diaz?? poor example, liz!

i want nick to succeed, too. i don't care if his music ain't great. he deserves a little success after jessica, then he can fade away like the other boy banders....

Posted by: awads | July 11, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Well said, well written, well spoken. I like the ESPN idea, but he's probably more likely to land at FOXSports, which is pretty D-list itself.

Posted by: Party of One | July 11, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I was just talking to my wife about this the other day! I, too, like Nick. He seems like he'd be a good guy to have a few millers with. But his music is crap. I don't even know who he's trying to emulate. In 20-30 years, he could go the faux-Sinatra route, but it ain't working now.

I don't know about the sportscasting thing, though. that has not worked out in the past for celebrities.

Posted by: Kenny | July 11, 2006 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Great post! Totally agree on the Newlyweds dynamic. Nick rocks. Hope he's getting some serious action these days.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Liz knows by which she types: Timberlake has acted in a few films and to some pretty good reviews, too.

Posted by: cactusflower | July 11, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I always thought Nick should host a home-repair show. When him & his brother took a Skil saw to a 2000 table leg in order to shorten, I cringed. Imagine him wanting to do a project, become educated on how to do it, and then execute. It would have been a good transition to an older crowd for him.

Posted by: Norm | July 11, 2006 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I like the song he has out.

Posted by: Danielle | July 11, 2006 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Nick already went the ESPN route...was on College GameDay doing human interest stories and inputting his two cents...he wasn't bad. Not sure if they're going to re-up him, though.

Posted by: Kay | July 11, 2006 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Che -- please please please stop it.

Posted by: Liz | July 11, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Mark Wahlberg is a better analogy than Timberlake. Like Lachey, Marky Mark's music is considered a joke, yet he has a lot of fans. Although I am eying J. Timbo's self-produced second disc with a great deal of skepticism, his first (largely produced by the Neptunes and Timbaland) was a very solid effort. Certainly leagues beyond anything Nick Lachey has done...

By the way, Che is not going to stop. People at the other blogs have learned to ignore him. I wonder why he thinks this is fertile ground for his ramblings however! Could ban his IP?

Posted by: Venicemenace | July 11, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

ugh whats with the spam... love the blog liz. you've found a cool grove and looks like some readers too.

Posted by: jimmy | July 11, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I agree...Che is annoying, but thats not why I am writing. Nick does seem like he could be a pretty nice guy. With the right training he could be pretty good as a sportscaster or some sort on announcer. I also agree with the poster who said he looks like a guy who would be fun to hang out and have a beer with.

Posted by: Che is annoying | July 11, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Nick Lachey is our modern everyman. BTY, what's up with little bro' Lachey now that Dancing With the Stars is over and he has successfully made Nick an uncle?

Posted by: whee! | July 11, 2006 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Liz - Doesn't WP permit you to delete inappropriate comments? I think Che's spam certainly qualifies. Just a recommendation...

Posted by: X | July 11, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Amen! I love him - not in a crush way, but in a "This is a good guy" way.

Posted by: MD | July 11, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

MD -

Exactly. I think this is the popular sentiment, among females and males.

And it's a good question as well, whee - whither Drew Lachey?

Posted by: Venicemenace | July 11, 2006 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Marky mark was the greatest.

Posted by: are you kidding me | July 11, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

completely agree liz, you're right on. and what makes it worse, jessica is not bright at all, and nick just seems like a mench. thanks!

Posted by: emily | July 11, 2006 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I like Nick, too. However, that was tempered with the fact that he married a blonde bimbo for her looks. That he had to put up with her personality after the wedding is just desserts for someone who marries a woman solely based on how she looks. Maybe next time, he'll consider the person he's actually marrying rather than her exterior "package."

Posted by: Lori | July 11, 2006 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Whoa Lori! Isn't it a bit presumptuous to declare that he married her solely for her looks? Based on your comments I'd be willing to speculate on your looks but that would indeed be presumptuous.

Posted by: Stick | July 12, 2006 6:33 AM | Report abuse

I like Nick too. However, Justin Timberlake's first album rocked and I was never an N'Sync fan.

Posted by: Cass | July 12, 2006 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I like nick he's a good singer and he's good looking. The only thing that was holding him back was the dumb blond I mean really who was the smart one in the relationship. I hope he finds someone soon because he deserves it

Posted by: pixiedust | August 24, 2006 4:56 PM | Report abuse

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