Jillian Smolinski, RR.com Original
He may have been passed up to replace Regis last year but this new dad is making his move on two fronts. Multi-platinum recording artist, actor and television personality Nick Lachey is hot on the heels of a double career comeback. In addition to releasing an album and hitting the road with 98 Degrees, the 39-year-old star will return to reality TV as the host of NBC’s upcoming singing competition The Winner Is.
Nick Lachey first melted hearts back as lead singer of the multi-platinum selling boy band, 98 Degrees, along with his brother Drew, Justin Jeffre, and Jeff Timmons.
Unlike most boy bands that were assembled by a label or a producer, 98 Degrees formed independently and were later picked up by a record label. Since then the group has sold over 10 million records worldwide and has released eight top 40 singles in the United States thanks to the success of sophomore release “98 Degrees and Rising” in 1998. The group went on hiatus in 2002 to focus on other ambitions and opportunities.
Last August 98 Degrees reunited for a performance at Mixtape Festival in Hershey, PA and on NBC's Today Show. The following month, the foursome announced they were recording a new album. On January 22, 2013, 98 Degrees appeared on The View along with New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men to announce their joint summer tour called, “The Package Tour.”
The boys will hit the road on May 28, 2013 to promote “2.0,” their first studio album since 2000, with fellow '90s heartthrobs New Kids on the Block and Grammy Award-winning Boyz II Men - the top-selling R&B group of all time. The Package Tour will mark the first tour for 98 Degrees in over 12 years.
The latest album is the group's fourth studio album and was released May 7 through eOne Music. The age-appropriate album features songs about thirty-something men looking for love and relationships written by Bruno Mars, Ne-Yo, and several other composers. “2.03 is the foursome's first full-length album in 13 years following the release of Revelation in 2000. The album debuted at #65 on the Billboard 200, becoming the group's lowest-charting album since their 1997 debut, 98 Degrees.
The Winner Is
The contest, which was created by the producers of The Voice, will showcase a variety of singers, all of whom will go head-to-head in front of a live studio audience as they compete for the ultimate grand prize of $1 million.
After each showdown, the contestants will be judged by a special in-studio panel of teachers, DJs, critics, bloggers andYouTube sensations who vote for the act they want to move on in the competition. In a unique twist, before the winner is even announced, the contestants will be offered a cash buyout to leave the game. The buyouts start at $10,000 and increase with each round. If they’re confident they performed better than their opponent, the singer can resist the cash and await the audience vote to see if they’ve advanced. If they think they’ve lost, there are only seconds to accept the money. If a contestant doesn’t take the money and they lose, they go home empty handed.
It all comes down to the grand finale where eight episode winners will continue to compete until just two contestants remain. After their performances, each finalist will get the chance to walk away with tens of thousands of dollars or they can risk it all by awaiting the audience vote for the chance to win a life-changing $1 million.
Lachey previously hosted the peacock network’s a cappella competition The Sing-Off from 2009-2011. The show was cancelled after three seasons due to low ratings.