A superstar ... Have no fear, the camera is here and the microphones ...
— Lupe Fiasco
I had one of the basic tenets of my long-held naive assumption that the female of our species is the kinder and gentler gender crushed recently when a pair of Herald vixens — Laura and Jennifer are their names, just for the record — conned me into making an embarrassing confession.
I don’t quite remember how they did it, but somehow in the middle of an intelligent discussion about current entertainers I found myself saying words I’d never intended to say out loud: I have something of a man-crush on Justin Timberlake.
(We’ll pause here, for obvious reasons ... and, oh, by the way, those two devious females who have long been considered candidates for the nicest female journalist award — not that there was a lot of competition — well, it is now apparent neither is deserving of consideration.)
I guess with us being from the land where real men abound, a land where the male of the species proudly displays his weapons and as Elton John told us in “Texan Love Song” tends to “sweat, spit and swear” ... ummm, now that I think about it, maybe Sir Elton’s not the best source in this case ... I should define the term “man-crush.” It’s about, essentially, appreciating and maybe even envying another guy’s talents and/or skills.
It’s not, I want to strongly stress here, about attraction or persuasion, not, as Messrs. Costanza, Kramer and Seinfeld so aptly pointed out, that there’s anything wrong with that.
(Another brief pause. I offered a bit of my best wisdom to another former female colleague not too long ago by cluing her in to one of life’s truths: Everything you ever need to know — everything — can be found in an episode of “Seinfeld.” She has thus far refused to listen ... to her own detriment.)
Now, about Justin Timberlake: I wasn’t real keen on his ’N Sync days (yes, I was a Backstreet Boys/Boys II Men kind of guy), but since he dumped Britney Spears — that right there, the good sense to say “Bye Bye Bye” before Brit got tangled up with sleazebag Paris Hilton and went loony, shows the boy’s got a good head on his shoulders — he’s really grown as a multifaceted artist.
His kiss-off song to Britney, “Cry Me a River,” showed promise, but it’s later tunes like monster hit “SexyBack” and the excellent “Mirrors” off his new album “The 20/20 Experience” (which will be released Tuesday) that showcase his musical skills.
JT has also built quite a movie profile as well — “Alpha Dog,” “The Social Network,” “Bad Teacher,” “In Time,” “Trouble With the Curve,” “Friends With Benefits” — but perhaps his most impressive work has been as host or performer on “Saturday Night Live,” where he’s shown a comedic touch few current entertainers can match.
His singing/dancing costumed pitchman routine for places like “Veganville” are always hilarious; his song parodies “---- in a Box” and “Mother Lover” with former SNL cast member Andy Samberg are classics, and the backup dancer routine he did with Beyonce Knowles may be one of the Top 10 funniest skits ever on the late-night comedy show.
Add that all up, and it points to one of the most versatile performers of this time. Add all my gushing up, and I have to admit you can’t help but come to one conclusion: man-crush.
So, yes, when Timberlake’s new album is released Tuesday, I will be among the first around here to get my copy. I’ll probably have my 10-year-old daughter buy it for me, though.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.