JC Chasez would rather not be compared to Simon Cowell just because he’s a judge on MTV’s wildly popular competitive dance show, America’s Best Dance Crew.

“Everyone says that but I’ve never once said anything mean,” explains the 32-year-old former ’N SYNC singer who, like Cowell, entices boos from the crowd for his harsh critiques, even to seemingly perfect routines. Chasez is a stickler for “details.”

“I’ve never said, like, I’d rather stab myself in the eye than watch you guys dance,’” he says indignantly. “I give critiques, you know, because I want it to be the best it can possibly be. I want them to achieve their maximum potential.”

If Chasez sounds like a relentless stage mom, it’s because of all those years he spent in the spotlight as a Mouseketeer on Disney’s Mickey ouse Club where, together with pals such as Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, he learned the kind of skills that made ’N SYNC “the biggest band in the world” at the time, selling 56 million records worldwide.

Now, the singer/songwriter from Maryland gets to share this knowledge when he reprises his judging duties on the second season of America’s Best Dance Crew, premiering on June 19. The show, a brainchild of Randy Jackson, capitalizes on the country’s current obsession with dance. Each week, hip hop crews battle it out to see who can krump, pop lock, and flip the best.

The response to the first season was so overwhelming (7.9 million regular viewers and more than 38 million voted during the finale) that MTV couldn’t wait to bring it back. When viewers aren’t on the couch watching the show, they’re online ripping Chasez and fellow judge ’Lil Mama apart for their critiquing style. “Ive been performing since I was 12,” says Chasez. “The scope of it is, I spent 8 years in a band that traveled the world and played the biggest venues in the world. I actually lived in the group dynamic from the onstage point of view of what we wanted to project.”

Chasez doesn’t plan on revisiting the boy band setting anytime soon, though. He’s busy working on an album (Timberlake is on board as a producer) that he aims to release this fall and is starring in a movie. “I get excited about art,” he says, “once you become part of something you want it to be the best it can possibly be, so you feel like if you can add to it you do it.”

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