Life has come full circle for Nick Lachey. The singer often visited MTV's TRL studios 15 years ago to perform or promote his boy band 98 Degrees. Starting Monday, Lachey will return to the studio that launched his career, but this time, he'll be the one asking the questions as the new host of VH1's Big Morning Buzz Live.
On Monday (10 a.m. ET/PT), Big Morning Buzz kicks off its brand new season with a revamped set and its new host. Although Lachey, 40, has plenty of experience hosting (most recently on NBC's The Sing-Off), the singer admits his new gig will take some getting used to.
"It's a learning curve," he tells TVGuide.com. "But I have been on the other side and know what I enjoy being asked and what works, so I try to bring that sensibility to my job now. I'll get better the more I do it, but it's like a conversation — you don't want it to be an inquisition. I've made it very clear I'm not going to be the guy to go for the dagger or get the exclusive. I want to get a good interview, [have] friendly banter, and for [the guest] to feel like the next time they're in New York they want to talk to me again."
The lineup of guests for Lachey's first week include Sophia Bush, Lea Michele and the band The Fray. And yes, we asked Lachey about reuniting with Bush after his legendary guest-starring role on One Tree Hill. "I've stayed friends with Sophia," he says. "She's a great girl, so it's always nice to see her and I'm glad she came to do this. That was a fun show, a fun cast and we had a great time." (He also hints that he might be asking her how his kissing compared to the rest of her Tree Hill costars.)
Celebrity interviews aside, Lachey promises he's up for anything when it comes to lifestyle segments on the show. "We're adding cooking, we have fitness, fashion — fitness I can get into, the fashion and cooking I'll sit back and learn as much as I can," he says. "The cool thing is that it's about pop culture and our lives, so it's an open book to anything. To me, the name of the game is to have fun and for the audience have fun and enjoy being on this journey with us. My goal is to be the ringleader of this big fun circus."
And yes, he's really game for anything. Lachey played along when we asked him to caption some of our favorite '90s pictures of him and his band. Check out his answers below and don't forget to tune in to VH1's Big Morning Buzz weekdays at 10 a.m. ET/PT.
"We've had some horrible fashion moments as a group and unfortunately all of them are on camera," Lachey says about the photo below. "This is 98 Degrees after they just got through doing a pit change at the Daytona 500. It was our coverall look."
"There are so many things wrong with this picture," Lachey says. "I'm from Cincinnati, why am I wearing a Cleveland jersey?"
"We're too sexy for this industry," Lachey said about this shirtless gem.
"We were very militant, always ready for the fight," he said about wearing bullet-proof vests.
"This are our catchers' chest plate look, which never came off the way we wanted it to," Nick said about this performance shot.
"Overalls, never a good idea — especially matching ones," Lachey laughsabout this group shot. "These was never in style, even in the '90s! Can't even write that off to the time period. "