What happens when you get a bunch of testosterone-addled alpha males together on a tour bus?
Jeff Timmons knows the answer – and it isn’t always pretty.
But the singer, 41, is not talking about his time with boy band 98 Degrees. He’s talking about Men of the Strip, a Magic Mike-style male revue that he co-created.
Like all male revues, the performers have chiseled abs and revealing costumes. But unlike many shows of its type, Timmons requires that the dancers can sing, as well.
Earlier this year, the group of eight guys embarked on a 42-city nationwide tour. To hear Timmons talk about it, the experience was like being in a frat house on wheels.
“So I was on a cramped tour bus with a bunch of burly dudes,” Timmons, who has a stripper-ready body himself these days, says with a laugh.
“Some of them weren’t the cleanest guys in the world. You get a bunch of strong personalities in a confined space, and things get kind of crazy. They are competitive guys. When you put them all together, they can get on each other’s nerves. Basically, we would show up to a city, do a show, and then stay in a dive motel somewhere. It wasn’t glamorous.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the biggest challenges was keeping the fans at bay.
“We’d show up on the tour bus, and people would surround us, just mobbing us. They’d take pictures. They’d get really excited that we were there,” recalls Timmons. “But sometimes, the girls would end up on the tour bus and we’d have to kick them off. Also, not everyone was always happy to see us when we’d roll into town. Once, some local college students got into a fistfight with one of our guys. A lot of crazy things happened.”
“In the morning when it was time to leave town, we’d have to wrangle up some of the guys who were nowhere to be seen,” says Timmons. “We had a lot of partiers on the bus; we’d have to go find them! We actually went through a bunch of different members, because some guys got fired while on the road.”
Men of the Strip premieres as a two-hour movie event on E! “You see a little bit of the audition process,” says Timmons, “but then you also see how they navigate being on stage and the drama behind it. People are going to think they know what male strippers are all about, but each of these guys are unique and interesting.”
And will Timmons be stripping down for the show?
“You’ll see a lot of me,” he promises, “but I won’t tell you exactly how much.”
The two-hour reality movie event Men of the Strip airs Sunday, June 1, at 10/9c on E!