On Jan. 4, VH1 will premiere Confessions of a Teen Idol, a show that places seven hunks from the ’80s and ‘90 in a house – and into group therapy – to examine fame: the addiction to it, the fall from it, the road to regain it. Together with “celebrity psychology expert” Cooper Lawrence, hosts/exec producers Scott Baio and Jason Hervey (Wayne from The Wonder Years) will give, pictured from left to right, Jeremy Jackson, Christopher Atkins, Jamie Walters, Billy Hufsey, Eric Nies, Adrian Zmed, and David Chokachi, the tools they need to stage comebacks. Together with you, PopWatch is offering two of these Idols the opportunity to earn your admiration by answering reader questions. So, vote for the hunk you most want us to interview – and submit your questions for him – by noon ET Thursday. We’ll chat up the two most popular picks and post their responses before the show premieres. Again, your options are:
• Adrian Zmed, the star of T.J. Hooker, Grease 2, and Bachelor Party, who insists in the premiere that “I wanted to cure cancer with my acting – that’s how serious I was about it.” After walking away from T.J. Hooker, he didn’t get the kinds of roles he hoped for. He now performs on a cruise ship.
• Christopher Atkins, the star of The Blue Lagoon, The Pirate Movie, and A Night in Heaven, who admits that he was at Studio 54 every night – and that the drinking and partying cost him Kevin Bacon’s role in Footloose. Now, he builds pools.
• David Chokachi, who confirms that as a star of Baywatch, one did have your pickings of the ladies. “The extras, you know, that are hanging out, if you’re bored, you’re like, ‘Hmmm, wanna go to the trailer?”” He says Hollywood’s bias against Baywatch actors drowned his career and hopes that this show allows casting agents to look past his abs and see his depth and education.
• Jamie Walters, who thinks he might’ve bailed too soon when work started drying up and all people wanted to know was why he pushed Donna down the stairs on Beverly Hills, 90210. (It was character, Ray, people.) Now a firefighter/paramedic, the voice of the No. 1 hit “How Do You Talk to An Angel” would like another record deal.
• Eric Nies, from MTV’s original Real World and The Grind, who claims a “manipulating vampire” manager took him so low that he contemplated suicide. (He went home to his mother instead.) Now a life coach who rehabilitates drug addicts, he arrives with supplies for his raw food lifestyle and is eager to share with his housemates: “If I can share some knowledge with them, it would be, ‘Make sure that your colon is clean.” (One of his nicknames is Hawaiian for “abundance of poop,” he says.)
• Billy Hufsey, the Fame star joined corporate America after “retiring” from show business. He still considers himself a triple threat.
• Jeremy Jackson, who played David Hasselhoff’s son on Baywatch and also speaks of those trailers rockin’, was later arrested for manufacturing meth. He credits the resulting six-month rehab stint with turning his life around and making him the ideal housemate: “Living with six other guys is not gonna be a problem. I’ve been to jail. I’ve been to rehab five times. I’m accustomed to being stuck in rooms with other guys.”
More on teen idols and hotties:
Q&A: Pillow Talk With Scott Baio
PopWatch Confessional: The person you wrote a fan letter to
PopWatch’s “Inappropriate Crushes” posts
EW’s Ultimate Hotties: Polls and galleries