Lance Bass: "New Orleans is my favorite city in the world, it really is. I've been coming here my whole life. I was born just across the border here [in Laurel, Mississippi]…and Turkey [Michael Turchin] also has roots here. His grandfather went to Tulane, and in fact the baseball stadium here is called Turchin Stadium…it's named after his grandfather. So he has major roots here.
It was an amazing week—I had such an amazing reunion with the guys from *NSYNC last Sunday [at the VMAs], [we went] to Miami to visit [Michael's] family, I was in Jackson, Mississippi [visiting] my family…[and] I got to bring a lot of my high school friends to New Orleans [this weekend], so we have tons of Mississippi friends [and] tons of LA friends [here with us, and]…I thought it was the perfect combination [of people and location] to do what I've been wanting to do for a while, which is propose.
…it was such an amazing moment for me. A few days ago [I thought] this is the place, this is definitely the place, because I knew all my friends were going to be down here from Mississippi and LA. I wanted to be surrounded by loved ones and [I thought] this has to be it. So we get down here, and the only thing missing was the ring! And I can't [easily] lose Turkey, we're always together, so [I was trying to figure out] how am I going to get away and not make it obvious. So [my friend from home] Ty, we were born in the same place, Laurel, Mississippi…we were all at lunch and made up a story that Ty had a surprise that he only wanted to show me. So we [left lunch]…[but] trying to find a ring here [was]…impossible. They don't make guy rings, someone needs to start…a line [of] gay man rings…I went to so many jewelry stores and finally ended up going to Saks, found this amazing David Yurman ring…I looked at it [and knew immediately] 'That's the one!' I put it in a ring box, tried hiding it, [but] the ring box was poking out everywhere…[I was thinking] 'He's going to see this!'
We went to eat with my friends from high school…we had a high school reunion, basically. After that, all my friends knew what was going to happen…so as were walking to this karaoke place here [called] Cat's Meow—me and my friends from Mississippi, that is our joint, that's where we go sing [and have] so much fun—we peeled away…
My favorite place in New Orleans is a place called Jackson Square…it's a beautiful park right in front of this gorgeous church, and I always knew that's where I wanted to propose. Well, [when we got there I find out that] they locked all the gates this weekend, and you can't get into the park. So we peeled off, and I told him we [had] to pick up [Dirty Pop/SiriusXM] producer Sam up…so as we were walking to 'pick up Sam,' I started talking about the last two and half years [and] I got down on one knee and I proposed, right in front of Jackson Square, my favorite place. And it was great too because a couple just happened to see…I was down on one knee [for only about]…two seconds…right as I was about to propose, I was pretty nervous."
Michael Turchin: "And I had no idea."
Lance Bass: "It was great because this couple who had also proposed right at this same spot, they had just gotten married and said 'We just saw you propose, can we please take your camera and take a picture [of you] on your knee?' So I will have that for the rest of my life.
He is going to be a great husband and the best thing is…he is going to be such a great dad…I am a traditionalist, I'm from Mississippi…I called [his] parents to ask permission before I proposed yesterday…[and] I told my parents, and they're all really, really happy. We are just going to enjoy the engagement, we're not getting married anytime soon. We are just going to enjoy this moment. We will not get married this year—it will probably be next year.
This was the cherry on the top [of an amazing few weeks]. We've been on the road for about three weeks now and it's just been one of the best trips ever…I couldn't think of a better way to end [it].
What was so great is, my friends from Mississippi, they don't know many gay people. When I was in high school, I wasn't out…it was so amazing to see my girlfriends [from home] who all have three kids, are married…when I walked into Cat's Meow…they gave us the biggest hugs, and they were…celebrating for us…to see that much love for a gay couple [was amazing]…Mississippi gets a bad rap, but I'm telling you, especially our generation, they don't care. It was such a loving atmosphere. And last night we came here [to] The Bourbon Pub on Bourbon Street, and I had my gay friends and I had my straight friends...and they got on the dance floor for at least two hours…everybody just partied and danced…we were twerking…
I love his family, both…of our families are very tight, so I knew I couldn't tell them too early because I knew his [twin] sister would probably leak it…you know twins, they [have] that telepathic [connection]. I had to of course ask [his] twin [sister for her permission] too, so [Michael's] mom, dad and twin got asked at the same time."
Michael Turchin: "Her response was priceless…[she said] '…he's getting engaged before me?!'"