Also, remember he was a Disney kid before he joined NSYNC, starring on the New Mickey Mouse Club. It's not a guarantee of success, but they do train them in the basics of acting pretty well, and if the kid has talent, it can give them a good boost as they get older.
Kurt Russell started out similar, cutting his teeth on Disney roles before moving on to more serious fare.
Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
I'm really not a fan of his music either but I really like his "Lovestoned/I think that she knows". I have seen Alpha Dog, Friends With Benefits, Bad Teacher and In Time with him; now I'll always looking forward to his next films cause I really like JT 'the actor'... He can act and so far I think he has always given an honest and sometimes more than decent performance in his films. He's a smart guy.
I think JT is a good actor. All those film you just mentioned I have them all apart from bad teacher.
The plot of this film was just so ridiculous it was difficult to suspend disbelief. Nothing added up plot wise and the directing was poor. JT can act if given proper direction and a good script, but he had neither in this low quality film.