updated 08/01/2012 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 08/01/2012 AT 9:00 AM ET
“I had a blast on the show the first time,” he tells PEOPLE, “so I wanted to do it again.”
Fatone competed in season 4, placing second to champ Apolo Anton Ohno, who’ll also compete on the upcoming edition of the show, which premieres Sept. 24 on ABC. But this time, Fatone says he knows how to score the elusive mirror-ball trophy.
“I’m not going to take stuff too seriously,” he says. “Dancing is supposed to be fun and have emotion. I’m just going to be myself – that’s all I can be.”
Although he learned dance moves as part of *NSYNC, Fatone, 35, is aware he has his work cut out for him. “The worst part is the long rehearsal hours,” he says. “But I like pushing myself and hanging out with the other cast members.”
In 2010, he told PEOPLE that he bonded with the his season’s entire cast, including Ohno. “It was one of the best experiences of my career,” he said. “I met some great people, and we really liked each other and wanted to see each other succeed.”
But there can only be one victor. Camaraderie aside, Fatone wants to make one thing perfectly clear: He doesn’t want to be the runner up again. “I came in second the last time,” he says. “Now I want to win.”