“We think this song is an anthem because everything Bieber does is epic,” said a newly combed and coiffed Sam Evans in this week’s episode of “Glee.” In an effort to win his girlfriend back, Sam and three of his fellow gleeks donned hair swoops that defied the laws of physics and showcased dance moves that fell somewhere between Michael Jackson and ‘N Sync. Together they made the Justin Bieber Experience – “Glee’s” tribute to the unavoidable pop star. In the hair-flipping, high-pitched madness they manage to win back the heart of Sam’s cheating girlfriend and the whole glee club breaks into song and dance. Life as usual.
Using “Glee” as a thermometer for all things pop culture, it can only be determined that Justin Bieber is hot. Way hot.
Why else would a group of 20-somethings (wait, WHAT? GLEE IS IN A HIGH SCHOOL?!) want to impersonate a 16-year old to gain affection? Bieber has bridged generational gaps, bringing together both pre-teens and middle-aged women in their swooning over his sweet widdle baby face. Purported girlfriend Selena Gomez may need to increase security as the hits taken out on the Disney channel starlet pile up. Let us take a moment to step back and look at this new phenomenon emerging around a boy who isn’t even old enough to drive by himself in his native country of Canada.
This is worse than the Jonas Brothers. This is Bieber Fever.
If his Grammy nominations were any indication, Bieber cannot be confined to the world of tweens. Nominated for both Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album for his full-length debut, My World 2.0, it was clear that the Academy put a lot of stock into this Usher protege. Not only was he a presence at the award show as a nominee, but armed with an acoustic guitar and smooth dance moves, the little bastard mounted the same stage that Bob Dylan would later grace.
Just as your blood starts to boil thinking about how he probably couldn’t name a single song of the living folk god that would take his spot, Usher comes on the stage for a heartfelt exchange. Sharing their previous conversations about “meant to be” moments, the hearts of even the harshest of critics grew in Grinch-style proportions. One up for Biebz on that one. He has got the face of a cherub after all.
Okay, surely his after show pity party will show some slip ups. Simultaneously surprising and unsurprising, Bieber was defeated in both of his nominations. The infamously crude Chelsea Handler hosted him on “Chelsea Lately” the next night. The hostess started in on the fresh wound, asking point blank if the crooner was disappointed in his loss. Rather than making a crack at who Esperanza Spalding was or lamenting his defeat, Bieber gave an honest, straightforward and tactful remark utilizing 16-year old charm that his peers reserve for the mother’s of girls they plan to try to get to second base with. Even the seasoned bitch Handler cracked a smile. She fell victim to the cherub face as well.
So where is his draw coming from? It can’t all be his looks because the JoBros had that times three, although the JoBro’s failings may have been in their pseudo-rock front. Perhaps it is the classic rise from rags to riches that Americans embrace so heartily. Bieber came from a single-parent household, owing much of his fame to his mother’s posted YouTube videos that were only intended for friends and relatives to see. The story is apparently compelling enough to warrant a 3-D biopic after only ONE full-length studio album.
Or maybe it is the need for something innocent in the music world that doesn’t belong exclusively to Disney.
We can only hope that Bieber does not follow in similar pop footsteps to the likes of Britney Spears. Spears too was plucked from obscurity and embraced by the public as a young, fresh face. …Baby One More Time even garnered a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. These parallels leave adoring Biebz fans biting their nails and bitter, struggling rock musicians counting minutes until Bieber’s downfall. Whether rooting for Hall of Fame status or rehab, no one could bear to watch the turbulent Spears saga repeat itself.