Justin Bieber just posted a confused and somewhat hypocritical rant to Instagram in regard to awards shows, pointing out their obvious flaws and basically asking awards shows at large, “What do you mean?” (“Sorry,” we couldn’t help it.) Though his post raised valid arguments, calling out the inauthenticity of such spectacles and musing, “I’m getting awarded for the things that I’m doing and not for who I am,” he also performed at the live Billboard Music Awards last night in Las Vegas, and likely received a pretty penny for doing so.
It seems that the Biebs may have a one-way ticket heading straight for Britneyville circa 2007, as his behavior is getting increasingly bizarre. Bieber has always been a bit … off-kilter, but his antics of late have been downright odd, and this is just one more piece of the talented young singer’s peculiar puzzle.
In any event, he really went for it in his 291-word tirade, which was accompanied by a photograph of some grazing sheep, criticizing everyone from those who watch and comment on such shows to people who paste on “fake smiles” when they lose out to other artists. He also addressed the fact that these events recognize people for what they do, not who they are, though he acknowledged that “it would probably be hard to calculate and award someone’s spirit lol.” Indeed.
Though he was nominated for 10 awards, he won just two last night (though one was among the biggest honors): top male artist and top social media artist (whatever that is, and however that one is quantified). He lost in the categories of top artist (Adele), top Billboard 200 album (Adele’s 25), top Hot 100 artist (The Weeknd), top Billboard 200 artist (Adele), top song sales artist (The Weeknd), top radio songs artist (The Weeknd), top streaming song (The Weeknd’s “The Hills,” though two of Bieber’s songs—”Sorry” and “What Do You Mean?”—were in the running for this one), and top dance/electronic song (Major Lazer & DJ Snake featuring MØ‘s “Lean On” beat out “Where Are Ü Now,” Bieber’s collab with Skrillex & Diplo).
“I don’t know about these award shows,” he kicked off his rant. “No disrespect to anybody at any of the shows or the people running it.… But I don’t feel good when I’m there nor after.” The 22-year-old continued, “I try to think of it as a celebration but can’t help feeling like people are rating and grading my performance.” Well—that’s because they are, B. “A lot of people in the audience there to be seem worried about how much camera time they will get or who they can network with,” he mused, as though this were the first time this had ever occurred to him. “When I’m doing a regular show I feel they are there for the right reasons and to strictly have a good time! But these award shows seem so hollow.”
In true philosopher mode, he went on, “I get the premise is to award people for their accomplishments, but is it really? Because when I look in the audience I see a bunch of fake smiles so that when the camera hits them they look happy.” Pure poetry. He didn’t step on everyone’s toes, though, adding, “Sure there are people truly proud of others so I don’t want to knock them I’m just looking at the vast majority.” Maybe this is what they meant when they gave him the top social media artist nod. “I just think to myself if I’m living my purpose I want the reward to be fulfillment.… But When I do get these awards the temptation of putting my worth in what I do is so hard to fight!!!I am privileged and honored to be recognized by my peers in but in these settings I can’t feel the recognition. There’s an authenticity missing that I crave! And I wonder does anybody else.”
To further illustrate his point, he threw a second post up just after the first, adding, “We all get caught up in striving for the approval of others.” Mic down, Bieber.