Three years ago Justin Bieber shared a video of he and his friends lip syncing to a song that, at the time, no one had ever heard of. That song was Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” and within a few months it was the official Song of the Summer. Back then, Bieber was 17, in love with Selena Gomez, and the last person anyone expected to be roasted on Comedy Central.
Yesterday Bieber shared a similar video, but with a new Carly Rae song (“I Really Like You”), new tattoos, new abs, and new friends. It’s the same general idea, only terrifying. What was originally a silly, inoffensive video of a super rich and mega famous teen and his slightly less rich and famous friends playfully lip syncing a catchy little ditty is now the trailer for a found footage horror movie about a deranged killer who threatens to kill his captives if they stop lip syncing a catchy little ditty.
While some moments in the video are the intended amount of cute (Ariana Grande and her pals are loving every minute of it and David Foster’s total confusion is kind of adorable), Bieber’s presence is a real downer. Each time he appears you wish he weren’t there, that he were somewhere—anywhere—else. Away from cameras, away from Kendall, and away from that awful hat.
We’ve watched the House of Bieber crumble as he’s succumbed to the nearly inevitable perils of superstardom over the past three years. And, in the past few months, we’ve watched his futile attempts to rebuild it. There was an immediately lampooned contract with Calvin Klein, an apology on Ellen, a Comedy Central Roast, and now...this. Not something new, but something old. This video is hard to watch not only because of the eerie camera placement and we-don’t-all-know-the-words lip syncing, but because it feels like a failed attempt for Justin to return to his former, unsullied self.
Plus “I Really Like You” can’t hold a candle to “Call Me Maybe.”
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