Jimmy Fallon’s reveal that Justin Bieber backed out of a Tonight Show sketch at the last minute is certainly not intended to do the singer any favors.
The comic-talk show host unloaded in the cover story of Billboard’s latest issue, dishing on Justin Bieber, Hillary Clinton, Justin Timberlake, Donald Trump, and more.
Bieber appeared on The Tonight Show on September 2. Hours before the show aired, Fallon hyped up the then-prospective Bieber skit on Twitter, writing, “Tonight: Doing something fun with @justinbieber then he’s performing w/@TheRoots! Plus @SalmanRushdie is here! #FallonTonight.”
Unfortunately, the Biebs pulled out of the sketch on the day. It’s worth noting that two days beforehand, the 21-year-old sobbed at the end of his performance at the MTV VMAs. He later explained the moment during his chat with Fallon, admitting that he found the occasion and the audience’s positive reaction “so overwhelming.”
“I didn’t expect them to support me in the way they did. Last time I was at an awards show, I was booed,” Bieber noted.
In addition to being interviewed by Fallon, the singer reprised a drum-off with The Root’s Questlove. He also performed his new single “What Do You Mean?” and took part in an audience participation freestyle. Bieber also sang a country version of his Jack U hit, “Where Are U Now?”
After the show aired, the media’s response to Bieber’s appearance was supportive, which added to the warm reaction from the media to his emotional turn at the VMAs. So it’s a shame that Fallon decided to vent publicly about the singer, who needs all the positive press he can get.
In his Billboard profile, the 40-year-old didn’t reveal Bieber’s reasons for backing out of the Tonight skit, and it’s possible he may not know himself. He also didn’t say what the skit would have involved.
Bieber may have been nervous about acting in a skit when it came to it, or perhaps some other deeper issue lay behind his cancellation. Either way, Fallon certainly put the boot into the Canadian in the way he made his disclosure, although his words belie the depth of that on face value.
“It’s like, I don’t care,” Fallon told the music publication. “I mean, I wish they’d told me weeks ago because today’s the day, and now we have to crunch and think of an idea to do.” He went on to say, “And I have to apologize to the crew guys who built the set and the wardrobe people and everyone.”
Unsubtly complimenting his own hosting skills, the funnyman said of Bieber, “But it’s not what he does.”
“He’s here to sing, so as long as he’s comfortable and it sounds good then we did our job. And if I talk to him and make him funny and make him look good, that’s my job. That’s all I have to do,” he added.
During his chat with the singer on the show, Fallon praised the Biebs for getting “back up” after previous dramas. He also gushed over the star’s VMAs performance and said he understood the peer pressure he evidently felt that night.
Tinseltown at its finest.
[Images via NBC / Getty Images]