Justin Bieber didn’t “diss” or “scowl” during Pink’s performance at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, despite the usual attempt at manufacturing a celebrity feud for clickbait by an unreliable blog leading the gossip news charge.
Although multiple media outlets, including the Inquisitr, saw exactly the same crowd pan of Bieber’s expressionless face during Pink’s “Just Like Fire” rendition, Hollywood Life ran with the headline, “Justin Bieber Scowls During Pink’s Billboard Performance After Lip-Syncing His Own.”
Except, there was no “scowl.” Bieber wore an unreadable expression in photos that surfaced of him watching Pink, and it didn’t look like he had any particular view on the songstress’ stage spot one way or the other.
Take a look below at the Biebs’ brief, on-screen moment during “Just Like Fire.”
In reality, the video reveals Bieber’s facial expression was a non-event. Not to Hollywood Life, however. While the general consensus on Pink’s usual trapeze routine has been mixed, the gossip site appears to think there are rules about smiling or acting in a certain way for audience members.
Pink is always swinging from somebody’s ceiling…???? #BBMAs
— Pusha Bi. (@BiancaEnRogue) May 23, 2016
“Justin Bieber, 22, is apparently not a Pink fan,” the website presumes, before citing a clearly imaginary “source” to make up for the lack of any pictures or videos to support its claim that the Canadian “dissed” Pink.
The blog writes, “An eyewitness at the Billboard Music Awards tells HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY that Justin did the ultimate rude move during Pink’s epic show — he yawned! He was yawning through her performance and also yawning before accepting his award the source tells us.”
Bizarrely, not a single pic or video footage of Bieber’s alleged yawns have popped up anywhere. That’s more than just odd. It’s a sign of fabrication, which wouldn’t be a first for Hollywood Life.
— Shady Music Facts (@musicnews_shade) May 23, 2016
Consider that Bieber is one of the most scrutinized celebrities on the planet. There is very little he gets to do in public without acres of resulting over-analysis from fans, anti-fans, and media alike. How likely is it that there is no visual evidence of Bieber allegedly continually “yawning” through Pink’s Billboard’s performance, and supposedly before accepting his Top Male Artist award?
Hollywood Life continued with its assumption that Bieber was judging Pink because he didn’t smile like a Cheshire Cat during her performance, and added, “JB completely dissed her by looking super uninterested throughout the entire thing. Ugh.”
Whatever may or may not have been on the Biebs’ mind during Pink’s performance, the “Sorry” superstar took to Instagram a day after the Billboard Music Awards to share some insights into how he feels about awards shows, fame, and self-authenticity within the competitive and often superficial music industry.
I don't know about these award shows.. No disrespect to anybody at any of the shows or the people running it. Nothing but love for you guys and your support. But I don't feel good when I'm there nor after. I try to think of it as a celebration but can't help feeling like people are rating and grading my performance. 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. 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. 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. Sure there are people truly proud of others so I don't want to knock them I'm just looking at the vast majority. I just think to myself if I'm living my purpose I want the reward to be fulfillment. I'm getting awarded for the things that I'm doing and not for who I am which is understandable I know it would probably be hard to calculate and award someone's spirit lol. 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.. Sorry not sorry about grammar it's not my strong point
The singer opened up about why such events leave him feeling “hollow,” writing, “I don’t feel good when I’m there nor after.” He added, “I try to think of it as a celebration but can’t help feeling like people are rating and grading my performance.”
The Grammy winner went on to say, “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,” adding that he craves “fulfillment” and cannot “feel the recognition” or “authenticity” in award show settings.
Bieber acknowledged that awards shows obviously can’t calculate “someone’s spirit” and also made it clear that he isn’t criticizing those who find value in awards shows or those organizing the events, but he was simply sharing his own take on them.
The Purpose singer followed that up with a second post saying, “We all get caught up in striving for the approval of others,” alongside a back-facing selfie.
As for the reason (s) behind Hollywood Life’s transparent attempt to create yet another negative-messaging Bieber gossip story, sensationalist stories are a proven method of driving traffic to media across the board.
Hollywood Life previously topped Gossip Cop’s Worst Outlet for Celebrity Journalism survey in November 2014 and continues to peddle mostly dubious content. Gomez previously slammed the site as ““the worst” and ““never true”. Bieber also called out the blog’s “fake stories.”
As ever, readers are advised to always consider the quality of a source.
[Photo by Larry Marano / Getty Images]