If you’re not a true Justin Bieber music fan and just a general pop culture junkie, the two most interesting bits of news about him concern his relationship with former Disney child star girlfriend Selena Gomez, and whether or not he will delve into a Britney Spears/Wacko Jacko like display of lunatic antics as his adolescence wanes.
Luckily, this Sunday at 9:00 p.m., we’ll see him answer these questions during what is being billed as his most revealing interview to date, with another superstar, Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey’s Oprah’s Next Chapter intimate interview format is promising revealing answers to, “his growth as an artist, the pitfalls of fame, living in the spotlight and girlfriend Selena Gomez.”
On “Good Morning America” Winfrey said that this interview will be the first ever to air globally, and is her “biggest since Michael Jackson in 1993.” Her comment inspired a slew of Jackson/Bieber comparisons, and Bieber himself has also said he aspires to be the next MJ.
In a preview, filmed before the couple’s breakup, Bieber is at white tablecloth restaurant in Chicago eating French fries and talking about the difficulties of a long distance relationship. Winfrey will also allegedly ask Bieber, "Do you feel that people are rooting for you or waiting for you to make a mistake?" Winfrey asks the question no one else will, “Will you destroy yourself for our spectacle?”
Like Jackson, Bieber is a best-selling artist who started young, and endures intense media scrutiny, but the interview similarities, like the artists, will probably end there. Jackson’s 1993 interview was the first he had given in 14 years. MJ let her into Neverland, which was akin to Willy Wonka opening the gates to the factory, and spoke of sex, insecurity, and insanity. For this interview, Oprah and Biebs go shopping at Ralph Lauren.
Bieber, for all his fame, doesn’t have the emotional gravitas or baggage of an adult yet. He also doesn’t appear to have a dark trauma waiting to manifest. This interview may boost the star’s profile, but it will also reveal to the world that he is still very young.
Bieber may be back together with Gomez, but let’s be honest; she is too much woman for him. Glamour named her one of its 2012 “Women of the Year” for UNICEF humanitarian efforts, while Bieber has never even been referred to in the press as a man. The guy wore overalls to meet the Canadian Prime Minister, which is worse than when the Northwestern lacrosse team wore flip flops to meet President Bush.
An insightful GQ profile on his 18th birthday focused entirely on whether or not the Biebs could be considered an adult. Reporter Drew Magary’s first impression was, “There is no way around it: Justin Bieber is a very small human being. He's 18, but he could easily pass for someone six years younger.” Later he wrote, “I want to take him on a college tour and buy him sixty cheeseburgers.”
Justin Beiber inspires fanatic worship in children, and paternal fondness in adults. Whether Oprah can reveal a multi-dimensional adolescent in 90 minutes remains to be seen, but what she will not show us is the next King of Pop.