Whichever way you look at it, Justin Bieber's time in London has been rather disastrous. Allegedly getting turned away from clubs, turning up on stage 2 hours late, leaving the stage feeling sick and lunging at a paparazzi have been just some of the events that have led to negative media coverage.
However, I do think that at the end of the day, we have to remember he's just a 19-year-old boy. I feel sorry for him! He's two years older than me, the same age as my friends' siblings and he has been subject to this media frenzy for many years.
I actually went to his concert in London on Tuesday and Thursday (don't judge...). Tuesday's concert went super smoothly, everything was on time and expectations were high following his disappointing delay the previous night. It was a pretty amazing show, and I can't help thinking it was kind of a shame the critics had all been there Monday night. He got two out of five stars in many British newspapers because of the late start -- and okay, two hours is a really long time on a Monday night when there are tons of kids present who should be in bed -- but honestly, the production was really, really good.
Thursday, however, was a different story. Bieber complained throughout the concert of being short of breath, fell down on the steps whilst running up them, and during one of the songs near the end of the set, he actually left the stage. I was left listening to Nicki Minaj tracks while we waited for information, along with the rest of the crowd filling the O2 arena. Finally, his manager Scooter Braun came on stage to announce that Bieber was with paramedics and would be back on stage in 5 minutes. Sadly this wasn't enough for many members of the audience, who started to leave. Being totally honest, it was slightly worrying when he did come back on and continue dancing so energetically, but he managed to finish the set for the hard-core fans who stayed till the end. It would have been easy for him and his team to cancel the rest of the show. After all, he was having some problems breathing and that's not his fault. But credit to Bieber where it's due: he did perform for those who were left and was afterwards taken to hospital.
Through all the negative publicity he's received over this past week, no one has really stopped to consider what went well for him, and I think that's a shame. At least for famous bands like the Beatles, or more recently One Direction, the members have each other to support them and to mess around with. Bieber, on the other hand, is more or less on his own. A teenage boy growing up surrounded mostly by adults is clearly likely to go a little off the rails at some point, but maybe he just needs a break.
To me, it seems like he needs to be taken better care of, and maybe given some time off to grow up. It's true, some people love to hate Bieber, but at the end of the day, he's still a mega successful, world-famous star -- no matter what people write about him in the papers.