Justin Bieber explains his VMAs tears: ‘Last time I was at an awards show, I was booed’

Justin Bieber’s tearful conclusion to his MTV Video Music Awards performance on Sunday got tongues a-waggin’ following the public display of emotion.

On “The Tonight Show” on Wednesday, host Jimmy Fallon insisted on getting to the bottom of his guest Bieber’s waterworks.

“It was just so overwhelming for me. Everything. The performance. I missed some cues, so I was a little disappointed,” Bieber said of his medley, which included the debut of his latest single, “What Do You Mean?” (You know, the one Lena Dunham seemed to diss.)

The embattled YouTube sensation has been working methodically to rehabilitate his public image following run-ins with the law and other what-was-he-thinking antics, and the latest development in his musical comeback was hailed by a welcoming audience. (Bieber’s new studio album drops Nov. 13.)


“I wasn’t expecting them to support me in the way they did,” Bieber explained. "... Last time I was at an awards show, I was booed. I think it’s just like I worked so hard on this album. I worked so hard at just becoming the man I want to become. Stepping into situations, you can’t help but feel judged. So, I was just feeling judged and wanting to win so badly, and just wanting to do what I love so badly that I just put everything on the line.

“And I think that that was what was so special about the emotional moment at the end, that it was authentic. It was real. It was like I was really just wanting it so bad,” he said.

Fallon quipped that perhaps the harness he was wearing for the performance finale had pulled on his junk and loosened up the tears. Jokes aside, as usual, the host cheered his guest on and applauded Bieber’s transformation, which prompted the singer to explain his downfall.

“What it was is that I had a bunch of knuckleheads around me; that was pretty much it. [It’s] never good to have knuckleheads around,” Bieber said of his questionable behavior.

“I just went through a place of just trying to figure it out and making decisions. You have to figure out what you’re OK with and you’re not OK with, but you have to test the waters. I just happened to be in the spotlight, in front of cameras all the time, and they caught all those moments.”

Twitter: @NardineSaad