Saturday, March 19, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Justin Bieber featuring Rascal Flatts - “That Should Be Me”

  Note: Justin Bieber and Rascal Flatts? Are we serious with this?

  We start off with Rascal Flatts pulling up outside what we’ll have to assume is a recording studio. Personal assistants are dashing about to make sure things don’t happen to make their bosses pissy, and we have a few quick scenes of The Flatts being summoned into the inner chamber where Justin is pretending to play a keyboard even though you know he really isn’t.

  I’m feel compelled to report that Justin’s hairdo is even more lesbian-affirming than ever. Really not understanding the statement he’s trying to make here.

  Anyway, Justin and The Flatts all high-five one another and bro-hug, acting like they are the best of friends and would easily take a grenade for one another. Then somebody hands Justin a guitar, and he starts pawing at the instrument and warbling in that nymphet way that he has. The Flatts get seated around him, pulling out their own instruments as people hop on stools. The Flatts lead singer (with his made-up name of Gary LeVox) looks especially uncomfortable being seated next to jail bait, especially bait of the same sex.

  But everyone’s a trooper, because there are bills to be paid, and they laugh it up while they… I don’t know what they are doing. Clearly the song has already been written, because we’re making the video at this point, but folks are acting like they are making the song up on the spot. Fine. Do what you must.

  Justin strums for a bit, then we get to the part where Rascal Flatts was apparently hired to provide input, but this basically consists of the gang harping “That should be ME!” at the same time that Justin does. Hmm. Could Justin really not sing this part with enough conviction by himself?

  Oh, wait, I lied a little bit. Gary Le Fake Name suddenly starts doing some improv. He’s still singing the same lines as Justin, but he does so just a bit after Justin does. This totally changes the song, right?

  One of the Personal Assistants comes wandering in, and gets all the guys to stop diddling around and follow her to another part of the studio. I guess it’s a really long journey, so they have Gary do some sidebar scenes with him singing all by himself and doing some hand movements that won’t disturb his gel-slicked hairdo. This lasts roughly 15 seconds before Justin barges in to wherever Gary is doing the extra material, and Justin jumps in on the warbling to remind us that this is HIS song. (His hair doesn’t move either, so I’m finally understanding what these two people might have in common.)

  Cut back to a scene with more Personal Assistants (how many PA’s do these people need?) grooming the guys for something important that must be coming up. (A meeting with the IRS?) Then, bam, we have Justin and The Flatts trying to look swellegant while standing around a piano and bellowing the song. I’m not really sure why they had to move to another location in the building to do this, but I’m not a music producer, which explains why the people on “American Idol” haven’t called me yet, even though they should. If Paula Abdul can do it for 8 seasons…

  Anyway, the guys keep doing whatever in front of the camera, with Gary upstaging Justin but I’m not sure that anyone realizes this. Oh wait, maybe somebody did, because we soon switch to Justin by himself in this new room with annoying spotlights lining the back wall. This lasts for only a few seconds, probably because someone other than me also noticed that Justin is wearing dog-tags. Like HE’S served in the military. We quickly cut back to the big group where we at least have people old enough to join the army.

  The main group warbles for a while, with some accent work being done by the piano player who is apparently passing a kidney stone during all of this. Then Gary hits a really high note while twirling like a windmill. I’m going to guess this is the climax of the song, but I’m often incredibly wrong when trying to determine the value of musically-unrelated people performing duets together.

  We now watch several jump cuts of everybody feeling the music in them after Gary held that dog-whistle high-note for such a long time. (Justin actually drops to his knees in another solo shot, but he might just be excited about getting to talk to Ryan Seacrest later that afternoon.)

  Then, for no explainable reason, we have everybody back in that other room where everybody first got together and pretended that they had something in common. Then we’re back in the big room with the cameras, then we have Justin by himself, then we have… I’m thinking none of this is really important at this point. I’ll just wait for something new to develop.

  But it doesn’t. We’re still jump-cutting around, with everybody more happy to be here than they should be, and Justin constantly on the verge of receiving a toaster oven from Melissa Etheridge. (Notice the way he walks. Would a straight woman do that?)

  At one point, Justin rips off his jacket and throws it on the floor in a moment of overwhelming emotional something or other. This changes nothing.

  Justin also does something involving hand puppets toward the very end of the song. I’m not even going to go there.

  Finally, things wind down with more shots of everybody pretending to have the best time of their lives, complete with dentist-assisted bright smiles, back-slapping and an astounding lack of conviction on anyone’s part. Then Justin exits stage right, leaving behind the jacket that he now apparently hates because it smells like shame…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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