Justin Bieber made his triumphant return to the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday, but in spite of his dancing and harness work, it was the emotional breakdown at the end of his performance that resonated with viewers. The 21-year-old singer explained why he cried on NBC's The Tonight Show Wednesday.
"Harnesses suck, right?" Bieber joked, adding, "It pulls on the junk."
When Jimmy Fallon asked why he broke down in tears, Bieber admitted, "It was so overwhelming for me, everything—just the performance. I missed some cues, so I was a little disappointed at that, and just everyone and just their support. I was, honestly—let me breathe for a second—I just wasn't expecting them to support me in the way they did. Last time I was at an awards show, I was booed."
"I think it's just like I've worked so hard at this album, I've worked so hard at just becoming the man I want to become, and then stepping into situations, you just can't help but feel judged," the "What Do You Mean?" singer continued. "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. I don't know. I'm just ranting now."
In an attempt to lighten the mood, Fallon jokes that Bieber's "junk was being pulled by the harness." The "Eenie Meenie" singer laughed, adding, "It was, right?"
Fallon also referenced Bieber's trouble-making past and run-ins with the law. Bieber didn't deny his mistakes, explaining, "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. 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."
People laughed, so he asked, "You guys saying you didn't have those moments?"
Fallon laughed, too, joking, "Well, not as much as you did!"
Bieber argued, "But I had more accessibility!"
On a serious note, Fallon was proud to see Bieber back on top. "What makes a man, I think, is not how much you can fight, but after you get knocked down, can you get up? And, boy, did you get up!" he said. "And, boy, did you come back fighting!"
During his appearance on The Tonight Show, Bieber also announced that his album will be released Nov. 13, had a drum-off with Questlove, performed "What Do You Mean?" and joined Fallon in singing "Where Are Ü Now" as a country ballad.
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