I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit of a Justin Bieber fan. To be perfectly honest, I had never heard of him until about two months ago, but ever since Baby started playing on the radio, I’ve been into it. So when I heard he was arriving at Auckland Airport tonight, I had to camp out to see how it would all go down. I was expecting some fans (his videos have over 100 million hits on Youtube), but this was something else entirely. Teams of screaming preteens flocked the exit pathway, making all movement impossible. Posters ranged from the innocent – ‘I want to touch your hair’, to the raunchy – ‘You’ve been a bad boy, go to MY room’. But the noise was something else. “JUSTIN!!!!” “Baby, baby, baby ohhhhhhh!!!!” In all my 25 years, I’ve never seen anything like it.
When he finally did come in, the hysteria reached levels of insanity. Dressed in a blue hooded sweater and surrounded by three bodyguards and a fleet of policemen, he was wrenched through the heaving crowd and out towards the side exit. I was caught up amidst the mob, but as soon as I saw the direction they were taking him, I forced my way through, sprinted past McDonalds, out the West exit, up the narrow corridor and back into the action.
I managed to film about 13 seconds of good footage, about four of which actually pictured him. At one point I got very close to him and saw his face for a full second. The poor kid looked terrified. Dazed, shell-shocked, exhausted and scared.
And just like that, he was gone. Into the awaiting black minivan, out past a police barricade and down the road, followed by scores of fans on foot.
I hear he’s here for 18 hours of publicity then onto his next destination. What a life.
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