Forty years ago, throngs of screaming girls waved signs and mobbed their musical idols in a frenzy that was dubbed Beatlemania. These days, you might call it Bieber-mania.
Justin Bieber is a 15-year-old from Stratford who is being hailed as the newest pop sensation. Bieber is the protégé of R&B artist Usher and the latest obsession for teens such as Elmira’s Amara Pope and her friend Brenda Coroy.
The girls became fans after seeing the music video for his single “One Time” and watching clips of Bieber singing on Youtube. When Bieber challenged fans to create their own videos promoting his single, with the opportunity to meet him as the prize, Pope and Coroy decided to enter.
Pope, 15, and Coroy, 16, have been friends since their first day of class in Grade 9 at Cameron Heights. The two girls are among Bieber’s 218,000 friends on Facebook, and they caught a glimpse of him in person earlier this month. Bieber made an appearance at Kitchener radio station 91.5 The Beat, and Pope and Coroy waited three hours outside the station to see him.
Pope brought along a picture she drew of Bieber, attached to a flower. Bieber jumped in his car before they could get an autograph, but Pope shoved her way through the crowd of girls, jumped up on the flowerbed next to his car, and hurled the flower at him. To her great delight, he caught it.
After that brief brush with their crush, the girls decided to enter the contest.
“We didn’t know if we could win, we just did it for fun,” Pope said.
Coroy’s mom suggested shooting part of the video in Stratford, so Pope and Coroy recruited a couple of helpers and headed for Bieber’s hometown. Their friend Meera Sivakumar operated the camera while the girls waved posters and handed out cookies to passersby, encouraging them to download Bieber’s song from iTunes.
“We tried to do something different because people mostly did the same thing, just putting posters all over,” Pope said.
They also tried to put something of their personalities into the video: Pope drew another picture of Bieber, and Coroy filmed a scene in her field hockey gear. Their favourite part of the film wasn’t planned; it started raining while they were filming some scenes inside, so on impulse they ran out and danced in the rain.
It took them three days to film the video and another two to figure out how to upload it to Youtube, where it has already garnered more than 700 views. To view their entry, search “amarapope” on Youtube.
The winning video will be picked based on humour, creativity and view count. There are already more than 600 entries, but so far, the girls have the only video that was filmed in Stratford.
The winner of the contest won’t be announced until Sept. 1. Pope and Coroy have something else to look forward to in the meantime; at the end of August, they’re going to see the Jonas Brothers in concert in Toronto.
The girls are big fans of the Jonas Brothers; Pope’s bedroom is plastered with posters of the trio, and they’ve been counting down to the concert for months.
So who’s cuter?
“I like Justin Bieber a bit more now,” Pope confessed. “I’m kind of Jonas Brother obsessed, but there’s only one of Justin Bieber.”