Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” Video Premieres: What Happened To The Original Concept?

Becky Bain | May 3, 2012 - 5:14 pm

The original concept for Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” video, under the direction of Colin Tilley, included the 18-year-old singer being groped by several female handsdancing in front of a large white spotlight a la Michael Jackson, posing menacingly in front of a fire and floating underwater. It was quite ominous and abstract, but visually striking and a much more mature feeling than what we expected from Bieber. Maybe a little bit too mature, since the singer scrapped all that in favor of riding around in cars and having a rooftop dance party with a Selena Gomez-look-alike. 

In his post-premiere MTV interview, Bieber claimed he “changed things up” from the scenes he teased to the public, wording it in a way that it might seem he was punking us all the whole time. (A few of those icy blue scenes managed to make the cut, briefly appearing on a cell phone screen at the beginning of the clip.) Though neither Bieber nor MTV went into detail about why the original concept and director were changed at the last minute, we wouldn’t be surprised if it were due to the original scenes being bit too sophisticated and adult for Bieber’s pre-teen audience.

Director X, who helmed the second and final version of “Boyfriend”, says as much. “It was just cars and the simplicity that they liked,” he told MTV. “Cars, girls, just young people hanging out, having fun, that kind of thing. When I heard it, I thought that’s what it should be… From what they wanted to do with Justin and the song and who he is and his age now, I thought that was it. They should expect the Justin they know, just a little more grown-up.”

We’d be amiss to ignore the fact that this concept for “Boyfriend” strikes a significant similarity to *NSYNC’s “Girlfriend” video (a fact which Sway even points out to Bieber during his Q&A). Does this make the two videos a couple?


What do you think of “Boyfriend”? Would you rather they had stuck with the original concept, or is the final version the way it should have always been? Let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.