The Internet overflowed into the Midway Café last Saturday night — lesbianswholooklikejustinbieber.tumblr.com had apparently sprung a leak, and the Jamaica Plain bar was filled with Justin Bieber clones. They were everywhere, sipping PBRs, grinding to Lauryn Hill, smoking outside: Bandanna Bieber, Flannel Bieber, even one Latina Bieber. Welcome to the "Biebers and Peebers: Queers Who Look Like Justin Bieber Look-A-Like Contest," sponsored by PBR and JP queer/trans dance night the Neighborhood.
By the time I arrived, the event had drawn quite a crowd, but I was pretty sure I had spotted the winner the minute I walked in. The favored contender's name: Drake. Look: classic Bieber — from the impossibly beautiful feathered 'do to the skinny jeans and pop-idol strut. (I also found one dead-on Kate Gosselin look-alike, but I didn't have the heart to tell her she was at the wrong contest.)
"I like the chances of this girl, once she takes off her hipster glasses," a crowd-watcher beside me murmured to her friend, nodding at one contestant. I wanted to tell her she was wrong, that I had already found him, but that would have been unsportsmanlike.
Scoping out the contenders lined up outside the Midway, I found one Bieber sorta-look-alike smoking a cig on the sidewalk. "I think the number of PBRs I drink is in direct proportion to how foggy my glasses get," she said. "It's like someone jizzed on them." I moved on. Justin Bieber would never talk that way.
The contest kicked off around midnight. On hand to emcee the showdown was drag diva Becca D'Bus (a/k/a Eugene Tan), the one person in the place who would never be mistaken for a Bieber. Sporting a linebacker build, a fluorescent mu-mu, a sparkly fright wig, and three pounds of stage makeup, D'Bus dwarfed the half-dozen pint-size Bieber wannabes clustered around her. "It's not a Justin Bieber moment until somebody fucking faints," D'Bus announced.
The whole thing lasted a frenzied 15 minutes, the crowd whistling and cheering as each Bieber hopeful gave their hair his signature head flip. The judging was simple: whoever got the most crowd love won. Though contestant Finn (who brought a little less Bieber-face and a lot more swagger) made for some stiff competition, it came down, almost unanimously, to Drake. The prize: a whole shitload of PBR swag — including a tent.
"It feels great," said Drake, who had never actually listened to the singer before (nor had most people I asked). "I saw him once in a music video, and I thought he was actually a lesbian who had it made it into mainstream pop, and I thought that was cool." She then shoved off into the crowd, Bieber-coif flying.
D'Bus was hesitant to say whether she thought the right person had won. "But is there really a right person to win a Justin Bieber look-alike contest?" she asked. "I mean, I think I had a good chance at one point. Me and my beaver. I'd love to see you print that."
Done, and done.