This may be an unpopular opinion at the moment, but hear me out: Justin Timberlake is over. Like, so over. I know that many of us may have a soft spot for Timberlake because we still see him as the standout stud from NSYNC, but his time of being pop’s It Boy is over. You heard it first, ladies and gentlemen.
Since Timberlake burst onto the music scene, he has charmed pretty much the entire world. He was the star of NSYNC because let’s be honest, most of the other boy band members were just there for decoration. No offense to Joey Fatone (but Joey totally knows it’s true). Timberlake’s solo career has been hit after hit, with iconic music videos ("Cry Me A River" was actual art), multiple Grammy Awards, and sold out tours. Timberlake has also transitioned into acting and regularly appears in skits with Jimmy Fallon. Oh, and Timberlake performed at a little show called the 2018 Super Bowl halftime show. However, this house of cards is about to come tumbling down.
Of course, it may not be obvious right now because it’s only the beginning of the end for Timberlake, but there are all of the signs below. Read them and weep, ladies. Timberlake may have stolen your teenybopper heart, but he’s about to finally hit a long coming bump in the road. Have no fear, though. He’ll likely bounce back. I mean, Britney Spears went through 2007 and now she’s everything goals. Seriously have you SEEN Britney lately? She looks AH-MAZING. But this is about Justin Timberlake, so find the reasons he’s about to hit a rough patch below.
16 People Are Not Loving His Latest Album 'Man Of The Woods'
Fans have followed Timberlake through quite a few musical genres. He was introduced to the world while in NSYNC, at which point he rocked highlighted curls and sang bubblegum pop songs. From there, Timberlake launched a solo career that shifted from his boy band days, but not too much. His solo songs had influences of R&B, rock and roll, and jazz, but there was still a touch of pop. Also, Timberlake still looked the same. We all felt like we knew who Timberlake was, even when his music veered right or left. That was until Man of the Woods.
What happened to our beloved Justin Timberlake? Suddenly, he's wearing flannel, driving pickup trucks…
I can't. It’s all too much.
What is perhaps even odder Timberlake in cowboy boots is that the album itself is still mostly pop music. Timberlake paraded around like he was releasing a country, folk album all about chopping wood and going hunting and then he didn't. What gives?
15 He Opened A Pop-Up Shop With Woodsy Merchandise Because He’s Really A Man Of The Woods Now
Despite Timberlake’s success, fame, and wealth, one of his selling points has always been that he’s down to earth. He gets it, guys. Well, it seems not anymore. Recently, Timberlake opened a pop-up shop in NYC selling Man of the Woods merchandise. It wasn’t, like, a cute, fun store with a bunch of woodsy JT shirts. Instead, it was structured more like a museum or one of those expensive stores that make you scared to even look inside. The shoes were in glass cases because it's not like you'd have to try them on or anything. The ax for sale was literally in a plank of wood on the wall. On top of the pretentious display, some the merchandise was whoa-expensive: $800 for boots, $300 for a blanket, and $150 for shirts.
I’m not saying Timberlake is going down a Kanye West path, but yeah. Unfortunately, part of Timberlake’s appeal was that he wasn’t Kanye West, but now Timberlake's selling a $500 vest.
14 He Tried To Support The Time’s Up Movement And There Was Major Backlash
At the 2018 Golden Globes, everyone wore black as a show of solidarity against the poor treatment of women in the entertainment industry. Many attendees also wore Time’s Up pins. Timberlake both wore black and a Time's Up pin, which must mean he really supports women in the entertainment industry, right? It must mean Timberlake's a strong voice against those who take advantage of women in the entertainment industry, right? Um, no. Not at all.
In fact, Timberlake worked on Woody Allen’s most recent film and praised Allen’s artistry, even though Allen has long been accused of inappropriate behavior.
Dylan Farrow, Rose McGowan, and many others critiqued Timberlake for his willingness to embrace a movement because it looks good while doing absolutely nothing to further the movement.
In the current social climate of 2018, it’ll be difficult for Timberlake to shake off this mishap.
13 Jessica Biel Is Actually Doing It All, And Yet Timberlake Never Gives Her Credit
While posting the controversial Time’s Up photo, Timberlake captioned it with “Here we come!! And DAMN, my wife is hot! #TIMESUP #whywewearblack” I’ve already covered the issues people took with the hashtags, but there’s another issue here. Why didn’t Justin – I don’t know! – congratulate his hot wife on her achievement in earning her first ever Golden Globe nomination for her performance in The Sinner? Not to mention Biel also served as an executive producer on The Sinner. This is HUGE for Biel’s career, as she had previously been discarded as just another pretty actress. She’s making strides in her career based off her talent, yet Timberlake only posted about her being hot? I mean, Biel’s totally hot, but she’s also doing so much right now. Biel also launched Tryst Network, a positive community all about body education and acceptance. On top of that, Biel has long been a voice for women’s health, as she’s done plenty of sketches that hilariously educate young women on their bodies and their rights.
Honestly, Timberlake should just sit down and let Biel have the spotlight she totally deserves right now. He’d be much more likable for doing so.
12 He Shaded Artists With Las Vegas Residencies And, Honestly, He Should Be So Lucky
Shade is a subtle, dark art and Timberlake failed at it. In a recent interview, Timberlake was asked about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency. Before we all let out a collect “YAAAAAAS, BYE BYE BYE!” here’s his response: “It feels like you're planning your retirement.” Um, so that’s a no. Actually, that’s worse than a no.
That’s like saying the other artists who do Las Vegas residencies are planning their retirements.
Let us not forget that Lady Gaga just signed on for a Las Vegas residency and if there’s one celebrity you don’t shade, it’s Lady Gaga because she's such a good soul. Also, Timberlake’s ex Britney Spears just wrapped her Las Vegas residency that effective rebooted her entire career. By the way, Spears just signed a new deal for another Vegas residency because the queen knows where her money is coming from.
Timberlake’s comment may not have been meant to shade Lady Gaga and Britney Spears. That much is true. However, it’s clear that Timberlake thinks he’s above doing a Las Vegas residency, and he’s really not. If Lady Gaga does it, that means it's an honor for everyone to do it.
11 His Super Bowl Halftime Show Was Lackluster At Best
This is an article all about how Timberlake is over, yet he just performed at the Super Bowl halftime show, arguably the biggest musical performance of the year. These two facts – Timberlake being over and Timberlake performing at the halftime show – seem to be contradictory, but they aren’t. In fact, Timberlake’s Super Bowl halftime show seemed to highlight the fact that he’s so very over. It wasn’t that the performance was horrible per se. It just seemed lazy at best, as if Timberlake was phony it in and expect everyone to enjoy his performance because they always enjoy his performances. Sure, Timberlake both sang and danced, but he did neither in a manner one could consider excellent.
To make matters even worse, this show was hot on the heels of Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show, which will likely be talked about as one of the greatest halftime show performances ever. Lady Gaga literally caught a football and jumped off the stage! The true difference is in the seriousness with which both artists approached the halftime show. Lady Gaga reportedly trained for her show every day for over a month. She took to it like an athlete. And Timberlake did not. But hey, Vegas residencies are for people planning their retirement. Right, JT?
10 The Time There Was A Kid Literally On His Phone Instead Of Watching JT Perform
Over 103 million people tuned in for the 2018 Super Bowl. And sure, some of those people may have been entertained by Timberlake’s halftime performance. However, many of those people were more entertained by the kid who wasn’t watching Timberlake’s performance. Like, straight-up ignoring Timberlake's performance.
Near the end of the show, Timberlake got in the crowd and was surrounded by an enthusiastic bunch. Of course, these people were older and probably remember Timberlake before he went all Wild, Wild West on us.
The one younger face in the crowd was literally looking at his phone instead of Timberlake.
Many speculated the kid was playing Trivia HQ or Googling who exactly Timberlake was. Of course, the kid was really just trying to get his phone to work so he could document the fact that he was a foot away from Timberlake.
One thing is for sure, though: When you perform at the Superbowl halftime show, you want people to talk about your amazing performance, not the hilarious rando kid who wasn’t paying attention to you.
9 Most Of The Younger Generation Has No Idea Who He Is
The boy who was seemingly paying my attention to his phone rather than Timberlake had a good explanation: “I had a video going and my phone shut off, that’s why I was on my phone.” It turns out that he wanted to get a selfie with Timberlake because Timberlake is his “favorite singer.” The boy – now dubbed Selfie Kid – said, “I love him. He’s like my favorite singer, so I had to get a selfie with him.”
So apparently this kid does know who Timberlake is, but there are plenty of kids who actually don’t know who Timberlake is. Shocking, I know. But how exactly would the younger generation know him? His acting credits – Bad Teacher, The Social Network, Friends With Benefits – are generally targeted to an older audience. There was Trolls, but his actual face wasn’t in that movie. He’s also not really gifted in social media the way the Kardashian family is, which has helped them connect with the younger generation and ensure they’ll be around for the next ten years.
The Super Bowl halftime show was Timberlake’s chance to gain a younger group of fans who otherwise wouldn’t really know who he was, but he just looked tired the whole time. As the kids put it, his performance was cringy and no one, especially not the younger generation, is interested in cringy.
8 Timberlake’s Tribute To Prince Was Not Very Well-Received
Yes, one more note about Timberlake’s halftime performance and then we’ll move on. There was just so much to cover, y'all.
When you’re giving a so-so halftime performance the one thing you really don’t want to do is remind viewers of one of the best halftime show performances of all time, which is exactly what Timberlake did with his Prince tribute. In 2007, Prince performed at the halftime show singing “Purple Rain” in the rain. (ARE YOU KIDDING? It was the most amazing thing of all time!) Timberlake performed a tribute to Prince, who passed away in 2016. Prince was a lifelong Minnesota resident, so the fact that the Super Bowl took place in his home state made the tribute sentimental.
However, Prince fans weren’t too excited for the tribute, as Prince had stated he was against such tributes.
In an interview, Prince was asked, “With digital editing, it is now possible to create a situation where you could jam with any artist from the past. Would you ever consider doing something like that?" Prince answered, "Certainly not. That's the most demonic thing imaginable.”
So basically, Timberlake did something demonic to the legacy of Prince. Good job, JT.
There’s also the fact that Prince and Timberlake had their differences. When Timberlake released “Sexy Back,” Prince made a comment about how sexy never left. To which, YAS Prince. As a clapback, Timberlake wrote a verse in which he sings, “Don't hate on me just because you didn't come up with it.” Long story short, Timberlake would have been better off never touching the memory of Prince.
7 Even Before Timberlake’s Performance, There Was Outrage That He Was Performing At The Super Bowl
Before Timberlake even performed at the 2018 Super Bowl halftime show, he was getting heat for it. This is, of course, because of the infamous 2004 halftime show, which was the last time Timberlake performed.
In 2004, Timberlake performed on stage with Janet Jackson. At the end of the performance, a “wardrobe malfunction” (um, Timberlake literally flicking off her costume) revealed Jackson’s chest on national television. The fallout that ensued largely left Timberlake untouched and Jackson under fire. In fact, Jackson was set to perform at the Grammy Awards the following Sunday, but was immediately uninvited and largely blacklisted by Viacom, which includes BET, VH1, and MTV. As a black female musician, being blacklisted from such networks is a huge hindrance to one’s career. Jackson’s career never recovered. Meanwhile, Timberlake was still invited to those Grammy Awards, where he performed and took home two awards.
Timberlake’s silence while Jackson seemingly suffered all the consequences rubbed many the wrong way. And so, it especially rubbed people the wrong way when he agreed to perform at the 2018 Super Bowl halftime show all while Jackson is supposedly blacklisted from ever appearing there again.
6 Long-Time BFF Jimmy Fallon's Rating Have Plummeted, Which Also Affects Timberlake
In case you haven’t heard, Timberlake is best, best, best friends with Jimmy Fallon. The two often perform skits together that often rely on their friendship being the laughing point rather than an actual punchline. The thing about these skits is that they are very beneficial for Timberlake. Half the battle of being a successful celeb is getting the media to talk about you. The Kardashian have turned this art form in a multi-million dollar empire. And so, the fact that Timberlake’s skits with Fallon keep his name in the social consciousness, even when he isn’t releasing music or a film, is a great move career-wise. Only, Fallon is now on the decline.
It’s estimated that The Tonight Show has lost 21% of viewers, which is largely credited to Fallon’s refusal to get political. What does this mean? Well, if Timberlake appears in a skit on The Tonight Show, it’ll have 21% fewer viewers. Even worse, Timberlake must consider why Fallon lost 21% of his viewers.
If those lost viewers actually have a negative feeling towards Fallon, Timberlake’s association with his BFF may affect their view of Timberlake.
It seems Timberlake will have to find another way to keep his name in the media, which may prove more difficult than it seems.
5 Excuse Us, But Britney Spears Traded WAY, WAY Up And Is Dating A Man Made Of Only Muscle
There was a perfect moment in the early 2000s during which Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears dated and everything was so perfect with the world. Then they broke up and Spears spiraled. She kissed Madonna, got married in Las Vegas, and got married for real to Kevin Federline. There was an unfortunate VMA performance and a whole incident with an umbrella. For a long time, the collective thought was that maybe Timberlake dodged a bullet. I mean, Timberlake went on to marry Jessica Biel, who is a goddess, and the pair have a son together. Lovely. However, Spears is now dating a human statue.
Just one day after Timberlake’s Super Bowl performance, Spears posted the above photo of her hunky boyfriend. If you can possibly draw your eyes away from his rock hard body, Spears is rocking abs on abs on abs. Girlfriend has never looked better.
I’m not saying that Spears’s new boyfriend is hotter than Timberlake, but also I totally don’t even have to say it. Just look at that picture.
4 His Transition Into Acting Has Been… Meh
If you’re waiting for Timberlake to blow the lid off the acting world, you’re going to have to keep waiting. Of course, he has scored a few roles in very acclaimed in films. Timberlake appeared in Oscar-winning The Social Network. While Timberlake’s performance as the creator of Napster was good, it was a very small piece of the film. Likewise, Timberlake had a small role in critically acclaimed Inside Llewyn Davis.
The films in which Timberlake has been the major star power are… well… Bad Teacher and Friends With Benefits, which were about par when it comes to raunchy comedies, but they certainly didn’t reinvent the wheel.
Timberlake’s more serious action films – In Time and Runner Runner – were largely panned by critics and didn’t perform at the box office.
I’ll give Timberlake the fact that Trolls was a success, but the issue is that you don’t even see his face in that film, so audiences don't necessarily connect that film's success to his star power.
Timberlake is searching for some solid face time on the screen that actually furthers his career, but he’s yet to find that.
3 Timberlake Worked With Highly-Criticized Woody Allen And It Was Totally Not Worth It
Timberlake isn’t giving up on this acting thing. It’s clear that he wants to earn some notoriety as a legitimate actor. What’s the best way to do that? Act in a Woody Allen film and grab some awards! Unfortunately, this plan didn’t work out so well. In fact, Timberlake’s collaborate with Allen may ultimately stunt his acting career. Allen has a laundry list of wrongdoings that date back decades.
After the Harvey Weinstein scandal, it seems that the entertainment industry has collectively decided to have a no tolerance policy, which is something that should have been happening the whole time TBH. Actors who have previously starred in Allen films have apologized for doing so. Some actors have even donated their salaries from more recent Allen films to charities that help women. Timberlake has remained silent on Allen, which seems to be his stance when caught in a difficult, controversial situation – à la the 2004 Super Bowl scandal.
On top of all of that, the Timberlake/Allen film Wonder Wheel hasn’t received critical praise, major awards, or box office success. Um, Timberlake connected himself to Allen and it was really all for nothing. That's a lose-lose situation, not that it would have been worth it even if he did win any awards.
2 It’s 2018, And Timberlake Can No Longer Say He Supports Movements Without Actually Helping Them
Timberlake is a pop star from a long gone era. In the late ‘90s and early 2000s, it wasn’t demanded pop stars have a voice beyond their stage presence. They were expected to sing, dance, and look like the idealistic American teen. In fact, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, and Mandy Moore all seems like opinionless objects to be looked at by men and idolized by girls. Admittedly, it was a weird time. But guess what? It’s not 2001 anymore.
Now, celebrities aren’t expected to be without an opinion. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. Zendaya, who is wildly successful at just 21 years old, is a largely opinionated voice.
Unfortunately, Timberlake’s attempts to change his ways and voice opinions in political matters or social movements have been met with backlash due to the fact that he doesn’t actually do anything for said movement.
Timberlake claims to support Time’s Up, but he worked with Woody Allen. Timberlake also claims to support Black Lives Matter but also done little to actually help the black community. It’s actually rumored that Jay-Z was first offered the 2018 Halftime show but turned it down due to the way the NFL handled the peaceful protests done by players during the National Anthem. Yet, Timberlake was more than happy to scoop up the opportunity when offered to him. Let it be known, Timberlake cares more about dollar signs than social movements.
Timberlake can no longer say he supports movements without also supporting them through his actions. It's 2018, JT.
1 There's An Easy Fix, But Apparently, Timberlake Doesn’t Realize ‘90s Nostalgia Is A Huge Thing Right Now
There’s an easy fix to all of this: Embrace the ‘90s nostalgia! It’s no secret that nostalgia is successful right now. Stranger Things may be a new show, but it largely pays homage to many films from millennials’ childhoods. There have been countless reboots, like Fuller House, Will and Grace, and Gilmore Girls. Not to mention that the Spice Girls rumored reunion tour sent everyone in a major meltdown. Yet, Timberlake seems set on keeping his distance from the boy band that initially launched his career. You know, the boy band that without it, he’d be nothing. I’m not saying that Timberlake should reunite with his NSYNC band mates and do a reunion tour, but wouldn’t we all pay crazy amounts of money for tickets if they did?
Timberlake doesn’t have to fully revert back to his roots, but nostalgia is in. Embrace what the people want, Justin. And for the love of Britney Spears, stop the woodsy dude insanity. No one wants it.
Sources: Racked.com, Deadline.com, Coveteur.com, Perezhilton.com, People.com, Pitchfork.com, Cbsnews.com, Sbnation.com, Tmz.com, Splinternews.com, Si.com