Jennifer Lopez and Justin Bieber: They’ll Tumble For Ya

Being made gravity’s bitch is always a humbling experience. When it happens in front of an audience of millions, the embarrassment is increased exponentially.

Still, some handle the stumbles and missteps that life doles out better than others. YouTube sensation Justin Bieber and former Fly Girl Jennifer Lopez both took very public spills this week, at Wembley Arena in London and on the American Music Awards respectively, and each handled their falls from grace in their own ways.

But who handled the spills better? To determine that, let’s apply the recently reconfigured Olympic scoring system for gymnastics. Panel A will judge the requirements, difficulty and connections of the routines, adding points from a base score of zero. Panel B will judge the actual execution, starting with a base score of 10 and deducting accordingly.

Let’s start with Lopez, who took a pretty dramatic spill at the American Music Awards on Sunday:


Panel A: Major points for requirements and difficulty, as her routine involved climbing atop a backup dancer’s back and taking a leap, all while wearing inappropriate footwear for the routine (the task would have been considerably easier, for instance, if she had been wearing cleated hiking boots).

Panel A score: 9.5

Panel B: Note Lopez’s flawless bounce-back from the tumble, using her ample derriere to literally launch herself back into her dance routine. However, major execution points deducted for later blaming her dancers for the spill.

Panel B score: 4.7

Overall score: 14.2

Now on to Justin Bieber, who actually broke his foot while performing an opening set for Taylor Swift at Wembley Arena on Monday:

Panel A: Minimal points awarded for requirement and difficulty, as the Bieb’s only requirements were to gallop to the foot of the stage.

Panel A score: 2.0

Panel B score: Execution is divided. On one hand, the exact misstep occurred at a point (at about the 0:15 mark) that provided a minimum of showmanship. However, the fact that he completed the song “One Time” with a broken foot ups his score considerably, off-key caterwauling notwithstanding.

Panel B score: 8.3

Overall score: 10.3

The winner: Jennifer Lopez. But take heart, Justin; your career’s still young and there’s ample room for improvement.

Now let’s take a look at other examples of stage-fall history, judging by the same criteria.

Beyonce eats it in Orlando:

Panel A score: 5.6

Panel B score: 8.7

Overall score: 14.3

Jimmy Fallon’s auto-tuned spill at the 2009 Emmys:

Panel A score: 6.2

Panel B score: 9.1

Overall score: 15.3

Joe Jonas’ trampoline tumble (at the 3.05 mark):

Panel A score: 5.8

Panel B score:

Overall score: 12.8

Madonna’s Lisbon slip (at 0:47):

Panel A score: 2.5

Panel B score: 4.3

Overall score: 6.8