Sound Check

Why are Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen playing the Grey Cup?

Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen (Photos by C Flanigan/WireImage)

In October it was announced that Canadian artists Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, Gordon Lightfoot, and Marianas Trench would perform at this year's Grey Cup halftime show with country star Johnny Reid and former Guess Who frontman Burton Cummings headlining the kickoff pre-show.

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In a statement, CFL commissioner Mark Cohon addressed why these artists were chosen, saying, "This array of stars will command a huge and diverse audience, entertaining our most loyal fans and attracting new ones to our game's greatest showcase. It spans genres and generations. And it's quintessentially Canadian and undoubtedly world class, at the same time."

While we understand that having hot artists like Bieber and Jepsen performing might boost ratings and increase ticket sales we can't help but wonder:  What's in it for them?


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It's no secret that the Biebs is one of the biggest pop stars in the world right now, who currently boasts almost 30.5 million Twitter followers and over 47.8 million 'Likes' on Facebook, so does he really need the exposure or new fans taken from the CFL's base?

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Last year, 4.6 million people watched the Grey Cup when it was hosted in Vancouver. This number is significantly less than 2009's record of 6.1 million viewers when the event took place in Calgary. It seems like the appearance of Bieber could be just the ticket to a ratings boost, but what does he get out of it?

We assume that the payday isn't the reason for the 18-year-old singer's involvement; after all even Madonna didn't get paid to play the Super Bowl halftime show. So for now, we'll have to chalk it up to something that might be on the "Boyfriend" hitmaker's bucket list or an event he looks forward to because he's such a sports enthusiast.

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As for Jepsen, performing at the Grey Cup is probably a very big deal for the 27-year-old musician as she is trying to push her new album "Kiss" while holding on to the coattails of her massive hit "Call Me Maybe" and avoid falling into the "One-Hit Wonder" category like so many artists before her.

The last few months for Jepsen have been packed with one concert after another since she's the supporting act on Bieber's "Believe" tour in addition to performing on a multitude of television shows.

To give you an idea, this year she has appeared on "The Today Show," "America's Got Talent," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Conan," the Billboard Music Awards, the Teen Choice Awards, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," "Live! With Kelly," "The View" and most recently the American Music Awards.

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Most artists can only dream of performing on that many network shows with the wide range of audiences they carry with them, so at this point, it seems like she is all about go big or go home and could probably use the added Canadian support that will come from performing at this weekend's event.

The Grey Cup airs this weekend on Sunday Nov. 25 beginning with the pregame on TSN at 1:00 p.m. (EST)


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