Teenage pop star Justin Bieber jammed with a local band, played with cheetahs and captured the heart - and cellphone number - of a Cape Town beauty during his visit to South Africa this week.
And local teen Qaanita Jacobs became the envy of smitten fans around the world after spending just 15 minutes with Bieber - during which he jotted down her name and phone number.
Jacobs, 17, from Rustenburg High School for Girls in Cape Town, and five friends were sipping virgin strawberry daiquiris at the five-star One&Only Hotel on Wednesday eveningwhen the superstar sauntered over and casually slumped into an empty seat at 9pm.
Later, he wrapped his arm around her while posing for a picture.
"He handed me the piece of paper and I wrote down my name and number. He said 'Qaanita?' I said yes. Hearing him say my name with his accent, oh my word!" Jacobs enthused.
The next morning he posted on his Twitter profile: "South African girls = incredible".
Jacobs relived the experience - her wildest dream come true - in an interview at her home in Rondebosch East on Friday.
The teenager toyed with her sleek dark tresses and smiled broadly while recalling meeting the 16-year-old Canadian, who famously sets young pulses racing with his hit single, Baby.
"I still get goose bumps when I think about it," she said.
"He looks a hundred times better in real life. His skin is flawless and he kept on flipping his hair. Oh! and he smells so good!"
Bieber frenzy exploded in South Africa as the singer chronicled snippets of his holiday on the social networking website Twitter.
The star slipped into the country at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport last Sunday. He saw elephants, rhinos and leopard cubs at the luxury Idube Game Reserve in the Kruger National Park, before heading to Cape Town's swish One&Only hotel, where well-heeled patrons fork out R49 per "Blushing Rose Mojito" and R145 for ''High Tea". He was also spotted petting cheetahs and playing a marimba in the city.
Jacobs and her friend Nabilah Samaai, 17, did not bump into Bieber by coincidence.
Troupes of infatuated teenagers flooded the hotel's foyer as word of his presence spread faster than pheromones this week. Conveniently, it was school holidays - and the two girls' mothers conceded that the special circumstances warranted a curfew extension.
"I had to convince her father though," said Jacobs's mother, Rasheda. "I told him, it's a safe environment, let's give her some time."
The girls arrived at the hotel at about 8pm. "We were sitting quite normally, drinking our daiquiris and eating mint cakes. The next thing, my one friend says 'There's Justin Bieber!' I looked up and it was him," said Jacobs.
"I tried so hard to stay calm, not to screech, you know. He came down the stairs towards us like he knew us. The next thing he just fell back in an empty chair next to us, saying 'Hi girls.'"
Said Samaai: "He was speaking to us most of the time, asking many questions."
Bieber called back later that evening but, unfortunately, the girls had to go home.
The singer frolicked with local African Jazz band Abavuki, at the city's Mama Afrika restaurant the previous night.
"He came for dinner and later went on stage with the band. He picked up a marimba and a djembe drum, playing them like he'd been doing so for years. He was great and really well-mannered. You would never say that he is a superstar," said the restaurant's manager, Mark Weiner.
Marimba player Thabo Giyana, 22, applauded Bieber's attempts to jam with the band.
''He tried the marimba and percussion and did quite well. He was actually a good drummer," the local musician said.
Meanwhile, Jacobs has sworn never to change her phone number. Just in case.
Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are both approaching a major milestone of the new music industry: one billion all-time YouTube views.
Lady Gaga should pass one billion views around October 20 if she continues on her current pace, according to David Birch, communications director at TubeMogul. During September, she averaged almost 1.8 million views per day.
Birch says Bieber will surpass the 1 billion views milestone around November 1 if he keeps up his current pace. During September, Bieber's videos were viewed about 3.7 million times per day.
After Lady Gaga and Bieber, the next closest artist is Michael Jackson at around 600 million views, says Birch.
Even though Lady Gaga will be the first to the one billion mark, TubeMogul data shows that lately Bieber has been the hotter of the two and has been YouTube's most-viewed music artist. From July 1 to September 28, according to TubeMogul data supplied to Billboard, Bieber averaged 3.98 million daily views to Lady Gaga's 2.04 million views per day.
Bieber has been hot since winter. Since February 28, Bieber has averaged 3.83 million daily views while Lady Gaga has averaged 2.53 million. To put their numbers in perspective, Kanye West has averaged 271,000 daily views in that time period.
But what really stands out is the consistent performance of Bieber's videos. In April, TubeMogul began "Most Viral Videos of the Month" to highlight the most-viewed videos -- including unofficial versions -- in a given month. Nearly 9 in 10 of all videos to make the list have been music videos, and Justin Bieber has been the one constant month after month. He had four of the top 10 videos of the month from April through August.
Both artists have many of YouTube's all-time most-viewed videos. Bieber's "Baby" is YouTube's most-watched video of all time with 345 million views. His "Never Let You Go" is No. 22 with 92 million views while "Never Say Never" is No. 28 with 86 million views.
Why does it seem like the whole world hates Justin Bieber? It is strange to me that this harmless teenager, widely acknowledged to look like either a Labrador retriever or a lesbian, commands enough hatred that Twitter and 4chan have wished him upon North Korea. Here are a few reasons that he does not deserve your hatred.
He is respected by the industry.
Bieber is the only person out of all 200 million Twitter users that Kanye West follows. Usher signed him while Justin Timberlake was trying to do so. Other celebrities who have embraced the young man include Kim Kardashian and Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe.
He made fun of himself.
Numerous other teenage stars suffer from “serious syndrome,” where, despite the fact that they star in mediocre programs on the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon, they believe they are legitimate dramatic actors. Miley Cyrus seems especially desperate for an Oscar she will never receive. Justin Bieber suffers no such delusion. On “Saturday Night Live,” Bieber fully embraced and parodied his 4-year-old looks and ridiculous hairstyle. And in an interview with Chelsea Handler, he went along with the multiple jokes she made at his expense rather than try to get her to take him seriously. It is refreshing to see him so comfortable with his celebrity status at such a young age.
He is not a bad role model for boys.
Most of his songs are about monogamy. He did not have to “slut it up” to transform from an awkward boy throwing a party at Usher’s house to a young man holding his own alongside Usher. He thanks his fans at every opportunity. Most of his songs are impossibly hopeful and encourage the romantic side of young love, rather than the current hook-up culture.
He is actually talented.
While you may not like his voice, the boy does have some vocal chops (whether they last through puberty is still to be seen). At the VMAs, he was not noticeably out of tune, which is more than can be said about Taylor Swift’s tone-deaf train wreck. He also danced and played the drums. The only awkward thing about his set was that his backup dancers were twice his size.
He is here to stay.
Like him or not, the music industry has embraced Bieber, who has a VMA win and Juno and BET nominations under his belt. Bieber was the first solo artist in Billboard history to have at least four singles enter the Top 40 before his album debuted. He has already released two Top 5 albums. So rather than focusing all your energies against a 16-year-old kid who looks like he’s 12, give in to Bieber Fever. It’s harmless.
What does the biggest pop star on the planet do while waiting around the set to film his first foray into prime-time TV?
Interviewed on Tomorrow Will Be Televised, CSI creator and executive producer Anthony Zuiker chats about working with Justin Bieber, who plays Jason McCann—a “troubled teen who is faced with a difficult decision regarding his only brother”—on Season 11 of the hit CBS series, which got under way Sept. 23.
“It was interesting. He definitely is a young boy,” Anthony tells host Simon Applebaum of the Baby singer.
“He likes to eat a lot of cake. And he likes to skateboard around the set. Does a lot of talking, which is interesting.
“He wasn’t prepared for us to change lines on the fly. So that was kind of a surprise to him. But our actors are professionals. They sat him down, worked the lines,” continues Anthony.
“They thought he did an admirable job acting inside the episode. He looked really, really great.
“He’s a nice button to the show, with his evil eyes there—telling the audience that he shall come back. He’s slated to come back some time later in the season.”
Anthony also touches on the decision to cast Justin in the first place.
“There’s no denying, that in a ratings-driven business, when you have a guest star that people care about, there is definitely a pop in ratings. You can definitely see the difference,” he says.
"All in all, it was a win for us," Anthony tells us of Justin's "CSI" stint.
“It is a treat to our audience to see someone they know and love in the format of one of their favorite shows.”
Only time will tell if Justin will make a successful jump into acting, as his namesake—Justin Timberlake—has done with the critically-acclaimed flick The Social Network.
But for the moment, millions of screaming fans are no doubt chanting, We want our JB-TV!
Making for quite the reason to celebrate, Justin Bieber attended the wedding of his musical director/guitar player Dan Kanter to fashionista Yael Latner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto on Sunday (October 3).
Wearing a yarmuckle atop his head with a vest, dress shirt, and glimmering trousers, the "Baby" singer was joined by his mom, Pattie Mallette.
As for the reception, guests were treated to a dinner of caramelized onion soup and a choice of Miso Glazed Halibut with Soya Beurre Blanc or Veal Tenderloin with Mushroom Ragout.
Once filled up, Bieber and the rest of the guests hit the dancefloor for the traditional Jewish song "Hava Nagila" followed by the dance-igniting tune "Get Down Tonight."
Having a few days off, Justin and Kanter are set to fly to Hawaii this week for concerts on Friday and Saturday before embarking on a 25-stop tour.
Watch the video of Justin singing Baby at Dan's wedding here.