Justin Timberlake gets away with a lot. A national love affair with the Tennessee-born former ‘N Sync singer has withstood the boy-band era, the acting career, the unnecessary album sequel. The 10th anniversary of him destroying Janet Jackson’s career passed earlier this month with only the occasional critique, for instance this one by Rich Juzwiak at Gawker. How does the man do it? Partly thanks to enduring hits, from “Like I Love You” to “SexyBack” to “Suit & Tie.” But also, surely, by being impossibly smooth at all times — and there’s probably no better case in point than what happened during a February 23 performance in Philadelphia.
As PopCrush notes, the recent Tonight Show guest called out a crowd member for giving him the finger. “You got second row to flip me the bird?” he said. “That makes no fucking sense.” After the fan apparently said she was trying to catch his attention, JT invited the entire audience to get their attention-seeking bird-flipping out of the way, raising his own middle digit to cheers. “That’s also the weirdest moment I’ve ever had with a crowd,” he added. “Thank you!”
Watch it above and do your own best M.I.A. tribute.