Justin Bieber delivers a pair of raw performances on Saturday Night Live

Doing it differently: Pop superstar Justin Bieber impressed with a pair of emotional and heartfelt performances on Saturday Night Live this weekend

Pop superstar Justin Bieber’s rehearsals in New York City this week paid off big time over the weekend, as the crooner impressed with a pair of emotional and heartfelt performances on Saturday Night Live.

The sketch show was hosted by HBO Insecure star Issa Rae, who had fun in various skits as a Drake-obsessed Canadian, deluded political commentator, and date-happy urbanite among others.

But even though Bieber, 26, skipped the comedy segments, the show belonged to him thanks to his gorgeous rendition of his track Holy, with Chance the Rapper, as well as his new song Lonely, which was presented in a brand new way.

Doing it differently: Pop superstar Justin Bieber impressed with a pair of emotional and heartfelt performances on Saturday Night Live this weekend

Doing it differently: Pop superstar Justin Bieber impressed with a pair of emotional and heartfelt performances on Saturday Night Live this weekend

Issa, 35, kicked things off in a stunning pleated white dress, likening the last four years of her show Insecure during her opening monologue to high school, and hosting SNL, her prom.

‘And that makes all of you my dates!’ she told the thinned out, face mask-wearing audience in Studio 8H at NBC’s 30 Rock complex in midtown Manhattan. 

The first half of the show saw a hysterical faux-commercial, spoofing those little bottles of 5-Hour Energy drinks with 5-Hour Empathy drinks.

In the passage, SNL funnyman Beck Bennett got into it with the voice over man, as he showed resistance to imbibing the drink so as to avoid feeling too emotional about the current state of the world.

Funnywoman: The sketch show was hosted by HBO Insecure star Issa Rae, who had fun in various skits including one over-the-top dance off inspired by TLC

Funnywoman: The sketch show was hosted by HBO Insecure star Issa Rae, who had fun in various skits including one over-the-top dance off inspired by TLC

Prom date: Issa kicked things off in a stunning white dress, likening the last four years of her show Insecure during her opening monologue to high school, and hosting SNL to her prom

Prom date: Issa kicked things off in a stunning white dress, likening the last four years of her show Insecure during her opening monologue to high school, and hosting SNL to her prom

OK we'll take it: The first half of the show saw a hysterical faux-commercial, spoofing those little bottles of 5-Hour Energy drinks with 5-Hour Empathy drinks

OK we’ll take it: The first half of the show saw a hysterical faux-commercial, spoofing those little bottles of 5-Hour Energy drinks with 5-Hour Empathy drinks

In the passage: Beck Bennett got into it with the voice over man, as he showed resistance to imbibing the drink so as to avoid feeling too emotional about the current state of the world

In the passage: Beck Bennett got into it with the voice over man, as he showed resistance to imbibing the drink so as to avoid feeling too emotional about the current state of the world

Soon after, for his first performance Justin delivered a bare-bones rendition of his track Holy in what looked like an overgrown, deconstructed greenhouse, dominated by a bright blue neon cross.

Saturday’s performance marked Bieber’s fourth time appearing as a musical guest on SNL, and already the second time this year.

He appeared on the show in February, when he sang both Yummy and Intentions (Justin is clearly a huge fan of one-word song titles).

Soon after: For his first performance, Justin delivered a bare-bones rendition of his track Holy

Soon after: For his first performance, Justin delivered a bare-bones rendition of his track Holy

Dramatic setting: He was in what looked like an overgrown, deconstructed greenhouse, dominated by a bright blue neon cross

Dramatic setting: He was in what looked like an overgrown, deconstructed greenhouse, dominated by a bright blue neon cross

And on this Saturday’s telecast, Chance the Rapper also joined in on Holy, as he is the featured artist on the song.

Chance, for his part, has previously been the musical guest on SNL in December 2016, and also hosted the show in November of the following year. 

By the end of the set, Bieber was feeling his Holy lyrics (and those of Chance), so much so that he was bent over stomping his foot, not immediately coming back up once the song was done.

Guesting on the telecast: Chance the Rapper also joined in on Holy, as he is the featured artist on the song

Guesting on the telecast: Chance the Rapper also joined in on Holy, as he is the featured artist on the song

By the end of the set: Bieber was feeling his Holy lyrics so much so that he was bent over stomping his foot, not immediately coming back up once the song was done

By the end of the set: Bieber was feeling his Holy lyrics so much so that he was bent over stomping his foot, not immediately coming back up once the song was done

The best skit came in the second half of the telecast, when Issa encountered resident SNL oddball Kyle Mooney and ended up in a bonkers dance-off with him.

Mooney approached Rae backstage, right outside of where Bieber was rehearsing, and started busting moves in front of her while making small talk.

Soon, Issa caught on, thinking that Kyle was showing off his dance skills so that she would put in a good word to the Biebs and make him a backup dancer.

The best skit: In the second half of the telecast, Issa encountered resident SNL oddball Kyle Mooney and ended up in a bonkers dance-off with him

The best skit: In the second half of the telecast, Issa encountered resident SNL oddball Kyle Mooney and ended up in a bonkers dance-off with him

The best skit: In the second half of the telecast, Issa encountered resident SNL oddball Kyle Mooney and ended up in a bonkers dance-off with him

Then, the pair stare each other down, and end up in a completely over-the-top dance off interlude that looked like it came straight out of the classic hit video for No Scrubs by TLC.

Finally, Justin surprised again with his second performance, of Lonely – the song he dropped this past Thursday.

In a rarely (if ever before) seen move, the Canadian singer-songwriter started the performance backstage, sitting at the vanity mirror to begin the confessional and slightly self-indulgent song.

The pair stare each other down, and then: They get transported into a completely over-the-top dance off interlude

The pair stare each other down, and then: They get transported into a completely over-the-top dance off interlude

Ridiculous: Both Issa and Kyle went all-out with makeup and costumes

Ridiculous: Both Issa and Kyle went all-out with makeup and costumes 

Excellent wink and nod to some early 90s greatness: The overall effect of the skit looked like it came straight out of the classic hit video for No Scrubs by TLC

Excellent wink and nod to some early 90s greatness: The overall effect of the skit looked like it came straight out of the classic hit video for No Scrubs by TLC

The camera started off trained on a framed photo of Justin looking a lot younger from back in the day – surely from one of his previous appearances on SNL from circa 2013 or earlier.  

Then, after finding Bieber sitting at the vanity, it followed him through the hallways of the studio, and ended up with the performer on stage singing under a single spotlight.

This Saturday’s episode of SNL was the 892nd of the long-running sketch series, which premiered in 1975.

Finally, Justin surprised again with his second performance, of Lonely: In a rarely (if ever before) seen move, he started the performance backstage, sitting at the vanity mirror

Finally, Justin surprised again with his second performance, of Lonely: In a rarely (if ever before) seen move, he started the performance backstage, sitting at the vanity mirror

Then: The camera followed him through the hallways of the studio

Then: The camera followed him through the hallways of the studio

Currently in its 46th season, the show has had to grapple with significant changes as all productions have had to do, in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The studio audience for the show is considerably smaller, and they’re also being remunerated for being there.

According to the New York Times, those attending as SNL audience members are now each paid $150, to ensure that the production is adhering to state coronavirus guidelines stipulating that everyone present is a paid employee.

From the heart: The performance ended up with the Bieber on stage singing under a single spotlight

From the heart: The performance ended up with the Bieber on stage singing under a single spotlight

That's a wrap: This Saturday's episode of SNL was the 892nd of the long-running sketch series, which premiered in 1975

That’s a wrap: This Saturday’s episode of SNL was the 892nd of the long-running sketch series, which premiered in 1975

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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