Justin Bieber Look-alike Makes the ‘AGT’ Judges do a Double-Take


The ‘AGT’ judges got the surprise of a lifetime when Justin Bieber walked onto the stage to audition in 2011. Well…not really. Contestant Dani Shay bore a very striking resemblance to the “Baby” singer and blew everyone’s minds.

The ‘AGT’ Judges Thought Dani Shay Was Actually Justin Bieber

When Shay first stepped onto the stage, Howie Mandel pointed out that they look like Justin Bieber. Dani is non-binary and uses the pronouns they/them.

“Justin Bieber looks like me,” they fired back which made everyone laugh.

The 22-year-old saw looking like the pop star as a hindrance at first because people would request them to play Bieber’s songs at their shows. But ‘AGT’ was finally the chance for Shay to set the record straight.

Shay auditioned for ‘AGT’ with a rendition of the hit song “Baby,” with a new spin on the lyrics. The song was called “What the Hell,” and told the story of what it is like to look exactly like the pop star. The judges applauded Shay for combining humor into their songwriting on top of having stellar vocals.


In the Vegas round, Shay forgot the lines to their own song due to nerves, but the judges saw something in them and sent them on to the Quarterfinals for a second chance. Piers Morgan thought the Quarterfinals performance was off-key and Howie Mandel questioned if people at home would connect with Shay. Unfortunately, they did not receive enough votes to move on in the competition.

Where Is Shay Now?

After becoming a standout performer on ‘AGT,’ Shay appeared on the second season of the Oxygen show The Glee Project. The premise of the show was for contestants to show off their musical and acting chops each week to land a role on the hit show Glee. Shay was the third contestant eliminated from the competition in 2012, but was certainly a fan favorite.

Shay then released the music video for their song “One” in 2012 with fellow The Glee Project contestant Ali Stroker.

Dani also released a short film called Shooting Star in 2019 featuring their song of the same name.

Dani is an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and opened up about their pronouns on Instagram.

“The terms non-binary, gender non-conforming, and even ‘forest creature’ feel best to me,” they wrote. “‘They/them’ is my general pronoun preference, but I’m okay with, and actually like, being called different things by different people in my life (they know who they are). Identity can be nuanced. I wrote the line ‘I am son; I am daughter’ in 2010 and that still rings true for me today. ⁣⁣⁣⁣”


Since appearing on ‘AGT,’ Shay has continued to pursue an acting and singing career.

What did you think of Shay’s ‘AGT’ audition? Was it better than Justin Bieber?


Samantha Agate
Samantha Agate

Samantha Agate is a contributor and host for Talent Recap on YouTube with a previous byline at The Blast. She graduated from Hunter College in 2019 with a degree in Media Studies and a Concentration in Journalism. When she isn't binge-watching reality television shows or binge-eating fried food, she loves hanging out with her friends and family and petting puppies.

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