Thursday, November 16, 2006

We've been talking 'bout Jackson, even though the fire's gone out

There had been a promise of a full recreation of the Thriller video.

In the end, what you got from the much-vaunted Michael Jackson comeback performance was a few, weedy lines of We Are The World. BBC News reports it was a bootastic evening:

He then left the stage to boos from the crowd who had still expected him to sing.

He had also been booed by fans outside the venue for failing to meet them when he arrived, after they had queued for several hours.

The show continued with a performance from Rihanna, but just as Jackson fans were about to give up on seeing their icon perform, he reappeared on stage with a choir of 50 young people.


Thriller, in the end, was performed by Chris Brown.

No, us neither.

The performance was so rotten, even Peter Andre and Jordan struggled to remain buoyant:

"I'm disappointed in Jackson but, hey, he's a legend," pop singer Peter Andre told BBC Radio 1.

"I don't care, he should have sung," interrupted his wife, Jordan.

"He sounded really out of tune."


And if Jordan calls you out of tune, you're out of tune.

If you were watching Newsnight last night, you'll have seen early editions of The Sun were running with Jacko on page one with the words "He looks as weird as ever, but he wows music awards" - which, clearly, had been sent to press before Jackson had even left the comfort of his 18 foot wall hotel; by this morning, he'd disappeared totally from the front page to make room for - oh, the shame - Jordan at the same awards.

The Sun is harsher on his performance having had a chance to actually see it:

But expectant punters — who had spent about £100 a ticket for the London event — ended up booing in disgust at the end after he only sang THREE LINES of We Are The World — when he was meant to sing Thriller with R&B star Chris Brown.

Fan Tina Dedman, 34, who came with six girl pals from Essex, said: “We paid in excess of £500 for our tickets. The whole place was booing him.”


The Associated Press suggested that Jackson's performance might have gone on longer:

Instead he appeared on stage and sang among a group of swaying, clapping kids - until the musical accompaniment inexplicably stopped.

Presumably someone flicked a switch to put him out his misery.

Newsround is kinder to Jackson than he probably deserves:

Michael Jackson, who performed even though he said he wouldn't, was given an award for selling over 100 million albums throughout his career.

But their report focuses elsewhere, on James Blunt's victory.
ITN finds some people who didn't believe their money was wasted, although none of them are named:

Many fans were disappointed Jacko didn't sing Thriller but there were mixed reviews of the brief performance he did give. Some were impressed while others claimed his voice faltered.

It's interesting that a lot of reports seem reluctant to mention the most notable aspect of Jacko's show. Luckily, Eurweb wades in:

Ironically, Michael Jackson was surrounded by a bunch of kids during a rendition of his song “We are the World” Wednesday night at the World Music Awards in London, which marked his first performance since he was acquitted of child molestation charges in June of 2005.

Me? Onstage in London, surrounded by children? With my reputation?

The 3AM Girls manage to find an "onlooker" who speaks fluent tabloidese for the Daily Mirror:

An onlooker said: "This was supposed to be the great return of the King of Pop but it ended up an absolute utter shambles."


Jackson, 48, was just four lines into his charity song We Are The World when his voice began to crack and falter.

Looking bemused, he stopped singing and started rambling to the stunned audience at the World Music Awards last night: "I love you, I love you."

One onlooker said: "This was supposed to be the great return of the King of Pop but it ended up a shambles.


"He must have performed to bigger crowds than that thousands of times but he seemed overawed and petrified.


"When he stopped singing no one could understand why. But when he started rambling a lot of people lost their patience with him. That's when the booing started and got louder and louder until he left the stage."


The Daily Record claims that the stuttering show nearly didn't happen at all, as Jackson decided he wanted a wall built backstage:

Earlier he had plunged the awards show into crisis by threatening to pull out of the event unless a wall was built to separate him from the other entertainers backstage.


His tantrum came a day after he ordered a wall knocked down at the five-star Hempel Hotel where he is staying to create a playroom for his three kids.


And that's not all. He even refused to step foot inside the Earl's Court Arena for rehearsals on the eve of the show - because his dressing room was not big enough.


A source said: "Questions were being asked whether he was even going to sing at the show because of it. So a big compound was built for him instead."


And while the other guests, including Beyonce, Nelly Furtado and Paris Hilton, were happy to feast on £20,000 of in-house caviar, fois gras and sushi, Jacko asked for his sushi to be delivered from Nobu, and KFC to be brought in for his entourage.


There's a glimpse into life inside the Jacko compound: the ex-King Constantine of Pop feasting on sushi while his lackeys are thrown a bargain bucket of gristle and grease.

Still, it's not all bad reviews: Unison.ie had a cracking time:

Jacko returns to stage for a thrilling show - Thursday November 16th 2006: FALLEN King of Pop, Michael Jackson, made his first British stage appearance in nine years at the World Music Awards last night.

Jackson (48) recreated his famous graveyard 'Thriller' video, on the 25th anniversary year of the hit album. The US star, who last performed in Britain in 1997, made his comeback appearance at last night's glittering event.


Were they even at the same, etc, etc?

The awards - yeah, like anyone cares - in full, then:

WORLD’S BEST POP ARTIST: Madonna
BEST POP/ROCK ARTIST: Nelly Furtado
BEST ROCK GROUP: Nickelback
BEST R&B ARTIST: Beyonce
BEST RAP/HIP-HOP ARTIST: Kanye West
BEST LATIN ARTIST: Shakira
BEST DJ: Bob Sinclar
BEST NEW ARTIST: James Blunt
BEST-SELLING ARABIC ARTIST: Elissa
BEST-SELLING BRITISH ARTIST: James Blunt
BEST-SELLING GERMAN ARTIST: Tokio Hotel
BEST-SELLING IRISH ARTIST: Enya
BEST-SELLING ITALIAN ARTIST: Andrea Bocelli
BEST-SELLING RUSSIAN ARTIST: Dima Bilan