Fox to re-air 'American Idol's Michael Jackson performance show
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/26/2009
Fox has announced it will pay tribute to Michael Jackson -- who passed away on Thursday at the age of 50 -- by airing an encore broadcast of this year's American Idol eighth-season performance episode that featured songs from the "King of Pop."
"In the light of today's news, I have a very important announcement," said Cat Deeley at the conclusion of last night's live So You Think You Can Dance results show on Fox.
Jackson was pronounced dead at 2:26PM at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA after suffering an apparent cardiac arrest in his home. An autopsy is set for Friday to determine the exact cause of death.
"We say we don't like Thursdays, this is a particular Thursday none of us are enjoying right now," said a visibly emotional Nigel Lythgoe at the beginning of last night's So You Think You Can Dance broadcast.
"I don't know where you even begin to describe a global superstar like Michael Jackson. We will not see his like again. This is a man who sold over 100 million records obviously, but he changed the face of music and dance in the world -- not just in this country -- but in the world... This was a man who tried to bring a world of dance together for himself."
Despite the somber mood, Lythgoe -- who previously served as Idol's executive producer before stepping down last summer -- added that Jackson's is "a life to celebrate."
"This is a life that remains inspirational for anybody who listens to music, anybody who wants to dance," he said. "Everyone I think we've had on this show said, 'I started dancing because of Michael Jackson.' That is the legacy he leaves us."
It is no secret that Idol had attempted on several occasions to land Jackson as one of their weekly musical mentors. During the show's Spring 2007 sixth season, it was reported that Jackson had turned to Idol creator Simon Fuller to help mastermind his comeback. However the report turned out to be false.
"No. It's not true... just not true," said Lythgoe at the time before subsequently being asked if the decision to have Jackson on Idol was still up in the air.
"No, we won't be seeing him," he replied.
Still, Jackson's music made a few memorable appearances on Idol -- including during last year's seventh-season, when David Cookrearranged Jackson's "Billie Jean" and cemented his standing in the competition, which eventually ended with him taking the title.
The Idol eighth-season Top 13 broadcast, which originally aired on Fox in March, featured the finalists singing songs from Jackson's extensive catalog.