The X Factor Recap: Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough Michael Jackson

Heavens to Betsy. The departure of a couple of early favorites, furious judges, and a last-minute revelation of Christianity shocking enough to rival Insane Clown Posse’s. Tonight’s show has it all.

It begins, as ever, with the group number, which you have correctly guessed is "Man in the Mirror." It’s alarmingly off-key.

Speaking of which ... the more I think about The X Factor’s Michael Jackson night, the more bent out of shape I get. It’s not the singers; most of them did fine. It’s not even the producers; these are great songs, so why not build a show around them? It’s more that Michael Jackson’s story is one of the greatest tragedies of American cultural history, and we still can’t find a way to address it. Michael Jackson survived an abusive childhood to create some of the greatest music of all-time before fame, drugs, and his own distorted self-image alienated him from his fellow man and made his attempts to connect more and more self-destructive. Not only was there no acknowledgement of any of this, the show was a 90-minute-long advertisement for an actual circus. I’m not saying the show needed to be some Joan Didion meditation on the tragic nature of fame; just an 800-number for donations to a children’s fund would have done. Something. Say what you will about Yoko Ono, but she makes sure any John Lennon tribute stays on message and raises some charity cash. Tell the Jackson family you’re doing a Michael show, and their only response seems to be: "What time do you need Blanket in the makeup chair?" Read More...


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