Miffed Jacko Fans Want Their Money Back
Mon, 20 Nov 2006 16:37:50
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Michael Jackson needed a miracle; instead, he was the center of another PR disaster. As previously reported, at last week's World Music Awards in London, the deposed King of Pop was set for a dramatic comeback: performing his classic "Thriller" to renew anticipation in a career almost completely derailed by child molestation charges and increasingly bizarre public behavior.
There is some lingering controversy between organizers and venue officials as to the reasons the plug was subsequently pulled on Jackson, but the end result was that the crowd was treated to merely 30 seconds of "We Are The World" (instead of "Thriller") before MJ made a hasty retreat, Ashlee Simpson-style.
"People were expecting something significant, but he didn't perform at all," attendee Abdo Binmadhi told the BBC. "We should definitely get a refund." Fans had paid $188 (and up -- way up, for those who bought their tickets from scalpers) to see the comeback show, and were instead treated to Chris Brown singing "Thriller" -- an event that few would dish out $188 to see, and one that was made even more disappointing given Jacko's proximity to the stage.
"I feel like I've been ripped off," said another fan, Katherine Kidd.
A "friend" of Jackson's told the Daily Mirror that the singer was "terribly disappointed" and had experienced technical problems even during rehearsal at the venue.
One of Jackson's choir members also rushed to his defense, saying that the singer was beset by "silly people" who tried to get close to him during the song and made it impossible to finish.
Critics remained none too sympathetic, even suggesting that it wouldn't have mattered what he'd done on stage. "We can't just forget what we know about him," said the London Times critic Pete Paphides.
The boobirds were also rough on the evening's hostess, Lindsay Lohan, who was twice heckled for tripping over her scripted award show banter.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff