But there’s one famous family that wasn’t tripping over themselves to text in votes for James Durbin last night: The Jacksons. TMZ has reported being contacted by a Jackson family rep, who stated that the talented brood was none too happy with James’s comments about having a “Pepsi moment.”
In case you forgot, during James’s post-performance chat with Ryan Seacrest from last night’s episode, James said, "I have a lot of hairspray in my hair to keep it from jumping around — so much so, the one thing I was worried about was having a 'Pepsi moment.'" This, of course, is a reference to the 1984 incident where Michael Jackson’s hair caught fire during the taping of a Pepsi commercial. Jackson sustained severe burns on his scalp, and it was these injuries that started the pain killer regimen that eventually took his life.
The Jackson family rep told TMZ, "We were shocked to see this. [The incident is] nothing to make light of…" Michael’s father, Joe, is said to be especially aggrieved that Idol producers didn’t remove the comment from west coast broadcasts.
James Durbin has since responded on Twitter:
@JDurbinAI10 For anyone talkin..I said pepsi NOT MJ! I have no disrespect for Michael. I grew up singing his art.I guess youll take it how you want it...
James is an Idol contestant who has enjoyed almost uninterrupted judge approval and fan support up to this point. But you know who has even more fans then James Durbin, or even American Idol? Yeah, that’d be Michael Jackson… So here’s hoping the perceived insult doesn’t add up to a decrease in voter turn-out for James.