Michael Jackson's kids made a surprise appearance on The X Factor USA show on Wednesday (November 30, 2011) as part of a tribute evening to the late pop superstar. Prince Michael, 14, Paris, 13, and Prince Michael II, 9, joined their grandmother Katherine and Uncles Jackie, Tito and Marlon on the singing contest.
According to E! Online, Prince told host Steve Jones, "We're very excited to be here", while sister Paris added, "Everyone was fantastic. I love this show very much". With the family sitting in the audience, it was a daunting task for the X Factor hopefuls, but Katherine was brought to tears by Melanie Amaro's rendition of Earth Song. She later added Simon Cowell's programme was her "favourite show", saying, "I don't miss an episode of this show. I am so very excited to be here". Although most contestants understandably stayed true to the original hits, young singer Astro chose to rap over the chorus to 'Black or White'. His mentor, L.A. REID praised him for trying something new, saying, "I like to think that the Jackson family is as proud as I am of you, because that was truly, truly amazing". It wasn't such good feedback for Josh Krajcik, whose rock rendition of Dirty Diana was accused of being "overproduced" by Cowell. Chris Rene performed the Jackson 5 hit 'I'll Be There' and received moderate praise, while Marcus Canty won acclaim for his dance moves, showmanship and vocals on 'P.Y.T'.
The appearance of the Jacksons comes just days after Dr Conrad Murray was sentenced to the full 4 years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson. The doctor was found to be guilty of negligence in providing the star with the powerful anaesthetic Propofol.