Entertainment behind the scenes
That Michael Jackson, he’s still got something
I, along with many other reporters crammed into a small “pen” to witness the event, was more than a little worried about whether Jackson still had what it takes, given that recent images of him have tended to portray a frail man shying away from public contact.
But there he was, looking more healthy than I remember for some time, speaking clearly, punching the air and flashing the “V”-for-victory sign. I know that is a far cry from a two-hour set of singing and dancing, but it is at least a start on the long comeback trail.
Up to two thousands fans had gathered and made themselves heard throughout his brief appearance. One I spoke to, Londoner Ruby Malik, is just 18, and for her Jackson is simply “the best”. “It’s worth every second and every minute I’m standing here,” she said. And the wait was not short. Reporters were told to show up at around 2 p.m. for a 4 p.m. appearance and he finally arrived on a makeshift stage at around 5.40.
So, can Jackson pull it off this time? Can he perform at least 10 major gigs and rehabilitate a stellar career overshadowed by his appearance, behaviour and accusations of child abuse that culminated in the sensational 2005 trial at the end of which he was acquitted?