"Idol" Pepsi moment: Did James Durbin diss Michael Jackson on American Idol?

American Idol logo Kevin Winter/Getty Images

"Idol" Pepsi moment: Did James Durbin diss Michael Jackson on American Idol?
American Idol
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

(CBS) - Saturday night's alright (for fighting) but Wednesday is when the drama goes down. Last night's "American Idol" kicked off a controversy when James Durbin worried he might have a "Pepsi moment" on stage, referring to the 1984 incident when Michael Jackson was hospitalized after pyrotechnics lit his hair on fire.

After a performance of Elton John's classic "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)" Durbin told Ryan Seacrest, "I have a lot of hairspray in my hair... the one thing I was worried about was having a 'Pepsi moment.'"

Jackson's family took offense to the comments. A family rep told TMZ, "We were shocked to see this. It's nothing to make light of." The King of Pop suffered second- and third-degree burns in the accident, and the resulting painful recovery has been linked with the singer's addiction to painkillers.

Durbin attempted to put out the flames of controversy on Twitter, saying, "I said pepsi NOT MJ! I have no disrespect for Michael. I grew up singing his art." He also wrote, "Talkin about MJs passing is too soon. Making a reference to an incident 25 years ago... not too soon. The stab was a pepsi people."

The heavily Coke-branded "Idol" will no doubt be happy to hear that. But will Jackson's family feel the same?

  • Bailey Johnson

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