CBS News correspondent Richard Roth reports that a group of spoof performers from Sydney, calling themselves the "Jackson Jive," stepped onto the variety show's stage - most of their faces painted jet-black and wearing fake afros.
The six are all physicians, and it was actually a repeat appearance for them on the show. They first donned the long-taboo blackface makeup to mock the Jackson Five on the show 20 years ago, as medical students.
Apparently no one noticed.
This time, however, celebrity judge Harry Connick Jr. rated the group's talent "0," and its taste, appalling.
"Man, if they turned up looking like that in the United States..." Connick said immediately after the Jackson Jive performance. He was visibly displeased.
Despite an apparent cultural divide with some of the other judges - at least one of whom rated the performance a far more generous 7 out of 10 - the program's host returned after a commercial break expressing regret.
"I think we may have offended you with that act and I deeply apologize," the show's host told Connick.
"Thanks, Daryl," replied the singer and song writer. "I just wanted to say on behalf of my country, I know it was done humorously, but we have spent so much time trying to not make black people look like buffoons, that when we see something like that, we take it really to heart."
Connick went on to say that if he'd known about the skit in advance, he wouldn't have been on the show.
But he's not giving up his job as a judge on the program; and its producers, assuring there was no intent to cause offense, say the broadcast was a ratings hit.