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It wasn’t the first time a television singing show chose Michael Jackson‘s music as a theme (ahem, American Idol), but Wednesday’s X Factor marked an extra-special occasion because several of the King of Pop’s family members were in attendance to watch the Top 7 battle it out.
Seated in the front row were the late singer’s children Paris, Prince and Blanket along with Jackson matriarch Katherine Jackson and brothers Tito, Jackie and Marlon. Head judge Simon Cowell acknowledged their presence several times, clearly moved by their support for the show.
The finalists pulled out all the stops in honor of the special guests, starting with Josh Krajcik‘s subdued “Dirty Diana,” Astro‘s rousing “Black or White” and Drew‘s tender Billie Jean, which may or may not have been inspired by Idol winner David Cook‘s version (the jury’s still out) and Marcus Canty‘s Usher-like “P.Y.T.”
On Thursday, two contestants will go home as the show begins to wind down.