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'Idol' James Durbin Responds to Michael Jackson's Family's Accusation

April 1, 2011 (3:12 am) GMT
The finalist of 'American Idol' said he was taking a jab at Pepsi's people in his remark about 'Pepsi moment' instead of the late King of Pop.

"" contestant James Durbin was in hot water after making a remark that offended 's family. The father of one's stage act on Wednesday, March 30 included a fire-lit piano. He told after his performance, "I have a lot of hairspray in my hair to keep it from jumping around -- so much so, the one thing I was worried about was having a 'Pepsi moment'."

Pepsi moment refers to the 1984 incident when Michael's hair was caught on fire while filming the brand's commercial. He sustained injury to his scalp which later led to his addiction to prescription drugs.

Unhappy with the insensitive remark, Jackson family sent a rep to state on TMZ, "We were shocked to see this. It's nothing to make light of and everybody should be focusing on who was responsible for Michael's death." The rep also said that Joe Jackson was particularly upset that producers of the show failed to cut out the part for West Coast broadcast.

In an effort to clear his name, James tweeted, "For anyone talkin..I said pepsi NOT MJ! I have no disrespect for Michael. I grew up singing his art. I guess youll take it how you want it..." He added later, "Talkin about MJs passing is too soon. Making a reference to an incident 25 years ago..not too soon. The stab was at pepsi people." James escaped the elimination on Thursday night. He is in the Top 9 which is now dominated by the guys with the exit of Thia Megia and Naima Adedapo.

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