It was a banner moment for the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, and one host Ludacris couldn’t stop talking about. “Michael Jackson” was performing a new song “live” for the first time ever.
In truth, it was a hologram, a la Tupac Shakur at Coachella a couple years ago. The difference here is they went out of their way to make it as obvious as possible, which didn’t do it any favors. Instead of just a projection of Michael, they added elaborate CGI backgrounds that were animated and changed, along with CGI backup dancers.
On top of that there were real dancers in front of the projection, creating visual anarchy that was hard to follow from beginning to end. Of course, there were also problems syncing the projection to the song, so Jackson’s singing didn’t match the movements of his mouth a couple of times.
All told, it was a stunt that the Billboard Music Awards wanted to hang their hat on, but instead it was just a huge disappointment. Then again, the show itself was pretty unremarkable, so in a way it fit right.