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'American Idol': Michael Jackson is the theme for next week's show, but will he appear?

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Fox has confirmed reports that the Top 13 finalists on American Idol will tackle Michael Jackson (his music, not the man) in their first performances on the main Idol stage next Tuesday, March 10. Several contestants told EW.com at last night’s Top 13 party in Los Angeles that they were excited and more than a bit nervous to take on the King of Pop’s catalog, but it was unclear at the time when that night would fall in Idol‘s schedule. “Michael Jackson might be coming up,” said contestant Kris Allen, “which would be kinda fun, but scary as well since I actually did a Michael Jackson song [in the semifinal round].”

A rep for the show says Jackson will not be mentoring the contestants, but was mum about whether Jackson would be making an appearance, replying only, “Not to my knowledge.” Meanwhile, Kanye West and original American Idol Kelly Clarkson are scheduled to perform on Wednesday’s elimination show.