After a very special tribute to the late Michael Jackson on Tuesday’s Dancing with the Stars, his brother Jermaine told OK! the singing legend’s three children are doing well, watching the ABC show, and have picked their favorite celebrity competitor!
“They watch the show with my mother, religiously,” Jermaine revealed to OK!, and added that the kids and the entire Jackson clan was rooting for Donny Osmond, as the Jackson and Osmond families have been friends for years. “We all love Donny. We go way back. He’s a pro”
When asked if he’d like to see Donny win DWTS, Jermaine was emphatic: “Yes, I do. This is his world. He is going to win. Watch.”
Jermaine was basking in the glow backstage after the show’s pro dancers performed a well-received dance medley to Michael’s hit songs.
“The tribute was wonderful because the dancers did a great job; they were very confident and entertaining. We were watching for all of those things,” said Jermaine, who sat in the audience to watch the performance with mom Katherine, sister LaToya, and other Jackson relatives. “The dancers understood what it takes to do Michael Jackson and they did it. We were watching to see if they just weren’t dancing by numbers, but really feeling it. They were feeling it. It’s all about the feeling. He achieved that, and to watch these dancers tonight shows you what the influence can be.”
When asked if he thought Michael was looking down and smiling, Jermaine said, “Yeah, because he used to watch this show all the time. He was in the room while they were doing the routine.”
The DWTS pros, such as Maks Chmerkovskiy, who choreographed the “Man in the Mirror” portion of the tribute medley, hailed Michael as an inspiration to them, a fact that makes Jermaine very proud. “It feels great because Michael worked so hard, wanting to be the best. When you work hard, you achieve, you influence others.”
As previously announced, Jermaine is currently working on an A & E reality show, set to air in December, about the Jackson brothers’ families. He told OK! Michael’s children definitely won’t be a part of the show and that had never been planned.
Meanwhile, a couple of the DWTS celebrities who had a close connection to Michael spoke to OK! about it after the show.
Donny, who dances with OK! blogger Kym Johnson said, for him, the TV dance tribute was “kind of bittersweet. It was a tribute to a genius, but what made it bitter was that the family was sitting right there and he wasn’t with us. We certainly miss him.”
And Aaron Carter said Michael “taught me the Moonwalk in 2003. It was amazing the time I spent with him in the studio. He was teaching me how to sing! He invited a bunch of people to be part of the charity song for him, ‘What More Can I Give,’ and he hand-picked everybody he felt deserved to be on it, and I was one of those people. He was a great friend of mine and I haven’t spoken about him [until] now.”
Aaron told OK! he keeps in touch with Michael’s children: “They’re really great, a little confused, but for the most part they’re okay. If I could say anything, [it would be] that he loved his kids very much. He worked hard to get them. He worked really hard to go through his life, all the pressures, to be able to have his own children.”
The singer, who dances with partner Karina Smirnoff, said he doesn’t personally think Michael’s kids should go into show business, but added, “they should pursue what[ever] their heart’s passion is.”
OK!’s EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS OF MICHAEL’S LIFE AS A FATHER:
By Carole Glines