Michael Jackson performing Dangerous and Earth Song Live on “Wetten Dass?”

Michael Jackson appeared on the German television show “Wetten Dass..?” on the 4th November 1995. He was premièring the live performance of his History album song “Earth Song” as well as performing his song “Dangerous”. Michael Jackson had just performed the same Dangerous choreography at the MTV Video Music Awards on September 7th 1995 in New York. Michael Jackson would appear on the show twice in his life (the other in 1999) and he would appear on stage with the show’s presenter Thomas Gottschalk, several times, including on stage at the Michael Jackson and friends concert in Munich 1999.

Michael Jackson performing Dangerous

Michael Jackson performed his MTV music awards choreography. Obviously a clean, amazing performance. The sound stage and depth was absolutely massive and the only unusual thing about this performance was

1) He had short hair!

2) He threw his hat into the audience (he generally didn’t do this in Dangerous live although he did later on at the American Bandstand performance.

Thomas Gottschalk introduction

Thomas Gottschalk is always great introducing Michael Jackson and has done so many times. I am not an expert in the German language but he apparently said that this was Michael Jackson’s first Television show performance outside the United States and secondly, that Michael would perform two songs from his History album.

Hmmmmm …. I don’t know about the first one at all. Michael performed on UK’s Top of the Pop’s in the BBC studio performing “Rocking Robin” when he was very young (on his first and last top of the pops perfromance), so that is obviously not true. Secondly, Dangerous, the last time I checked, wasn’t on the History album.

20,000 people watching on screens outide

Not only did Michael perform to an obviously capacity studio but massive screens were erected outside and 10 – 20, 000 people turned up in the cold to watch Michael perform outside the venue!

You Bet!

The show actually had a UK version called “You Bet!”, it was introduced by Matthew Kelly and a big hit. It is actually still broadcast every week (repeats) on UK’s “Challenge TV”. The premise of the show is basically betting against or for somebody completing a very hard task in a certain amount of time. I don’t know what Michael Jackson had to do with this but the presenter said that he “bet that he would come” :-)

Earth Song Performance

I enjoyed this performance much more than the Brit awards performance (which we looked at yesterday). A few interesting things:

1) Michael grabbed the camera woman and forced the camera into the audience! That must be a moment in her life indeed. Michael would always direct his film crew to film out and the audience as he didn’t like the camera in his face.

2) Glad they got rid of the 80′s style backdrop at the beginning of the song – don’t know who’s idea that was!

3) Musically, the version is exactly the same as the album version with no changes or alterations (this is unusual for a live Michael Jackson performance)

4) It seems like he is caught in the moment and almost forgets about his crane. He jumps on it very late and stays on it until the last bar which is unusual, also.

5) His microphone falls off his head, whilst he is on the crane (although this has no affect on the vocals whatsoever, which is interesting!)

6) We see Michael’s bodyguard Wayne Nagin guarding next to the crane but I am surprised that nobody attempted to storm the stage and grab Michael. The audience looked like the usual studio audience, as opposed to Michael Jackson fans – they certainly enjoyed it! Many of the shots were planned with the audience sitting down so several shots were destroyed when everybody got up and wouldn’t get back down.

Michael Jackson rehearsing for the show

You can watch Michael rehearsing for the show and stretching, in a short clip here

By Anthony King (c)



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