You’ve probably heard about the Jewish Michael Jackson by now. If you haven’t, you can catch up on the details (here, here, here … and here). But stay with us for a quick summary: He’s an Orthodox Jew named Michoel Streicher who was sentenced yesterday to at least a year in prison for grand larceny because he stole $36,000 that he was supposed to use to buy a woman (a devoted fan!) a Torah for her dying father. And he calls himself Michael Jackson — or, at least, the Michael Jackson of Orthodox music. Could it be? We undertook a case-by-case comparison of the two purported Kings of Pop.
First, have a look at Streicher’s performance.
Now, check out Michael Jackson in “The Way You Make Me Feel”:
Our highly scientific scale ranges from 1 to 10, 10 being the best.
Clarity of message:
We can clearly tell that the chick in the video is making Jackson “feel” a certain “way.” His body language leads with his crotch in every dance sequence, and he is relentless in his pursuit while singing to his “pretty baby with the high heels on.” We get it, Jackson wants to get his lovin’ on.
But what does Streicher want? This is a more complicated question. It’s difficult to understand him, mostly because I don’t understand his language, but also because he’s muffled, and the feeling of his words aren’t coming through his body.
Verdict: Michael Jackson: 8; Michoel Streicher: 2
Ability to work with what you’ve got:
Jackson has an elaborate video set, a hot chick to chase, and a throng of back-up dancers, so, yeah, his video should and does kick ass.
Streicher, however, has a flimsy electric keyboard, a campfire, and an audience that is engaged on a superficial level with mechanical claps and very few smiles. Yet Streicher doesn’t falter. He’s bringin’ it in this video, and he looks like he could just as comfortably be singing into a hairbrush in his bathroom.
Verdict: Michael Jackson: 5; Michoel Streicher: 9
This is where Jackson really pulls ahead. His pelvis thrusts like a well-oiled pendulum; he dances as if he’s an infallible being, and he chases his lady like he’s ready to pounce.
Streicher, on the other hand, is working in a forum much less open to sexual advances for many reasons, including the fact that the audience appears to be almost all-male. He didn’t even take off his jacket to loosen up, but his arm motions show that he probably has moves that he chooses to hold back and that we don’t mind him keeping to himself.
Verdict: Michael Jackson: 9; Michoel Streicher: 1
Yep, this one’s a tie: Jackson for consistent spunk, and Streicher for unexpected and sustained spunk. Jackson, with his short “hee” noises and pop-y style that makes your hips move owns this category, but Streicher, the underdog, starts off slow and then rises to the occasion in a sneaky spurt of fist-pumping. And he keeps it going to the very end, holding a deep, long note in a final gesture of commitment to spunk.
Verdict: Michael Jackson: 8; Michoel Streicher: 8
Let’s face it: Streicher is not the King of Pop despite his own self-comparison to Michael Jackson. That’s musical hubris! We’ll award Streicher a “pretty good” as a religious singer, but the fact that his name accompanied the words “Michael Jackson” in headlines everywhere today is a bit more than we can handle, which is why we set up this completely objective and scientific competition in the first place.
Verdict: Michael Jackson: 10; Michoel Streicher: 2
Final tally: Jackson: 40; Streicher: 22. Jackson’s name is officially cleared. Streicher, how about being the “Jewish Bieber” when you get out of the clink?