Just as he promised, Michael Bublé stood by his Muppet.
The NBC Christmas special Michael Bublé: Home for the Holidays aired last night and, since it was pretaped, the Canadian performer had time to tweak the lineup.
But he didn't, and the show went on, his duet and comedic bit with Sesame Street's Elmo intact despite the underage sexual-contact scandal swirling around Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, who left the show last month.
"There was never a discussion to lose him," Bublé told XfinityTV.com last week. "The truth is, Elmo didn't do anything. He's a 3-year-old monster. He's innocent, sweet, and funny—and very polite, too."
(Sure enough, the furry little guy always makes a point of calling his host "Mr. Michael Bublé!")
"The deal is that Elmo is featured on my special and that's kind of how I really felt about it," the singer continued. "[The performance is] so warm and sweet. It really is a beautiful moment. I think people will enjoy it."
After a little back-and-forth, during which Elmo reveals that he's more of a wasabi Muppet than a cookie Muppet ("That's why Elmo doesn't have any eyelids") and Bublé helps him write a letter to Santa, the pair launch into a sweet version of "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth."
And that wasn't Clash's swan song, either. A number of Sesame Street episodes featuring Elmo and Clash's signature high-pitched squeal have been taped to air well into next year.