It's official: Michael Jackson will not be making a cameo appearance on this season of American Idol.
The list of stars scheduled to drop by the show in coming weeks was revealed on Thursday's result show, among them Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Lopez.
However, reports that the erstwhile King of Pop might be among the big names to show up on Idol proved false, indicating that Jackson meant what he said earlier this month about there being "absolutely no truth to the rumor" he would be appearing on the Fox talent competition.
Speculation began a few weeks ago after Robin Leach reported in his Luxe Life blog that the reclusive entertainer was meeting with American Idol mastermind Simon Fuller in Las Vegas to discuss his comeback strategy.
Exactly what that strategy might involve remains unclear, but it seems that making an appearance on the nation's number-one TV show is not part of the plan.
Also not on the list: Paul McCartney, who has reportedly been wooed by Fuller to oversee a Beatles-themed night.
In addition to Lopez and Stefani, Jon Bon Jovi, Martina McBride, Diana Ross, Tony Bennett, Barry Gibb and '60s stars Lulu and Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits will be taking the Idol stage over the course of the season.
High-profile guest appearances have proven mutually beneficial for Idol and the artists in the past, with singers including Shakira, Barry Manilow and Rod Stewart enjoying a major boost in record sales after appearing on the show.
After Idol began using Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" as the background music for the montages of eliminated contestants in the fifth season, the song soared to the top of the singles chart in 12 countries and became the most-downloaded single of the year. Powter performed his hit live on the second-to-last episode of the season.
This year, the show has shifted to using season five finalist Chris Daughtry's "Home" as the goodbye song, with the hopes of making a similar success story out of one of its own. So far, Daughtry is not on the list of Idol alumni returning to perform on the show, which includes Fantasia, Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler.
The most memorable Idol guest star to date is undoubtedly Prince, who made a surprise appearance at the end of last season in a performance that forced even the show's biggest detractors to give it credit.
Though the Purple One reportedly turned down a request from the producers for a theme night based on his music, he later agreed to perform in the finale.
Who knows—maybe Jackson has a similar trick up his sleeve.