EXCLUSIVE: Whitney Houston Hologram Creator Defends Canceled Christina Aguilera Duet, Says 'The Voice' Audienc
By Sophie Schillaci
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The creator of a buzzed-about Whitney Houston hologram is speaking out in the wake of a major setback.
The Whitney Houston Estate and NBC have agreed to cancel plans to air a previously taped duet between the hologram and Christina Aguilera, which was originally scheduled to debut during the season finale of The Voice next week. In a statement issued exclusively to ET, estate executor Pat Houston said: "Holograms are new technology that take time to perfect, and we believe with artists of this iconic caliber, it must be perfect. Whitney’s legacy and her devoted fans deserve perfection. After closely viewing the performance, we decided the hologram was not ready to air."
"It did work, it just was incomplete," Greek billionaire Alki David, who created the hologram with his company, Hologram USA, tells ET on Friday.
Earlier this week, footage surfaced online appearing to show Aguilera performing with the hologram. David says that what fans saw was "incomplete work."
"Certainly there was more enhancement to the face that needed to be done on the final close-ups that were chosen for the TV show, because there is a difference between seeing a live performance and seeing an extreme close-up," he explains, pointing to those who were lucky enough to witness the performance in-person.
"There were people in the audience that were crying," he says.
The Houston Estate had nothing but rave reviews for Aguilera in its statement, calling the 35-year-old singer's performance "absolutely flawless."
Echoed The Voice executive producer, Mark Burnett: "Christina's performance was brilliant but unfortunately the hologram did not live up to the high production standards of The Voice. We are actively investigating where this leak originated."
"I was honored that the Houston family asked me to perform a duet with the legendary Whitney Houston," Aguilera responded in her own statement. "Sadly the technology could not meet up to the talent that Whitney possessed, but I do know in time the performance the fans and I have been hoping for will come to life."
But David claims that Aguilera was "absolutely furious" when she first got the news.
"Christina threw a fit when she heard that there was a possibility of the show being canceled," he says. "She's a perfectionist and she loved what she saw. ... She's furious. Absolutely furious."
The show will go on for Houston's legacy, with David revealing more details about a planned headlining gig for the hologram.
"We're working on a full-length show that will tour as a tour," he says, "and that will be a one-hour show that will show Whitney at different stages of her life."