|Mariah Carey during her performance on ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” in Times Square. Credit Theo Wargo/Getty Images|
Mariah Carey’s disastrous New Year’s Eve performance is a fitting end to 2016
Before the ball dropped and 2016 finally came to an end, revelers in Times Square and viewers watching at home were treated to an incredibly awkward five minutes of Mariah Carey.
The pop diva had just finished singing “Auld Lang Syne” as part of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest.” Then the track of her 1991 hit “Emotions” began. “Got me feeling,” Carey attempted, before stopping and telling her backup dancers to “just walk me down” the stairs.
“We can’t hear,” she said. Throughout the rest of the song, Carey walked around the stage and alternated between attempting to sing a phrase and explaining what was happening.
“We didn’t have a check for this song, so we’ll just sing. It went to number one,” she said. “We’re missing some of the vocals, but it is what it is.”
A representative for Carey said there were a production issue and technical difficulties with the singer’s earpiece, adding “there unfortunately was nothing she could do to continue with the performance given the circumstances.”
And the singer with a wide vocal range tweeted her own brief explanation: “S— happens.”
Carey was the final headliner before the ball dropped. As “Emotions” continued, she held the microphone out to the crowd: “I say let the audience sing, okay?”
Finally the track ended. “That was,” Carey said, with a long pause, “amazing.”
Carey seemed to turn around the performance with another song, as she stood in place and sang “We Belong Together.” But midway through the 2005 track, she pulled the microphone away, revealing that she had apparently been lip-syncing. One of her backup dancers quickly showed up and walked her toward the front of the stage.
“Bring out the feathers — yes!” she said as the performance ended. “It just don’t get any better.”
According to a statement from Carey’s representatives, the singer rehearsed the afternoon of the performance “with no sound issues” but just before taking the stage Saturday night, she alerted stage managers and producers that her earpiece wasn’t working, ABC News reported.
“They told her it would be fine once she was on stage. However, that was not the case and they were again told that her ear piece was not working,” the statement reads, ABC News reported. “Instead of endeavoring to fix the issue so that Mariah could perform, they went live.”
Carey’s representatives said she “was intent on honoring her commitment and therefore took the stage essentially flying blind,” and defended her use of a backing track as common for live performances, saying she wasn’t planning to lip-sync, ABC News reported.
“She was not ‘winging’ this moment and took it very seriously,” Nicole Perna, a publicist for Carey, told Billboard. “A shame that production set her up to fail.”
Dick Clark Productions said in a statement that an initial investigation found the company had “no involvement in the challenges associated with Ms. Carey’s New Year’s Eve performance.”
The company acknowledged that technical errors on live television happen in “very rare instances,” but said suggesting that Dick Clark Productions “would ever intentionally compromise the success of any artist is defamatory, outrageous and frankly absurd.”
It added: “We want to be clear that we have the utmost respect for Ms. Carey as an artist and acknowledge her tremendous accomplishments in the industry.”
This isn’t the first time Carey has been at the center of a botched high-profile performance. In 2014, she faltered during NBC’s annual “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” tree-lighting special, not hitting a bunch of notes during “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
She later apologized, tweeting that the “situation was beyond my control. I apologize to all that showed up, you know that I would never want to disappoint you.”
According to TMZ, she arrived three hours late for a taped performance because she was meeting with lawyers in the midst of her divorce, so producers had her sing live instead. The reaction to the Rockefeller gig online was pretty brutal, and Deadspin even published a video of her isolated, unedited vocals.
While this time that particular fate won’t meet Carey (as she barely sang), she did become Twitter’s top trending topic, as critics and defenders of the pop star rushed to broadcast their takes.
On Friday, Page Six published an item that reported extra attention was being given to make sure Carey showed up on time, citing a show “insider.”
And although the social media accounts of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” promoted Carey’s performance beforehand, there was no mention of it afterward — almost as if they wished it had never happened.
Mariah Carey ends 2016 on low note with 'disastrous' New Year's Eve performance
Pop diva Mariah Carey suffered a series of mishaps during her New Year’s Eve performance, with viewers branding the show a disaster.
The singer, 46, took to the stage in New York’s Times Square but technical difficulties marred the event which was one of the biggest planned to ring in 2017.
At the end of her performance, watched by millions of fans, Carey abruptly walked off stage and signed off with: "It just don't get any better."
She had told the crowd: "I'm trying to be a good sport here."
Carey stopped singing her song Emotions, paced the stage and told the audience to finish the lyrics for her.
"We can't hear. We didn't have a check for this song... we're missing some of these vocals, but it is what it is," she said.
Then, appearing to give up attempting to lip sync, she said: "I'm going to say let the audience sing, okay?"
She added: "I wanted a holiday too, can I not have one?"
A representative for the singer confirmed there were technical difficulties during Saturday night's performance, but viewers were unimpressed.
William Vercetti tweeted: "2016 took another casualty literally 10 mins before the ball drops. RIP Mariah Carey."
Jessica Baum wrote: "Shout out to Mariah Carey's backup dancers for still dancing/keeping a straight face while all our jaws were on the floor."
CJ Fogler said: "Mariah Carey's disgusted sign off is a perfect goodbye to 2016."
Chanda Powell Fowler wrote: "I'm choosing to believe Mariah Carey's performance was an artistic reinterpretation of the 2016 presidential election."
Carey, who recently split from her billionaire fiance James Packer, attempted to shrug off the problems with a post on Twitter, with sad face and crying with laugher emojis.
"Sh-t happens. Have a happy and healthy new year everybody! Here's to making more headlines in 2017," she wrote.
Her performance was broadcast to millions of viewers as part of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest on US network ABC.
In an interview with Billboard, Carey's representative Nicole Perna said Dick Clark Productions hampered Carey's performance and "set her up to fail".
The production company called such claims "absurd."
This is not the first time that Carey has suffered onstage problems.
In 2014, she faced criticism from unhappy fans after the singer struggled to get through the first night of her Elusive Chanteuse World tour in Tokyo.
At the time, it was claimed that Carey was no longer be able to reach the high notes that she became famous for and appeared to forget song lyrics during parts of her performance.
Mariah Carey: Dick Clark Productions slams 'defamatory' and 'outrageous' allegations she was sabotaged
Mariah Carey's botched New Year's Eve performance is turning into an even bigger controversy.
Carey's team is blaming Dick Clark Productions, the production company behind the annual "New Year's Rockin' Eve" special on ABC, saying the company "set her up to fail." And Dick Clark Productions is firing back.
"As the premier producer of live television events for nearly 50 years, we pride ourselves on our reputation and long-standing relationships with artists. To suggest that DCP, as producer of music shows including the American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, New Year's Rockin' Eve and Academy of Country Music Awards, would ever intentionally compromise the success of any artist is defamatory, outrageous and frankly absurd," Dick Clark Productions said in a statement provided to CNN.
The statement continued: "In very rare instances there are of course technical errors that can occur with live television, however, an initial investigation has indicated that [Dick Clark Productions] had no involvement in the challenges associated with Ms. Carey's New Year's Eve performance. We want to be clear that we have the utmost respect for Ms. Carey as an artist and acknowledge her tremendous accomplishments in the industry."
Their response comes after Carey's team spoke to Billboard magazine and claimed that Carey, who had attended a rehearsal earlier in the day, had alerted Dick Clark Productions that her ear piece was not working. Carey's publicist, Nicole Perna, said that her client "was not winging this moment and took it very seriously" and added, "A shame that production set her up to fail."
Perna separately said to CNN, "There was a production issue. Technical difficulties. Unfortunately there was nothing she could do to continue with the performance given the circumstances."
As for Carey singing along to a track, a source close to her said: "It is not uncommon for artists to sing to track during certain live performances."
Carey took the stage shortly before midnight for a three song set, first performing "Auld Lang Syne" before moving to her own song, the 1991 hit "Emotions." That's when things started visibly going downhill. While the track played, Carey told the audience that a proper sound check had not taken place and opted to let those in the crowd sing her lyrics. After walking off stage in a huff after attempting to sing her hit, "We belong together," Carey took to Instagram to post a meme with the caption: Sh** happens. Have a happy and healthy new year everybody! Here's to making more headlines in 2017."