UPDATEDx2: Mariah Carey’s Claims of New Year’s Eve Sabotage Labeled ‘Absurd’
UPDATE 2: A spokesperson for Dick Clark Productions has responded to claims from Mariah Carey’s camp that the producers of last night’s New Years Eve show “set her up to fail.” DCP’s statement, which you can read in full below via Billboard, calls the claim “absurd” and says that an investigation has indicated that they had no involvement in the technical issues.
Carey’s stage manager confirmed reports from TMZ that they believe DCP set her up to fail, saying, told the outlet, “We told them [the stage managers] that the in-ears were not working 10 minutes before the performance. They then changed the battery pack, and they were still not working on the frequency four minutes before the show. We let them know again, and they just kept counting her down and reassuring her that they will work as soon as they go live, which never happened — at which point she pulled them out but could not hear the music over the crowd…After the show, I called [Dick Clark Productions’] Mark Shimmel and I said, ‘What the f— happened?’ He said, ‘Let me call you back,’ then called me back and confirmed the in-ears were not working and asked if I would make a joint statement. I said, ‘No way.’ I asked him to cut the West Coast feed. He said he could not do that. I asked him why would they want to run a performance with mechanical glitches unless they just want eyeballs at any expense … It’s not artist friendly, especially when the artist cut her vacation short as a New Year’s Eve gift to them.”
Billboard says that a production source said Carey had time to rehearse but chose not to, instead relying on a body double for the earlier rehearsal. Everything was working at that time. Multiple sources at the production level say that the in-ear mic, which was set to the wrong frequency, as the fault of Carey’s tech team.
DCP’s statement reads, “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. In very rare instances there are of course technical errors that can occur with live television, however, an initial investigation has indicated that dcp 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.”
UPDATE: TMZ reports that Mariah Carey and her camp believe her New Year’s Eve performance was purposefully sabotaged by TV executives in order to get bigger ratings. Alleged sources close to Carey reportedly told executives at Dick Clark Productions that Carey’s earpieces were not working properly.
Carey later did an interview with Ryan Seacrest about an hour before she got on stage in Times Square and she was apparently having trouble. She also told Seacrest, “It’s hard for me to hear you.” Later on, Carey and her team went to the production trailer and complained to the executives about the earpieces. Her sources were then apparently told the earpieces would be on a different frequency for her live show and there would not be a problem.
By the time Carey was doing some last-minute makeup, she was alarmed and told her team she could not really hear anything over the earpiece. Carey’s team then were reportedly assured the tent muffled the sound and everything would be fine on stage. Someone on her team then said the microphone pack wasn’t working because the battery was dead. The battery pack was then changed, and she was suspicious because when she went on stage early for a sound test, she still couldn’t hear anything in her inner earpiece.
In addition, her team claims that the teleprompter with the lyrics wasn’t working properly either. Carey then released the earpiece from frustration. Her team later reportedly sent an e-mail to Dick Clark Productions and claimed, “This is sabotage.”
ORIGINAL: Mariah Carey gave exactly the right performance to end what was an heavily-panned year. Carey took to the stage as the final performer at Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve With Ryan Seacrest on ABC and, when the vocal track for her planned medley of hits ran into technical issues, proceeded to aimlessly and fruitlessly stumble her way through trying to make the performance work.
You can see video of the trainwreck performance below, in which Carey has just finished “Auld Lang Syne” and cuts one of her classic hits in “Emotions.” When it becomes clear that the vocal track she was lip synching to isn’t playing, she gives up and begins talking to her dancers and the crowd. “We didn’t have a [sound] check for this song,” she tells the audience at one point. “So we’ll just say it went to #1 and that’s what it is.” She gives a couple attempts to sing along but gives up before the individual lines are complete and asks the audience to sing for her.
The problems continued on to the next song, “We Belong Together,” where the vocal track returned and she started off okay but she quickly got out of synch with the track — presumably due to her earpiece not matching up — as her lip synching failed to match the vocals for the song. She ended the mini-set by quipping, “It just doesn’t get any better” before turning and heading offstage.
After the performance, which was roundly criticized, Carey took to Twitter to respond by posting:
Shit happens ? Have a happy and healthy new year everybody!? Here's to making more headlines in 2017 ? pic.twitter.com/0Td8se57jr
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) January 1, 2017