Last year, Mariah Carey’s highly anticipated performance at Times Square was a major disaster when she performed on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve just before the ball dropped. At first, it appeared that the music might have been off and clearly, Carey was supposed to be lip synching. Soon into the performance, Mariah Carey almost seemed to go on strike, saying that she couldn’t hear. Her dancers carried on with their performance while Carey seemed to go through the motions as she walked around on stage. Carey then said that she was just going to let the crowd sing instead as she tried to explain that the vocal track was missing and she couldn’t hear. A source told The Hollywood Reporter at the time that, “The singer had suffered from a tight and difficult rehearsal schedule earlier in the night was unable to hear through her in-ear monitor … She didn’t have the kind of time that she usually gets for her ‘Mariah-ness.'” Other sources stated that Carey had a stand-in for most of the rehearsals.
During the disaster performance, the music continued to play, with certain parts featuring pre-recorded vocals of hers. Carey clearly gave up on the performance early on and, when the song ended, there was still one more to be performed. The final song in the medley performance went slightly better, but Carey clearly was not pleased, saying, “I’m trying to be a good sport here.” Once the songs ended, Carey left the stage, with one last statement. She seemed to sarcastically say, “Guess it doesn’t get better than this.” After the very rocky performance, show host Ryan Seacrest stated with little enthusiasm that, “No matter what Mariah does, the crowd loves it.”
Carey’s response to her disaster moment on stage was in a tweet posted later on, saying, “Shit happens. Have a happy and healthy new year everybody! Here’s to making more headlines in 2017.” In addition to Carey’s statements on social media, the NY Times then reported that Carey’s manager blamed producers for the performance mishap and claimed “sabotage.” Carey’s manager at the time, Stella Bulochnikov, told Us Weekly, “I will never know the truth, but I do know that we told them three times that her mike pack was not working and it was a disastrous production. I’m certainly not calling the F.B.I. to investigate. It is what it is: New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Mariah did them a favor. She was the biggest star there, and they did not have their” act together.” Bulochnikov and Carey no longer work together and, in response to the former manager’s claims, Robert Goldstein of Maryland Sound International stated, “Every monitor and in-ear device worked perfectly. I can’t comment beyond that and don’t know what her nontechnical issue may have been.”
In addition, Dick Clark Productions released this statement, “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.”
Since the major real-time blunder on national television, it appears that Dick Clark Productions and Mariah Carey have patched up their working relationship. Carey is back in Times Square and is hoping to redeem herself as a headline performer on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest on the ABC network.