By this particular moment in time, many of you have seen the Mariah Carey New Year’s Eve performance. It didn’t take long for Mariah to start pointing fingers at Dick Clark Productions. She is citing that they set her up “for failure.” Needless to say, that any live performance organization that would do that is definitely not going to make it very far. With some 50-plus years under their belt, we can almost be certain that is not the case.
Before we jump into the finger pointing, let us first take a look at the performance…
“We told them [the stage managers] that the in-ears were not working 10 minutes before the performance,” Stella Bulochnikov, Mariah’s manager, says. “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.”
What Mariah’s people didn’t understand is that the performance was a gift to everyone. BWR-PR’s Nicole Perna, a rep for Carey, previously told Billboard that “production set her up to fail.” But a production source told Billboard that Carey “had ample time to rehearse and chose not to,” instead using a body double to rehearse in her place earlier in the day and that at the time, “all was working” on the technical side.
Dick Clark Productions gave a statement Sunday to counter Mariah’s claims:
“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.”
It is almost certain that Mariah herself did not choose to rehearse, but to blame her for lip-syncing is ridiculous. When you are out there in 40-degree weather, you will certainly want to save the voice. However, her voice isn’t what it used to be. You can see it in those carpool karaoke videos with James Cordon. Happy New Year to us all.