All the Drama That's Gone Down Since Mariah Carey's Disastrous New Year's Eve Performance
This post has been updated with new information.
Thanks to Mariah Carey's iconic Christmas hit, "All I Want For Christmas Is You," the music legend is practically synonymous with the holidays. It seemed like a no-brainer, then, that she was asked to perform a slew of her biggest singles during Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve in NYC on Saturday night. Unfortunately, all did not go according to plan thanks to a number of technical difficulties, which revealed Mariah was lip-syncing and led to her walking off the stage (you can watch the performance here). "Trying to be a good sport here," she told the crowd about the glitch, explaining, "We didn't have a check for this song . . . we're missing some of the vocals, but it is what it is. I'm just going to let the audience sing. We didn't have a sound check for this New Year's baby, it is what it is." Unsurprisingly, people on social media quickly went in on the singer.
It seemed like it would all blow over soon enough, but since the incident, Mariah's team and ABC have been in a savage back and forth about who is to blame for the bad vocals. It doesn't seem like the drama is going to die down anytime soon, so check out a timeline of everything that's happened below.
- Mariah laughs off the incident on social media. A few hours after the performance, she posted a GIF of herself shrugging on Instagram along with the caption, "Sh*t happens 😩 Have a happy and healthy new year everybody!🎉 Here's to making more headlines in 2017 😂."
- Her camp reportedly claims they were sabotaged. Despite her seeming to have a sense of humor about it all, TMZ reported on Jan. 1 that Mariah and her team felt she was purposefully sabotaged by execs at Dick Clark Productions to score higher ratings and that her earpieces weren't working.
- Mariah's manager releases a statement blaming ABC. "We told them [the stage managers] that the in-ears were not working 10 minutes before the performance," Mariah's manager, Stella Bulochnikov, told Billboard. "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."
On top of accusations about the technical difficulties, Stella also decried ABC's choice to air the botched performance on the West Coast despite her request for them not to. "After the show, I called [Dick Clark Productions'] Mark Shimmel and I said, 'What the f*ck 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."
- Dick Clark Productions denies any involvement in sabotaging the performance. "As the premier producer of live television events for nearly 50 years, we pride ourselves on our reputation and long-standing relationships with artists," they wrote on Jan. 1. "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."
- Mariah thanks her fans. As accusations flew between both parties, Mariah took to Twitter to send a message to her "lambs": "I always always love seeing #Lambily members in the audience. Thank you for all your love and support. #LYM 😘❤️"
- DCP reportedly continues to pin the blame on Mariah. According to TMZ's sources, the singer "refused to personally do a sound check" and there was more than enough sound on stage for her to properly hear the music.
- Mariah's team apparently wants an apology from DCP. A source at E! News revealed on Jan. 2 that she "went through vocals and her team ran through sound" and that "all was well at rehearsal" but that "DCP knew her ear piece wasn't working and sent her on stage regardless." "It was sloppy and unprofessional on their part. Their statement says they didn't intentionally sabotage her, which [her team] agrees with. It doesn't apologize for failing to do a good job producing her performance, which is what happened. Her team knows that there are sometimes technical issues with live performances. All her manager asked DCP for was an apology for the poor job that they did producing and support of Mariah."
- Mariah gives her first interview since the performance. While chatting with Entertainment Weekly, Mariah opened up about her awkward performance and also praised the late Dick Clark, saying, "All I can say is Dick Clark was an incredible person and I was lucky enough to work with him when I first started in the music business. I'm of the opinion that Dick Clark would not have let an artist go through that and he would have been as mortified as I was in real time." She also revealed that the incident wasn't going to stop her from doing any future live TV events, adding, "It's not going to stop me from doing a live event in the future, but it will make me less trusting of using anyone outside of my own team." As for her reaction, Mariah says, "My true fans have been so supportive and I am so appreciative of them and everybody in the media that came out to support me after the fact because it really was an incredible holiday season that turned into a horrible New Year's Eve."
- Mariah parts ways with her creative director. ET reported on Tuesday that Mariah is no longer working with her creative director and tour choreographer, Anthony Burrell. A source close to the star told the publication, "He's not being brought back [in 2017] for a number of reasons." The insider also claims that Anthony's departure is due to a decision he made about moving Mariah's backup singers off the stage during her performance to make room for the dancers, leaving Mariah "without any support," as backup singers help artists pick up cues if their earpieces fail or they can't hear the music.
- Mariah's manager speaks out. Mariah's manager, Stella Bulochnikov, told E! News, "The country deserved better than that." "It's disgusting that they wouldn't edit a better performance for west coast and say, 'Hey, listen we're so sorry that we had a mechanical problem but we love you Mariah, we're grateful to you Mariah, we're going to do anything we can to give America the right performance.'" She then accused Dick Clark Productions of not cutting the West Coast feed to score higher ratings, adding, "No one even ran out to say to us, 'Hey would you please reshoot? Can you hang back for a few minutes? And can we shoot something else?' And we would've stayed on that stage and shot it, but nobody ran out . . . There's not a human being on the planet that could change my mind that they didn't do this for a viral moment for ratings and that's my problem."
Fingers crossed they can come to an agreement and put this mess behind them ASAP.