Mariah Carey had a rough end to 2016. The “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve with Ryan Seacrest” headliner botched her performance in Times Square, just minutes before the ball drop.
Carey was “mortified” by the whole ordeal, she told Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday in her first interview about the performance.
“It really was an incredible holiday season that turned into a horrible New Year’s Eve,” Carey said.
The singer appeared to be having technical problems from the start. After her lip-syncing of “Auld Lang Syne” didn’t quite match up with the music, she stopped singing altogether during what was supposed to be a performance of her song “Emotions.”
“We didn’t have a soundcheck for this New Year’s, baby,” she told the crowd. Carey then suggested the audience should sing the song.
She tried to lip-sync the next song, “We Belong Together,” but gave up part way through, ending the performance with, “It just don’t get any better” before walking off stage.
A spokeswoman for Carey said later on Sunday that there was no lip-syncing. “It is not uncommon for artists to sing to track during certain live performances,” spokeswoman Nicole Perna said in a statement.
Carey’s earpiece was not working before or during the performance and technicians could not fix it, but she took the stage anyway “essentially flying blind” so she could honor a commitment, Perna said.
Perna told Billboard that Carey was set up to fail.
The production company behind the event, Dick Clark Productions, called the accusations “absurd.”
“As the premier producer of live television events for nearly 50 years, we pride ourselves on our reputation and long-standing relationships with artists,” it said. “To suggest that dcp (Dick Clark Productions), 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.”
It 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.”
On Sunday, Carey tweeted, “Shit happens 😩 Have a happy and healthy new year everybody!🎉 Here’s to making more headlines in 2017 😂.” But many on Twitter reacted a little more harshly.
Will her awkward appearance on the telecast — which drew more than 8 million viewers — keep her out of the spotlight?
“It’s not going to stop me from doing a live event in the future,” Carey told Entertainment Weekly. “But it will make me less trusting of using anyone outside of my own team.”