As the clock was about to strike midnight, you can rest assured someone was about to get clocked backstage at Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve With Ryan Seacrest.
Multi-platinum recording artist Mariah Carey headlined the 11:30 pm half-hour of ABC’s annual NYE broadcast. Unfortunately, soon into her medley of greatest hits, the vocal track gave out, leaving the singer to wander around aimlessly on stage unable to hit any of her iconic high notes on her own.
After opening with a few bars of “Auld Lang Syne,” the Grammy winner emerged from a cocoon of feathers to perform the 1991 hit “Emotions,” during which her backing track malfunctioned.
“This song went to No. 1, that’s all we’ll say,” she commented from the stage, before explaining that one of the vocal tracks was missing. She then vamped by inviting those in the Times Square crowd to sing the song for her. Carey urged the technicians to “get these monitors on,” while she continued on with the choreography (“just for laughs”) — and with a smile. “I’m trying to be a good sport here,” she said.
“That was… amazing,” the singer quipped at the close of the first number, leaving the audience wondering just how she would finish that thought.
The problem appeared fixed moments later as the medley transitioned into “We Belong Together,” but it soon became clear that what Carey was hearing in her earpiece was not in sync with what was heard by the audience at home, at which point she stopped lip-syncing again.
“It just doesn’t get any better,” she said once the set was finished, before turning heel and heading off-stage.
On a scale of 1-10, how awkward was that Mariah Carey performance? Relive it in its entirety above.