Was Mariah Carey 'Set Up to Fail' on NYE? Producers Slam 'Absurd' Theory

A spokesperson for Mariah Carey says that the producers of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special ignored claims that audio equipment was malfunctioning and forced the singer to go live regardless — a version of events that in turn has been dismissed as “outrageous” and “absurd.”

Addressing the technical issues that plagued Carey’s New Year’s Eve performance, which closed out ABC’s countdown festivities shortly before the clock struck midnight, the singer’s rep told Billboard that stage managers were alerted beforehand to a malfunctioning earpiece monitor (which allows a singer to hear themselves/the music during a loud, typically outdoor performance), yet they insisted all would work “fine once she was on stage.”

“She was not ‘winging’ this moment and took it very seriously. A shame that production set her up to fail” by leaving her on stage “flying blind,” stated the rep.

A production insider, however, told Billboard that Carey in fact skimped on rehearsal time (including by sending a body double to the Saturday run-through), and that “all was working” on the technical side.

Later, in a formal statement to our sister site Variety, Dick Clark Productions said that to suggest that they, “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.”

Dick Clark Productions acknowledged that while technical glitches can occasionally plague a live performance, a preliminary investigation indicated that producers “had no involvement in the challenges associated with Ms. Carey’s New Year’s Eve performance.”