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.”

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21 Comments
  1. Leigh says:

    Weird how none of the other acts has technical issues…

  2. Annie says:

    Wasn’t there an issue with Mariah ‘Carey last year on NBC during a Christmas special??

    She didn’t even try to perform.

    • Chloe says:

      Yes, a couple of years ago, she failed to show up at rehearsal for the Rockefeller Center tree lighting special. She kept her fans standing out in the cold [and rain, I think] for something like 3 hours. She said later she was on the phone regarding something about her divorce. When she performed on the show, she was God-awful & Twitter went wild about it.
      I don’t understand why, if the dancers could hear the music, she couldn’t hear it. It might not have been as ideal as if the earpiece worked, but couldn’t she have at least tried to sing the song instead of wandering around the stage? And she was so obviously not singing the second song.

  3. Robby says:

    In the very least they COULD have cut away to Ryan, gone to a commercial, whatever…instead of just letting her flap in the breeze for 6 minutes, which might as well have been a lifetime on stage.

    • Ange says:

      Maybe the schedule did not allow for that since it was the countdown to new year’s.

      • miasanmia21 says:

        Sorry, that doesn’t cut it. If you work in production, you have to prepare for this. This is why each segment is timed to the last second so that the production manager and assistant can anticipate for issues like this. They can stretch a segment to make up for time or wrap up a segment early to meet their time.

  4. Larc says:

    Maybe it’s more comfortable for Mariah to blame her issues on somebody else.

  5. SJ says:

    LOL, sending a body double to rehearsal? Karma really got her good this time. I love it when pompous, snooty, arrogant people get taken down a peg. Hey, Mariah, if you’re gonna be such a see you next Tuesday, make sure you have the goods to back it up.

    She could have just taken out the earpiece and sang. I’m guessing she knows the melody of her own damn song, no matter how loud it is outside. She just didn’t feel like making the effort.

  6. Wendy says:

    Yes, it is everyone else’s fault but Mariah Carey’s. God forbid she take any responsibility here. If this was her first such time of a mess? Sure, benefit of the doubt. But it’s not. Were the prior mishaps someone else’s fault, too?

  7. Jerri says:

    Why didn’t she send a body double to the performance?

  8. Ray says:

    Shaddap, Mimi.

  9. Ashbash says:

    I don’t know I find it very hard to believe that Mariah Carey would send a body double to rehearsal in her place. Someone on that production team messed up and are now trying to use her diva reputation to put the blame on her. She honestly looked confused and partially scared on stage like something went wrong and there was something funky going on with her backing music. That production team is lying.

    • FRIDA says:

      But nobody else had an issue with sound. She flubbed it on purpose in my opinion.

    • popeye013 says:

      Oh @Ashbash, do pull your tongue out of her ass.
      A body double was sent, why lie about that when you’d only have to ask the other production staff or even the dancers there during rehearsal!
      She is being her usual asshat self, trying to fly by the ‘im Mariah Carey, i do what i want, if i can be bothered at all….’ attitude and it has bit her backside on live TV in monumental fashion for which she has only herself to blame!

  10. Mary says:

    No she was not set up to fail. Mariah ego won’t let her face the fact that she should no longer sing live. If this isn’t proof of it then she really is delusional.

  11. levi says:

    Mariah needs to realize she can’t treat people anyway she wants because she’s sold millions of records. Especially since everyone knows where she came from, humble beginnings. Karma will check you boo.

  12. c-mo says:

    This makes me laugh! I’m sticking with my theory that her people staged this. It’s been 2 days and we’re still talking about it. Last night on a sports show more than one person brought up the subject and my 80-something year old parents are even talking about it…SMH

  13. Lynn says:

    Instead of blaming others maybe you should sing your own song instead of lip syncing. I never did like her even in her heyday because she always seemed like a stuck up jerk who thinks she’s better then everyone else. People in the 60s and 70s and before had to sing over screaming fans without ear pieces and managed it. Certain people today who can actually sing also don’t lip sinc. Lady Gaga has said she will never lip sync and Adele doesn’t either just to name two.

  14. Brigid says:

    Ahahahahahahahaha! Ok Mariah!!!

  15. Tony Lang says:

    Gord Downie gave did his farewell tour with a late-stage brain tumor and a tele-prompter. ’nuff said.