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Breaking his silence. Ryan Seacrest spoke out about Mariah Carey’s disastrous New Year’s Eve performance for the first time during the Thursday, January 5, broadcast of his “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” radio show. Listen to what he had to say in the video above!

“I’m just catching up on all this, but there’s been a lot reported about the performance in Times Square for Mariah. And, you know, just to talk about it for a second, it is difficult to perform in Times Square,” said Seacrest, who has hosted Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve since 2006. “She had done it before because she was the first musical guest that we had had live when I started doing the show years — about a decade ago. So she had seen it. She knows what Times Square’s about. It’s complicated. … Imagine every single outlet — TV outlet — in the world is there, so there’s all kinds of technical things going on.”

Seacrest, 42, continued, “For Mariah, I was up there at the stage to introduce her on the same stage she performs on. And it’s live television, and things happen on live TV, and, you know, if something goes wrong, it’s unfortunate for anybody.”

As previously reported, Carey didn’t sing during her set on Saturday, December 31, because, as she and her team claim, the pop diva’s earpiece was not working. Seconds into her performance of her 1991 smash “Emotions,” the chart-topper paused her vocals because she was unable to hear the music due to her faulty earpiece. When it was time for her to transition into her 2005 No. 1 hit “We Belong Together,” the original version of the track played as she hardly brought her microphone to her lips. “This is the album version,” she admitted before leaving the stage. “It just don’t get any better.”

Dick Clark Productions denied allegations from Carey’s team that its staff personally sabotaged the superstar to goose ratings and publicity around the event. “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,” the company told Us Weekly in a statement on January 1. “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.”

During his Thursday morning radio show, Seacrest defended Dick Clark Productions and insisted that the producers working on the show never intended Carey to look bad during the live telecast.

“I know this team of producers. I’ve known these guys for years. I knew Dick Clark very, very well. This is a team that wants to do everything they can to accommodate any artist. We are in the business of wanting people to look good and, believe me, tricky things, tough things can happen. It happens on live television. You’ve seen artists before in a concert pull out their earpiece because something happens. Something could have happened in the ears. I wasn’t in those ears,” he said. “It’s just unfortunate that it comes to all of this. It’s a night of celebration and a night of fun.”

According to the media personality, he didn’t get a chance to watch Carey’s performance because he had to run to the stage underneath the NYE ball to lead the countdown to midnight.

“Interestingly, from where I was, I remember after I introduced the artist, I immediately physically moved from that stage back down several blocks to the other stage,” he said. “So I didn’t have a visual.”

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