Mariah Carey’s manager has spoken out about the singer’s embarrassing New Year’s Eve (31Dec16) performance in New York, insisting she was told a broken microphone pack would work when she went live.
The superstar was caught stumbling through her three-song set when she couldn’t hear her backing tape and at one point gave up on singing altogether and just grooved with her backing dancers.
Mariah’s aides have since accused Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest producers of orchestrating the sound issues to create “a viral moment”, prompting a furious response from Dick Clark Productions officials.
Now her manager Stella Bulochnikov has released a lengthy statement via EW.com dismissing reports suggesting Carey didn’t bother to soundcheck before the performance, and laying the blame for the drama at the feet of sound engineers and stage managers.
“Not only did she not ditch rehearsal, we got to Times Square at 2.30 (and) they weren’t ready for her until 3.20,” Stella writes. “We waited around for their stage manager. We had the stage from 3.20 to 3.50. She (Mariah) had a dance stand-in for the musical number. She sat on the side of the stage with her ear-pack and her in-ears (monitors) and her microphone to make sure she could do the soundcheck. The most important thing to her was the sound.
“The sound was coming in choppy. She was assured it would work by the evening.”
Then, just before she hit the stage, stage managers assured Mariah the microphone pack that was not working would be fine.
“Then things start to get chaotic,” the manager adds. “They start counting her down – four minutes, three minutes.
“Mariah: ‘I can’t hear’. Them: ‘You’re gonna hear when it goes live – two minutes!’ So, right when it goes live, she can’t hear anything. The ears are dead… So she pulls them out of the ear because if the artist keeps them in their ears then all she hears is silence. Once she pulled them off her ear she was hoping to hear her music, but because of the circumstances… all she hears is chaos. She can’t hear her music. It’s a madhouse. At the point, there’s no way to recover.”
Stella called TV boss Mark Shimmel to find out what had gone wrong after the show and he confirmed her in-ear monitors didn’t work, asking, “Couldn’t she just wing it?” “I’m like, ‘What? Are you talking about winging it? Are you on glue?'” the manager says.
She then insisted Shimmel cut the telecast of the performance which would air on America’s West coast three hours later, but he refused.
“I’m like, ‘You would prefer to air a show with technical glitches so you can have a viral moment rather than protect the integrity of your show and Dick Clark Productions?’ He said, ‘We just won’t do it. Do you want to do a joint statement?’ And I said, ‘No, I want you to go f**k yourself’.”