By now everyone has seen and heard about Mariah Carey’s disastrous performance in Times Square on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve with Ryan Seacrest Saturday night. There has been some finger pointing coming from both sides and now the singer’s team wants to set the record straight about exactly what happened that led to the debacle on live TV.
Carey’s manager, Stella Bulochnikov, spoke to Entertainment Weekly in detail to clear up any misconceptions about what went on prior to Mimi taking the stage and the audio issues that plagued the performance.
Bulochnikov told the publication that her client did not skip rehearsals earlier that day and that during it Carey tried to do a soundcheck with her in-ears and her microphone but the audio was coming in “choppy.” Bulochnikov also explained that they were assured the problem would fixed by showtime, but Carey has the issue again when she was speaking to Seacreast before she took the stage.
“She did an interview with Ryan Seacrest at about 10:35 where her in-ear was very choppy,” Bulochnikov said. “She could barely hear Ryan. She was struggling to hear him through the noise of Times Square.”
Bulochnikov went on to say that right before Carey took the stage, she was telling everyone that she still couldn’t hear and the her ear pack was dead. According to Bulochnikov, she was brought several new packs, batteries were changed and when she still couldn’t hear anything she was told she would as soon as she went live.
“You’re gonna hear when it goes live — two minutes!” Bulochnikov recalled the stage managers saying as they counted Carey down.
Needless to say that wasn’t the case and Carey admitted to audio problems on stage, but it was already too late.
Bulochnikov also revealed that she asked the producer, Mike Shimmel, to cut the West Coast feed and he refused.
Finally, about the accusations that Carey was lip-syncing Bulochnikov said, “This is what people should understand. Every artist sings to a track, especially in circumstances like that when it’s really loud and impossible to have a great musical performance … What Mariah was doing was singing to tracks. What you heard on the second song, ‘Emotions,’ was her going to sing it live. That’s why you heard no vocals. It’s a song she sings every other day.”
During the performance, Carey herself said that the version of “We Belong Together” was the album version that she was going to sing along to.