Pop star Mariah Carey’s trainwreck appearance on the ABC special “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” is being called the first big entertainment controversy of 2017 after the singer stopped singing in the midst of her performance during the high-profile TV event, leaving viewers wondering what had gone wrong.
Carey’s team is accusing the production of sabotaging her appearance, while the show’s producers are strongly denying it, according to various media reports.
Entertainment Weekly quotes Carey’s manager, Stella Bulochnikov, saying the show’s producers “wanted a viral moment at any expense,” implying that Carey’s performance was sabotaged. Bulochnikov, who was with Carey at the event, gave the publication a detailed account of events that includes repeated warnings from the Carey camp that her earpieces weren’t working in the runup to showtime.
According to Bulochnikov, she was reassured on multiple occasions that the audio issues would be worked out.
Bulochnikov tells EW: “Right when it goes live, [Carey] can’t hear anything. The [earpieces] are dead. They’re 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 — there’s noise from Times Square and the music is reverberating from the buildings — all she hears is chaos. She can’t hear her music. It’s a madhouse. At [that] point, there’s no way to recover.”
Dick Clark Productions, which produced the broadcast, strongly denied the accusations from Carey’s camp. The company’s statement says, in part: “To suggest that [Dick Clark Productions], 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. In very rare instances there are of course technical errors that can occur with live television, however, an initial investigation has indicated that [Dick Clark Productions] had no involvement in the challenges associated with Ms. Carey’s New Year’s Eve performance.”