While the rest of us were ushering in a happy new year, Mariah Carey had a nightmare of a performance. Her night was filled with technical glitches and uncaring executives. For those that didn’t watch her cringe-worthy performance, her lip syncing cues were a mess and her in-ear monitors were down. Much of her performance was her just standing around waiting for the technical glitches to get fixed, which they never did.
Her manager, Stella Bulochnikov, released a statement. “We told them [the stage managers] that the in-ears were not working 10 minutes before the performance,” Bulochnikov says. “They then changed the battery pack, and they were still not working on the frequency four minutes before the show. We let them know again, and they just kept counting her down and reassuring her that they will work as soon as they go live, which never happened — at which point she pulled them out but could not hear the music over the crowd.”
Bulochnikov continued: “After the show, I called [Dick Clark Productions’] Mark Shimmel and I said, ‘What the f— happened?’ He said, ‘Let me call you back,’ then called me back and confirmed the in-ears were not working and asked if I would make a joint statement. I said, ‘No way.’ I asked him to cut the West Coast feed. He said he could not do that. I asked him why would they want to run a performance with mechanical glitches unless they just want eyeballs at any expense … It’s not artist friendly, especially when the artist cut her vacation short as a New Year’s Eve gift to them.”
In response to Carey’s team, Dick Clark Productions came out with their own statement. “As the premier producer of live television events for nearly 50 years, we pride ourselves on our reputation and long-standing relationships with artists. To suggest that dcp, 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 dcp had no involvement in the challenges associated with Ms. Carey’s New Year’s Eve performance. 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.”
So there are two sides to every story. It’s easy to side with the artist and against the unforgiving face of the industry but if you do a little digging, it’s not that simple. Two reliable sources have both said that her monitor wasn’t on the right frequency and was functioning fine right before the performance. If that’s true then it’s Carey’s tech people that got it wrong. As for Carey wanting to pause the performance while they get all the technical issues ironed out, you have to remember that she was already 2 minutes in on a 6 minute performance. It might have been doable if it were before the performance but during is a bit of a stretch. Who’s fault is it for the miserable performance? That depends on who you believe, but Mariah’s reaction definitely wasn’t a good one.