It’s a battle of ‘he said, she said’!
According to TMZ, Mariah Carey’s team is saying that Dick Clark Productions set her up to fail during the “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve With Ryan Seacrest” performance. Carey’s earpieces were not working during her interview with Ryan Seacrest an hour before her performance and that’s when it began. Carey’s team complained and asked for the issue to be resolved, but nothing was done. Her team believes this was done for ratings.
TMZ is also reporting that the Dick Clark Productions team were not pleased after her performance and unsure why she didn’t continue performing despite the technical difficulties. Dick Clark Productions says the singer’s claims of sabotage are defamatory.
In response to the fallout, Dick Clark Productions has released a statement to ET Canada:
“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.”
However, Carey’s manager, Stella Bulochnikov, tells Entertainment Weekly that she was by Carey’s side throughout the entire show and relates her version of what went down.
According to Bulochnikov, Carey’s in-ear mic was “very choppy” when she was interviewed by Ryan Seacrest at approximately 10:35 p.m. ET, insisting that Carey “was struggling to hear him through the noise of Times Square.”
Bulochnikov then went to producers to relate the technical problems, and was told that those weren’t the in-ears she’d be using during the performance, and was told: “The ears she’ll be working with are in the trailer.”
The technical problems continued. “They brought her a new one, and that one didn’t work either, the mic pack was dead,” she claims. “They changed the battery pack. She said she still couldn’t hear. The second stage manager said, ‘It doesn’t work here in the tent, it will work on the stage.’ She said, ‘Great, let’s go to the stage.'”
When it was time for the live performance, however, Carey couldn’t hear her backing track through the faulty in-ears setup, and pulled them out of her ears in hopes of hearing the music. However, all she could hear was the noise of Times Square. “All she hears is chaos,” states Bulochnikov. “She can’t hear her music. It’s a madhouse. At the point, there’s no way to recover.”
Adds Bulochnikov: “She should have walked off and thrown the mic at somebody’s head — that would have been a great moment. After the show, I called [producer] Mark Shimmel — who begged her to do the show and had her cut her vacation short from Aspen. This is a verbatim conversation. I asked, “What happened?” He said, “I just talked to my guys and I confirmed her in-ears didn’t work. Couldn’t she just wing it?” I’m like, ‘What are you talking about ‘winging it’? Are you on glue?’ He’s like, ‘What do you want me to do?’ I said, ‘I want you to cut the West Coast feed.’ He calls me back and says, ‘We can’t do it.’ So 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*** yourself.’ And that was it. I don’t think it was an unfair ask to ask them to cut [the segment from] the West Coast feed after they had this huge mechanical glitch.”
As for how Carey is handling things, Bulochnikov says she’s “just ignoring it. She’s got so many more important things to do. And this goes under the heading of ‘no good deed’ because she was doing them a favour. Shimmel’s direct request was, ‘I’m begging you to do this. America needs this moment after Donald Trump, etc.’ What a bunch of nonsense.”