Mariah Carey and ‘Rockin’ Eve’ Producers Play Blame Game Over NYE Fiasco
It was the awkward fail seen around the world and days after Mariah Carey fumbled through her live New Year's Eve performance on TV, reps on both sides of the production can't seem to agree on whose fault it really was.
While speaking to Billboard, BWR-PR's Nicole Perna dismissed the notion that the singer was unprepared for the live event and stated that Carey had practiced for three hours the night before, and also at 3PM on New Year's Eve without any issues.
Perna claims that shortly before going on stage, Carey alerted production and the stage managers that her ear piece was not working. "They told her it would be fine once she was on stage," she says. "However, that was not the case and they were again told that her ear piece was not working. Instead of endeavoring to fix the issue so that Mariah could perform, they went live." As a result of the issues, "production set her up to fail."
Carey's manager, Stella Bulochnikov, also explains: "We told them [the stage managers] that the in-ears were not working 10 minutes before the performance. 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."
"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."
TMZ even quoted a source suggesting that some form of sabotage was put in place for the sake of ratings.
But an unnamed source who spoke to Billboard tells a different story, however. The source tells the site that Carey "had ample time to rehearse and chose not to." The insider also alleges that Carey used a body double to rehearse in her place earlier on New Year's Eve day, instead, and that there were no reported audio issues during the walkthrough.
The New York Times interviewed the audio engineer working the production, Robert Goldstein of Maryland Sound International, who told the paper, "Every monitor and in-ear device worked perfectly. I can’t comment beyond that and don’t know what her nontechnical issue may have been.”
Dick Clark Productions subsequently released a statement to Billboard refuting any claims of sloppy production work or sabotage.
"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."