UPDATED, January 1, 10:19 p.m. ET: Billboard obtained statements from Carey's manager, Stella Bulochnikov, and Dick Clark Productions, giving more details into what happened on New Year's Eve. Bulochnikov claims DCP wanted eyeballs at any expense while DCP calls it absurd that they would do such a thing. Read them below.
"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 fuck 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."
Dick Clark Productions:
"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."
See original story below.
Who’s to blame for Mariah Carey’s tragic New Year’s Eve performance? The singer’s camp is pointing at TV executives.
According to TMZ, Carey’s camp claims the network sabotaged her live Times Square set in an effort to rack in higher ratings. They said executives at Dick Clark Productions repeatedly brushed off complaints about her malfunctioning earpieces. Prior to taking the stage, Carey conducted a brief on-camera interview with Ryan Seacrest, and had mentioned she was having trouble hearing him.
Worried that she would have the same technical difficulties during her concert, Carey sent her team to the production trailer so someone could look into the problem. Sources said execs reassured there would be no issue as soon as she hit the stage, as the earpieces would be on different frequencies.
Carey wasn’t completely convinced, so she reportedly arrived at the stage four minutes early to test the equipment. But she still couldn’t hear anything. The defective earpieces and the lack of concern from executives was enough to raise suspicion. But things became shadier after Carey took the stage and noticed the prompter—which runs lyrics and stage cues—wasn’t working. Moments later, the world witnessed one of the most awkward and embarrassing live performances.
Sources close to Carey they can’t write off the events as mere coincidences, and her team has since sent an email to the production company accusing them of sabotage.
Dick Clark Productions responded to Carey's sabotage claim, telling TMZ that it's "silly" because she was the one that didn't want to do a sound check and they had to use a body double instead. Their sources added there were eight monitors on stage amplifying sound, so even if her earpieces weren't working, she could hear her lyrics just fine.
Lastly, the Dick Clark sources are saying Mariah is changing her story, saying the track was wrong in the first place when in fact her camp provided them with the right track list.