The Grammy winner rang in the new year on a rocky note when she gave a shaky performance during the annual Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest. While she was slated to perform two of her career hits, "Emotions" and "We Belong Together," the songstress ultimately spent her set walking around the stage out of sync, claiming she could not hear the background track. "We didn't have a check for this song," Carey told the packed Times Square crowd as she tried to carry on with the routine despite alleged technical difficulties. "I'm trying to be a good sport here."
Amid rising speculation and public criticism, the reality star later took to social media to try and shake off the snafu. "S--t happens…Have a happy and healthy new year everybody!...Here's to making more headlines in 2017," she tweeted.
"I felt really bad for her, because it was that bad," the event's co-host Jenny McCarthy said of the routine on her SiriusXM radio show, The Jenny McCarthy Show. "It was a complete train wreck. And like Donnie [Wahlberg] said, being in this business, I know what it's like to have your prompter go out. I know what it's like to have my inner ears go out. It's scary, and it's like your brain malfunctions and you're on live TV. So I was like, you know what, I have sympathy for her. My sympathy stopped, however, the moment she accused Dick Clark Productions of sabotaging her performance."
McCarthy was referencing later developments from Carey's camp, which claimed dcp was aware of Carey's alleged sound problems and failed to fix them before it was time to take the stage.
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"We told them [the stage managers] that the in-ears were not working 10 minutes before the performance," Carey's manager, Stella Bulochnikov, told Billboard. "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," she continued to Billboard, "I called [Dick Clark Productions'] Mark Shimmel and I said, 'What the f--k 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."
However, the production company had a different story. "As the premier producer of live television events for nearly 50 years, we pride ourselves on our reputation and long-standing relationships with artists," dcp said in a statement released Sunday to E! News. "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."
"An initial investigation has indicated that dcp had no involvement in the challenges associated with Ms. Carey's New Year's Eve performance," the organization added.
"If Dick Clark were alive today, I guarantee he would be on air right now fighting back. He's not, so I'm going to," McCarthy continued to sound off. "Dick Clark Productions has been doing this show for 45 years...I've never seen a production company, like Donnie said, more prepared, more supportive of their musical guests, so for her to defame them was so incredibly insulting for the group of people who work their balls off preparing and rehearsing for their musical guests."
McCarthy and her husband did not take too kindly to Carey's lack of a sound check, either.
"She did whatever you would call a like dance move rehearsal holding her gold microphone, and she stood off to the side of the stage while she had a stand-in do a sound check," the co-host alleged.
"The buck stops with the artist," the New Kids On The Block member continued. "No rehearsal, that's on her. And to blame Dick Clark Productions and Ryan Seacrest by default who is an executive producer, too—these people have made their career on love of music and artists and respect for music and artists. Dick Clark built his whole empire on music and artists and performances. Those guys make you rehearse, and rehearse and rehearse. I heard Gloria Estefan out there rehearsing. I heard last year Demi Lovato 10 times rehearsing.
"I was there for the past seven years watching band after band," McCarthy added. "Taylor Swift rehearsing her balls off. Like I said, we rehearsed for four days, 10 hours a day. We have more sound checks, satellite checks, teleprompter checks, than any show down there. I promise you that."