Mariah Carey returns to 'New Year's Rockin' Eve,' is disappointed there's no hot tea

Talk about pressure. Christmas queen Mariah Carey returned to Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest Dec. 31, following a disastrous 2016 NYE appearance in which she blamed Dick Clark Productions for technical glitches.

Basically, after the chatter generated from Carey’s last performance at this event (regardless of who was at fault, which was the subject of yet more discussion) it would be nothing short of another disaster if Carey failed to deliver anything less than a perfect performance.

That she did manage to do. It was clear from the beginning that Carey was planning a more subdued appearance this year, choosing to open up with the scale-bending but mellow 1990 hit “Vision of Love.” Dressed in a glittering nude gown and white fur coat to block out the 10-degree weather, she remained rooted to one spot on the stage, apparently concentrating on handling the ballad.

Following the successful completion of that song, she bantered lightly with the audience for a few moments–putting the spotlight on what she considered to be the debacle for 2017. “They told me there would be tea,” she noted, joking, “Oh, a disaster,” when the beverage was apparently not available for her on stage.

Thus, inadvertently (or perhaps not so), the diva created the first meme of 2018. Twitter gleefully jumped on it, as would be expected.

Tea or no tea, Carey gamely launched into 1993’s “Hero,” backed by a white-robed choir, and again remained relatively immobile while delivering the song. Carey’s tone was a bit raspy at moments, but overall her two-song performance was solid.

Host Ryan Seacrest certainly seemed to agree: “Those songs in these temperatures,” he raved. However, some viewers seemed to think the superstar might have been playing it a bit too safe.

Carey made the decision to return to the Times Square celebration despite the huge debacle that occurred at the 2016 show, which involved a series of audience-facing production issues and technical difficulties during her set.

“We can all agree that last year didn’t go exactly as planned and we are thrilled to move forward together to provide America with an incredible night of music and celebration on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2018,” the singer and Dick Clark Productions said in a joint statement on December 22.