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New year, new you… or not. For Mariah Carey, 2017 started off with a bang when her performance in Times Square went off the rails and devolved into a massive, live-TV train wreck. Not surprisingly, the diva didn’t shy away from addressing the disaster, nor did she take much ownership of what had transpired. Now that a few days have passed, fingers are being pointed and heads are starting to roll.
On Sunday, Carey’s manager, Stella Bulochnikov, reportedly sent a letter to Dick Clark Productions, saying it tried to “sabotage” the star. “You know her inner ears were NOT working and your entire production team did not set her up to win,” she wrote. She went on to say that Mariah kept telling the crew that something was wrong, but was ignored. “SHE TOOK A HIT HONORING HER COMMITMENT TO YOU. I SHOULD HAVE PULLED HER OFF THE STAGE THIS IS SABOTAGE,” Bulochnikov blasted, according to Page Six. She ended the letter with a demand for a formal apology — but that hasn’t happened. Instead, the producers responded by calling the accusation “defamatory, outrageous, and frankly absurd.”
On Tuesday, Carey shared her own feelings about what happened (beyond the “s*** happens” tweet she’d sent out in the early hours of the 1st). “All I can say is Dick Clark was an incredible person and I was lucky enough to work with him when I first started in the music business. I’m of the opinion that Dick Clark would not have let an artist go through that and he would have been as mortified as I was in real time,” she explained. “It will make me less trusting of using anyone outside of my own team.”
It turned out Carey wasn’t fully confident in her own team either, however. The 46-year-old mother of two axed her longtime creative director, Anthony Burrell, in the aftermath of the performance. “He’s not being brought back [in 2017] for a number of reasons,” a source close to Carey revealed. Allegedly, Burrell moved Carey’s backup singers off the stage for the performance (without her approval), putting them at the base of the risers in order to make more room for the dancers. Apparently, she needed those singers a bit closer.
But a source close to Carey insisted the diva was, indeed, to blame. “It was totally [Carey’s] screw-up,” the source said. “Her assistant came out for the sound check, not her. All her dancers were in step. Everybody else onstage heard the track. Even without [the earpiece] there were eight speakers onstage. It was not the sound people.” The insider added, “She wasn’t even standing where she was supposed to. … There was no [production] reason she couldn’t do it.” What’s more, Carey was apparently supposed to show up at Planet Hollywood after and didn’t.
A second source added that a stand-in did the entire sound check. “Mariah was on the side of the stage, and at the very end — no more than four seconds — she goes up and goes, ‘La-da-dee-da . . . Everything sounds great. Love you, New York,’ and left.”
Then Jenny McCarthy, who co-hosted Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, backed up that claim. During her SiriusXM show on Tuesday, McCarthy said, “The truth of the matter is, Mariah didn’t do a sound check, she said it there. She did whatever you would call, like, a 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.”
Still, McCarthy added that she felt bad for Carey — at first. “It was just, it was so bad, and then for a moment I said, ‘Take a step back, Jenny, and try to find some empathy right now.’ And I did. All of a sudden I felt really bad for her, because it was that bad, it was a complete train wreck,” McCarthy continued. “And like [my husband] 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, I know what it’s like when your brain malfunctions and you’re on live TV. So I was like, you know what, I have sympathy for her.”
Her sympathy ended when Carey started saying the production team had tried to sabotage her, and since Dick Clark couldn’t fight back, McCarthy took that job on herself.
“Dick Clark Productions has been doing this show for 45 years,” she continued, adding, “So for [Mariah] 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 added, “Now, when you’re doing a show live in Times Square, this is a location that’s tough. Out of all the places that you’re going to need to do a sound check, you do it there.”
At that point, McCarthy’s better half chimed in. “If you’re going to be a boss or you’re going to be a diva, then you know, again, it’s your name, your face and your legacy on the line,” the industry vet said. “So you leave something to someone else, you have no one to blame but yourself. The music track, missing a vocal, that’s on her. No rehearsal? That’s on her. And to blame Dick Clark Productions, and Ryan Seacrest, by default, who’s an executive producer — these people have made their career on love and respect of music and artists.”
McCarthy then offered her own theory of what happened. In a nutshell, she thought Carey was “nervous,” chose “tough” songs, and failed because “her voice is not there anymore.” The host did not believe there was any issue with the monitors since all of the backup dancers managed to stay on beat (which, to be fair, they did).
McCarthy isn’t the only celeb who has taken aim at Carey for the snafu. Jennifer Lopez seemingly chimed in (albeit subtly) on Instagram where screenshots make it appear as though she “liked” a comment that read, “Ever seen an accident you couldn’t take your eyes away from? That was her tonight!”
It seemed that Carey was determined to put the incident behind her, however, using Twitter and Instagram to promote her upcoming tour with Lionel Richie (another performer from New Years Eve) and sharing candid snaps of her vacation in the first days of the year.
Aspen moments > than Times Square moments (for Mariah).