Mariah Carey's manager on NYE fiasco: 'They wanted a viral moment'

We're already three days into 2017 but Mariah Carey and Dick Clark Productions are still stuck on what happened in the last hours of 2016.

The singer's botched performance on New Year's Rockin' Eve was all the pop-culture world remembers from that night.

Carey's manager, Stella Bulochnikov has now waded into the morass with her account of what went down with the pop diva's earpiece and their discussions with Dick Clark Productions.

Here's the meat of what she had to say.

1. "They wanted a viral moment at any expense"

According to what Bulochniko told both magazines, once the audio-plagued set ended, she called NYRE producer Mark Shimmel, who had personally asked Carey to perform, and asked him to cut her performance from the tape-delayed West Coast broadcast. While he confirmed that the singer's earpiece had malfunctioned, he refused to edit it out of the later feed.

"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."

Bulochnikov is still mad they didn't cut to commercial when the audio problems became apparent.

"That says to me they wanted a viral moment at any expense," she told EW.

2. Carey did not skip rehearsal

"Not only did she not ditch rehearsal," Bulochnikov told Entertainment Weekly, "We got to Times Square at 2:30. They weren’t ready for her until 3:20."

While she confirmed that a stand-in handled the dancing duties during rehearsal, Carey sat to the side of the stage trying to get her microphone, battery pack and in-ear system ready to go.

"The sound was coming in choppy," Bulochnikov said. "She was assured it would work by the evening."

Suffice it to say, it did not.

3. "I can't hear"

The audio equipment given to Carey that night faltered during her pre-performance interview with host Ryan Seacrest. While she waited in the holding tent to begin her performance, an audio tech swapped out her earpieces and battery pack and tried tuning everything to the correct frequency, but nothing fixed the problem. But a stage manager assured her the system would work once she was onstage.

Nope.

"It’s now four minutes to showtime," Bulochnikov recalled to EW. "She says, 'I hear nothing in my ears, my ears are dead.' The other stage manager says, 'It will work right when we go live.'

The audio fix "never happened," Bulochnikov told Billboard, noting Carey's audio problems persisted through the first three songs. "At which point she pulled them out but could not hear the music over the crowd," she added.

 

USA TODAY


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