Mariah Carey's manager explains what really went wrong at her disastrous New Year's Eve show

Mariah Carey made some surprising news for herself at the end of 2016 with a botched performance on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” in which she talked more than she sang.

After a cheeky response from Carey herself, the singer’s manager Stella Bulochnikov has talked to Entertainment Weekly to try to clarify the audio issues involved in the already infamous moment.

Bulochnikov tells EW that Carey did in fact rehearse for the show, despite rumours to the contrary, but had faulty “in-ears” (devices musicians use to hear tracks they’re performing), which were never resolved:

“So, right when it goes live, she can’t hear anything. The ears are dead. They’re dead. So she pulls them out of the ear because if the artist keeps them in their ears then all she hears is silence. Once she pulled them off her ear she was hoping to hear her music, but because of the circumstances —  there’s noise from Times Square and the music is reverberating from the buildings —  all she hears is chaos. She can’t hear her music. It’s a madhouse. At the point, there’s no way to recover.

“On the third song when she could hear her track playing it was so bad she said, ‘F— it, I’ve had enough.'”

The manager also defends Carey against charges that the artist was supposed to be lip-syncing.

“It’s not lip-syncing. Lip-syncing is when people don’t sing at all. This is what people should understand,” Bulochnikov said. “Every artist sings to a track, especially in circumstances like that when it’s really loud and impossible to have a great musical performance. You’re not singing at the Philharmonic.”

Bulochnikov puts blame squarely on Dick Clark Productions, which handles production of “Rockin’ Eve,” and particularly producer Mark Shimmel, who she claims refused to cut the West Coast airing of the performance after it went awry:

“I asked, ‘What happened?’ He said, ‘I just talked to my guys and I confirmed her in-ears didn’t work. Couldn’t she just wing it?’ I’m like, ‘What are you talking about “winging it”? Are you on glue?’ He’s like, ‘What do you want me to do?’ I said, ‘I want you to cut the West Coast feed.’ He calls me back and says, ‘We can’t do it.’ So I’m like, ‘You would prefer to air a show with technical glitches so you can have a viral moment rather than protect the integrity of your show and Dick Clark Productions?’ He said, ‘We just won’t do it. Do you want to do a joint statement?’ And I said, ‘No, I want you to go f— yourself.'”

A representative for Dick Clark Productions didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

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