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.
Bulochnikov told EW that Carey did in fact rehearse for the show, despite rumors to the contrary, but had issues with her “in-ears,” the devices musicians use to hear tracks they’re performing, that 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 defended Carey against charges that the artist was supposed to be lip-syncing.
“It’s not lip-syncing,” Bulochnikov said. “Lip-syncing is when people don’t sing at all. This is what people should understand. 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 put the blame squarely on Dick Clark Productions, which handles production of “Rockin’ Eve,” and particularly producer Mark Shimmel, who she said 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.'”
While Dick Clark Productions acknowledged a glitch in a statement, it did not accept blame for the problem and refuted charges that it intentionally made Carey look bad.
“In very rare instances there are of course technical errors that can occur with live television, however, an initial investigation has indicated that dcp had no involvement in the challenges associated with Ms. Carey’s New Year’s Eve performance,” the statement said.
“As the premier producer of live television events for nearly 50 years, we pride ourselves on our reputation and long-standing relationships with artists. 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,” it continued.
A representative for Dick Clark Productions didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.