By: Jessica Silverman and Sophi Thompson
Five-time Grammy award winner Mariah Carey emerges to the people of Times Square and the millions watching at home, gliding past an arc of white feathers held by her many backup dancers. She’s dressed in an outfit true to her diva reputation, a flesh colored bodysuit with sparkles that could be seen for miles. New Year’s Classic, “Auld Lang Syne” begins to play and it’s clear she’s having a hard time hearing the music.
The new year is generally seen as a fresh start for everyone. It’s a time to leave behind all the drama of the past year and look ahead to a better future. “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” always tries to end the year with a bang, arranging the appearance of dozens of high-profile artists in Times Square along with broadcasting the famous ball drop. When Carey was announced on the lineup, anticipation for her performance was through the roof. However, after a technical difficulty occurred just minutes before the ball dropped, many viewers both at Times Square and at home were let down when Carey left the stage.
The reactions to the performance came rolling in just seconds after it ended. Hundreds of people posted on social media wondering what they had just witnessed. The internet also reacted in its classic fashion, making meme after meme until the situation was too funny for anyone to throw a real fuss over. However, that’s never stopped Carey before. Sophomore Noah Katcher, who saw the performance at home, didn’t know what to think at first.
“My initial reaction was that it was a mess. She made it very awkward for people in the audience and she should’ve tried to sing despite the issues. It would show that she is talented and would’ve made the situation less awkward,” Katcher said.
Ever since the performance, Carey and the people at the Dick Clark Productions have been at each other’s throats, immediately placing the blame on the other party. Carey and her team claim that the production company deliberately wanted to sabotage her performance for media attention and that she was having trouble hearing before the show even started. Carey described her personal reaction to the media after the performance.
“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. My true fans have been so supportive and I am so appreciative of them and everybody in the media that came out to support me after the fact because it really was an incredible holiday season that turned into a horrible New Year’s Eve,” Carey told CNN.
However, Dick Clark Productions responded with a statement denying the accusations made by Carey and her team. “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 Dick Clark Productions, 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,” the production company stated.
No matter who was at fault for the technical difficulties, the performance may have negative effect on Carey’s reputation as an artist. Many are criticizing her rude comments on stage and her failure to attempt to sing her own songs. The way she handled herself on stage was uncalled for according to sophomore Shachar Gazit-Rosenthal.
“I never thought much of her to begin with, but now I feel like she’s a fraud. If she can’t sing [then] she shouldn’t have done the performance. Does she not know the words to her own song? She could’ve laughed it off, but she didn’t. She stomped off angrily,” Gazit-Rosenthal said.
Speculation continues over the possibility of malice behind the flop of a performance, but there’s no sign of the drama coming to an end yet. Neither party has yet taken the blame for the audio issues and are standing their ground. One thing is for sure though, it will be a New Year’s Eve performance we’ll never forget.