The drama of 2016's final moments continues to spill into 2017 in the form of an ongoing battle over just went wrong with Mariah Carey's New Year's Eve performance. Carey herself tweeted "S--- happens" to fans, alongside a GIF of her shaking her head, after an appearance on ABC's New Year's Rockin' Eve that included bungled renditions of "Emotion" and "We Belong Together" in which the Carey sang only small portions of the songs as a pre-recorded track played in the background. Carey's rep tells Billboard that the singer took the performance "very seriously," so much so that she rehearsed for three hours on the 30th and again at 3pm on the big night, with no sound issues surfacing on either occasion. "A shame that production set her up to fail," rep Nicole Perna concludes.
Carey's manager Stella Bulochnikov tells Billboard stage managers were alerted that the "in-ears" weren't working four minutes before showtime; reassurances the ear pieces would function once live were bogus so Carey "pulled them out but could not hear the music over the crowd." Bulochnikov suggests production "just want[ed] eyeballs at any expense." Dick Clark Productions swung back in a statement released to the AP Sunday night: "To suggest that dcp (Dick Clark Productions) ... would ever intentionally compromise the success of any artist is defamatory, outrageous, and frankly absurd." It said its initial investigation found no evidence of technical errors. An unnamed production source counters Perna's rehearsal claims, saying Carey used a body double during Saturday's rehearsal. (Josh Groban tweeted, then deleted, a diss about Carey.)