Mariah Carey had a ball dropped on her on New Year’s Eve in the middle of New York City’s Times Square. Though it wasn’t in the way most would expect.
The 46-year-old singer fumbled her way through three painfully awkward performances Saturday night, closing out Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest — and 2016 — on a sour note.
She was the last pre-midnight guest on the ABC special — which included a performance by Fifth Harmony, pre-taped before Camila Cabello left the group. While those ladies were in sync, Carey was far less lucky.
Sounds problems plagued Carey’s appearance, beginning with her take on the New Year’s Eve classic “Auld Lang Syne.” Seconds into that number, it became clear Carey could not hear the backup vocals heard on the live broadcast, causing her to get flustered.
It didn’t get better as Carey moved into her second number of the evening: her 1991 hit “Emotions.” There, Carey barely sang, pausing to tell the audience “We didn’t have a [sound] check for this song, so we’ll just say it went to No. 1 and that’s what it is, okay?”
“Well, Happy New Year! We can’t hear, but I’ll just get through the moment,” she said.
Visibly frustrated, the Mariah’s World star walked around the stage — pausing and motioning for her ear piece (which she had removed earlier and tucked behind her shoulder with the help of a dancer). “Put these monitors on, please,” she pleaded with the production crew.
Twitter, of course, was in full force as the disaster unfolded.
Carey tried her best at the choreography “just for laughs,” and invited the audience to sing along at times — reminding them “we’re missing some of this vocal, but it is what it is.”
“I want a holiday, too. Can I not have one?” she asked at one point. “I’m trying to be a good sport here.”
As the song ended, Carey looked completely defeated — sarcastically telling the crowd, “That was… amazing.”
By the time the third song came around, it was clear Carey had run out of cares to give. “Now this is the album version,” she said as 2005’s “We Belong Together” began. “I’m just going… sing along with it. Well, not sing, but have a moment.”
Mouthing the words to the pre-recorded tracks, Carey called for her dancers to “bring the feathers on — yes!” Standing around them with their oversized props, she ended the performance telling the crowd “You just don’t get any better.”
She clearly had a good sense of humor about the New Year’s Eve nightmare, tweeting a GIF of herself afterwards and writing: “S— happens. Have a happy and healthy new year everybody! Here’s to making more headlines in 2017.”