"He came all the way from Australia," Carey said her fiancé James Packer

By Mark Gray
Updated February 03, 2016 12:10 PM
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Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Mariah Carey has returned to the Las Vegas stage for the first time since billionaire James Packer got down on bended knee and asked for her hand in marriage.

For about an hour into the diva’s show Mariah #1 to Infinity on Tuesday, the massive stunner on her left hand was the unaddressed elephant in the room. Eventually, Carey’s 35-carat ring was impossible for her to ignore.

“Anyone notice I got a new bauble?” she asked the crowd at Caesars Palace’s Colosseum while flashing her hand, hinting at her fairy tale romance with Packer. Then Carey jokingly confessed the rock made her “a little bit afraid to come into the audience.”

At the same time, just before going into her hit “Always Be My Baby,” Carey mentioned her attentive husband-to-be, who was singing and dancing along to every hit his fiancée belted.

“He came all the way from Australia,” she explained while looking at Packer, though not directly addressing him.

Earlier in the evening, Carey quickly dismissed any talk of her budding romance. As she prepared to sing “I’ll Be There” – the Jackson 5 classic she famously covered on her MTV Unplugged special in 1992 – Carey’s duet partner Trey Lorenz grabbed her hand, looked at the giant sparkler and said, “I love it.”

Her response: “Stop that.”

The exciting post-engagement show almost went off without a hitch, but alas, a wardrobe issue created drama backstage. Carey was supposed to don a pink dress for “Heartbreaker,” only to step into the spotlight in a silver shimmering gown – the same look she wore in previous numbers. Apparently, the zipper on the pink dress broke.

“You don’t know what we just went through in the dressing room,” she shared with fans. “It was a show all its own, I’m telling you.”