Dick Clark Productions slams as ‘absurd’ Mariah Carey camp’s claim it ‘set her up to fail’

Mariah Carey performs in Times Square on New Year's Eve in New York City on December 31, 2016. An estimated one million people are in Times Square and over a billion will be watching throughout the world. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

NEW YORK, Jan. 2 (UPI) — Dick Clark Productions is denying allegations it was responsible for Mariah Carey‘s disastrous New Year’s Eve performance, then exploited the situation for ratings, as her camp has claimed.

Carey’s mini-concert in Times Square Saturday night was marred by technical difficulties and frustration; the pop star did very little actual singing during the high-profile event.

A vocal track reportedly malfunctioned and her earpieces failed, tripping up Carey during her set for “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” which DCP produced for ABC.

To fill the void, Carey invited the audience to sing along with the music. As the technical issue continued and her dancers kept going, bits of pre-recorded songs could be heard in the background, but Carey, for the most part, did not sing.

Nicole Perna, a representative for Carey, told Billboard magazine the “production set her up to fail.”

The singer’s manager Stella Bulochnikov also blamed the show’s producers for the botched performance.

“We told them [the stage managers] that the in-ears were not working 10 minutes before the performance,” Bulochnikov said. “They then changed the battery pack, and they were still not working on the frequency four minutes before the show. We let them know again, and they just kept counting her down and reassuring her that they will work as soon as they go live, which never happened — at which point she pulled them out but could not hear the music over the crowd.”

She added: “After the show, I called [Dick Clark Productions’] Mark Shimmel and I said, ‘What the [expletive] happened?’ He said, ‘Let me call you back,’ then called me back and confirmed the in-ears were not working and asked if I would make a joint statement. I said, ‘No way.’ I asked him to cut the West Coast feed. He said he could not do that. I asked him why would they want to run a performance with mechanical glitches unless they just want eyeballs at any expense … It’s not artist friendly, especially when the artist cut her vacation short as a New Year’s Eve gift to them.”

DCP swiftly defended itself against the claims.

“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,” the company said in a statement to Variety.

“In very rare instances there are of course technical errors that can occur with live television, however, an initial investigation has indicated that [Dick Clark Productions] had no involvement in the challenges associated with Ms. Carey’s New Year’s Eve performance. We want to be clear that we have the utmost respect for Ms. Carey as an artist and acknowledge her tremendous accomplishments in the industry.”

Billboard cited an unnamed production source as saying Carey “had ample time to rehearse and chose not to,” instead using a body double for practice earlier in the day when the sound equipment was working properly.

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