Times Square production team denies Mariah Carey sabotage claim
The production company behind the Times Square New Year's Eve special has hit back at Mariah Carey's claim that it sabotaged her live performance.
The pop diva's disaster during the New Year's Rockin' Eve event made international headlines when she vocally stumbled through her short set, failing to sing for most of it despite a pre-recorded track of her songs playing in the background.
Carey was visibly upset during the performance and tweeted afterwards "(expletive) happens".
Her representative Nicole Perna blamed technical difficulties and in an interview with Billboard said Dick Clark Productions hampered Carey's performance.
"She was not winging this moment and took it very seriously," Ms Perna said. "A shame that production set her up to fail."
Ms Perna said Carey's earpiece was not working and she flagged the issue to the production team but was told it would be OK when she got on stage.
"However, that was not the case, and they were again told that her earpiece was not working," Ms Perna said.
"Instead of endeavouring to fix the issue so that Mariah could perform, they went live."
But in a statement, the production company called the claims "absurd".
"As the premier producer of live television events for nearly 50 years, we pride ourselves on our reputation and long-standing relationships with artists," it said.
"To suggest that dcp (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."
It said that in "very rare instances" there were technical errors with live television, but an initial investigation indicated it had no involvement in the challenges associated with Carey's 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," it said.
A person familiar with the production of the show said all of the other performers, including Gloria Estefan, rehearsed onsite for their performances and Carey was there, but had a stand-in for her rehearsal, atypical for the show's performers.
The person said all of the monitors were working and no technical problems were found.
Ironically, Carey was Dick Clark Productions' first live performer for the broadcast in 2005, when it went off without any such problems.
Ms Perna later disputed the claim that Carey did not rehearse.
"Mariah did in fact rehearse at 3pm," she said in an email on Monday.
"She went through vocals and her team ran through sound. All was well at rehearsal. She was prompt for rehearsal and her performance."