Mariah Carey holding a mic and looking up

Mariah Carey New Year's Eve Performance FAIL

Updated Jan 03, 2021 at 06:40AM EST by andcallmeshirley.

Added Jan 02, 2017 at 01:12PM EST by Don.

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Mariah Carey's New Years Eve Performance FAIL refers to singer-songwriter Mariah Carey's live performance at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest in 2016, during which she stopped singing due to a technical malfunction with her monitors.


On December 31st, 2016, Carey stopped singing while performing her 1991 pop song "Emotions" at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest, claiming she could not hear through her audio monitors. That evening, YouTuber scubafeet uploaded footage of the performance, which gained over 9.7 million views and 16,500 comments in the first 24 hours (shown below).


Carey's Response

Hours later, Carey posted a tweet saying "shit happens" and wishing everyone a "happy and healthy new year" (shown below). Within 24 hours, the tweet received more than 159,000 likes and 64,000 retweets.

Mariah Carey @MariahCarey Follow Shit happens Have a happy and healthy new year everybody! Here's to making more headlines in 2017 2:00 AM - 1 Jan 2017 わ£ 63,657 159,272

Online Reaction

That evening, a video of the incident reached the front page of /r/cringe,[1] where it gathered upwards of 30,900 votes (77% upvoted) and 1,200 comments within 24 hours. The following day, Redditor CrimsonPig submitted a photograph of a train wreck titled "Still image of Mariah Carey's New Year's performance" to /r/funny.[4] On Twitter, clips of the performance were widely circulated, many of which contained captions denouncing the year 2016 (shown below). A collection of the tweets were subsequently highlighted by the women's interest blog Bustle.[6]

Sabotage Accusation

On January 1st, 2017, Carey's manager Stella Buclochnikov accused the show's producers of intentionally sabotaging the performance "to get ratings" in an interview with the entertainment news site US Weekly.[2]

"They acknowledged that they knew her inner ears were not working. They did not cut to a commercial. They did not cut to the West Coast feed; they left her out there to get ratings"

That day, Dick Clark Productions released a statement refuting the sabotage claims as "outrageous and frankly absurd."[5] Meanwhile, Twitter[3] created a Moments page titled "Rockin' Eve producers call Mariah camp's 'sabotage' claim 'absurd'," highlighting various tweets about the accusation.

News Media Coverage

In the coming days, several news sites published articles about the online reaction to the performance, including The New York Times,[8] The Washington Post[9] and Jezebel.[10]

2017 Performance

On December 22nd, 2017, Dick Clark Productions and Carey released a joint statement announcing the singer will return to perform in Times Square for New Year's Rockin' Eve 2018, which was widely reported in the media as an attempt at “redemption.”

On December 31st, Carey made her return on stage to sing two of her 90s hit songs, “Vision of Love” and “Hero.” Carey’s 2017 performance was generally received as being markedly better, as she performed her songs with no glaring mistakes. Between her two songs, Carey spoke to the audience, saying:

“Happy New Year! Just want to take a sip of tea if they’ll let me. They told me there would be tea. Oh! It’s a disaster. O.K. Well, we’ll just have to rough it. I’m going to be just like everybody else with no hot tea. But we’re going to try and do this one for you.”

Several hours after the performance, Carey tweeted[11] a picture of herself drinking tea in reference to the moment onstage, gaining over 27,000 retweets (shown below).

Mariah Carey Φ @MariahCarey Follow ound my tea!

Many Twitter users found the moment humorous, and there were several tweets about attempting to make Mariah Carey's Tea the first meme of 2018 (examples shown below). The moment was covered by many media outlets, including The New York Times,[12] CNN,[13] and People.[14]

Brianna @bri_rutledge Follow Petition to make Mariah Carey asking for hot tea the first meme of 2018 2:48 AM- 1 Jan 2018 Milmiskew @Milmiskew Follow And now the Mariah Carey hot tea will be the first meme of 2018

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