Mariah Carey’s manager insists that producers manufactured the NYE debacle

As we discussed on Monday, Mariah Carey spent the first few minutes of the new year looking like an idiot. It was actually kind of funny, I thought. Mariah performed (at midnight) on ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, and there was a major catastrophe involving bad earpieces, the wrong backing track and Mariah’s complete inability to roll with the punches of a live performance which has gone sideways. Mariah’s management had a hissy fit in the wake of the NYE debacle, claiming that Mariah was purposefully sabotaged by Dick Clark Productions, to which Dick Clark Productions scoffed. Well, guess what? Mariah’s people are still royally pissed. Entertainment Weekly sat down with Mariah’s manager Stella Bulochikov and Stella is mad as a hornet. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

Whether Mariah skipped the rehearsals: “Not true. Not only did she not ditch rehearsal, we got to Times Square at 2:30. They weren’t ready for her until 3:20. We waited around for their stage manager. We had the stage from 3:20 to 3:50. She had a dance stand-in for the musical number. She sat on the side of the stage with her ear-pack and her in-ears and her microphone to make sure she could do the sound check. The most important thing to her was the sound. The sound was coming in choppy. She was assured it would work by the evening. She did an interview with Ryan Seacrest at about 10:35 where her in-ear was very choppy. She could barely hear Ryan. She was struggling to hear him through the noise of Times Square.”

Stella tells a long, drawn-out story about how Mariah’s earpieces kept failing, and how producers kept insisting that the earpieces would work on stage: “It’s now four minutes to showtime. She says, “I hear nothing in my ears, my ears are dead.” The other stage manager says, “It will work right when we go live.” Then things start to get chaotic. They start counting her down — four minutes, three minutes. Mariah: “I can’t hear.” Them: “You’re gonna hear when it goes live — two minutes!” So, right when it goes live, she can’t hear anything. The ears are dead. They’re dead. So she pulls them out of the ear because if the artist keeps them in their ears then all she hears is silence. Once she pulled them off her ear she was hoping to hear her music, but because of the circumstances — there’s noise from Times Square and the music is reverberating from the buildings — all she hears is chaos. She can’t hear her music. It’s a madhouse. At the point, there’s no way to recover. On the third song when she could hear her track playing it was so bad she said, “F— it, I’ve had enough.”

Whether Mariah considered walking off the stage: “She should have walked off and thrown the mic at somebody’s head — that would have been a great moment. After the show, I called Mark Shimmel — who begged her to do the show and had her cut her vacation short from Aspen. This is a verbatim conversation. I asked, “What happened?” He said, “I just talked to my guys and I confirmed her in-ears didn’t work. Couldn’t she just wing it?” I’m like, “What are you talking about ‘winging it’? Are you on glue?” He’s like, “What do you want me to do?” I said, “I want you to cut the West Coast feed.” He calls me back and says, “We can’t do it.” So I’m like, “You would prefer to air a show with technical glitches so you can have a viral moment rather than protect the integrity of your show and Dick Clark Productions?” He said, “We just won’t do it. Do you want to do a joint statement?” And I said, “No, I want you to go f— yourself.” And that was it. I don’t think it was an unfair ask to ask them to cut [the segment from] the West Coast feed after they had this huge mechanical glitch.

How Mariah is handling the controversy: “She’s just ignoring it. She’s got so many more important things to do. And this goes under the heading of “no good deed” because she was doing them a favor. Shimmel’s direct request was, “I’m begging you to do this. America needs this moment after Donald Trump, etc.” What a bunch of nonsense.

Stella believes ABC manufactured the incident: “But even when it didn’t work [when live], when she pulled her ears out, they should have cut to commercial. That says to me they wanted a viral moment at any expense. And that’s not a company with integrity for 50-something years. That’s not who Dick Clark was. He loved artists.

[From EW]

Stella also rejects the idea that Mariah was lip syncing, saying that the music people heard was just the backing track, that obviously there wasn’t a live band on hand and the actual music was pre-recorded and Mariah was going to sing live with the backing track. Which I sort of believe. I also believe that Dick Clark Productions f—ked up and they should not have left Mariah out to dry. Like, do I think that Mariah is a diva and that she’s quite nutty and crazy? Sure. But I also believe that DCP f—ked up and made their talent look bad.

Photos courtesy of Getty.

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32 Responses to “Mariah Carey’s manager insists that producers manufactured the NYE debacle”

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  1. Clare says:

    ‘She should have walked off and thrown the mic at somebody’s head — that would have been a great moment.’

    This tells me everything I need to know about Mariah’s manager.

    • Dtab says:

      Absolutely….That would have been awful as you can be sure it would have been some helpless intern that would have got a mic in the head .

    • Erinn says:

      Same. This manager is a complete piece of work – and clearly an enabler of her ridiculous ‘diva’ attitude. She might have gotten screwed her, but the manager isn’t making things look better.

    • doofus says:

      seriously, how unprofessional.

      I was listening to a NY “classic rock” station on the way home and they were talking about this event. and how there was a rock band (it was like, The Guess Who or some other “older” famous rock band) whose equipment crapped out on them and they couldn’t do the show they wanted so what did they do? did an acoustic show for those who stayed. they also gave refunds for folks who didn’t want to. THAT is what you do. Mariah is too much of a diva and, frankly, a spoiled brat to do anything if the situation isn’t EXACTLY to her standards.

    • HookedOnCoffee says:

      What I suspect MAY have happened, is that Mariah is not known for being a gracious person. She MAY have been a complete jackass to lower level techs who didn’t give a damn and suffered the consequences for it.

      Like, I could see her pissing off enough underlings to the point where one of them said, ‘think you’re so awesome lady? Let’s see what you can do without this inner ear piece.’ And no one cared for her enough to shut that person down.

      It would sort of explain why no one came to her rescue and left her out to melt into the histrionic, unprofessional, self-pitying hissy fit the world saw in Times Square.

      I sort of hope that’s the case. I have no respect for people who shit on perceived underlings “fabulous shade throwing diva” shtick or not. It would be awesome poetic justice if the great Mariah was publically humiliated because she chewed the wrong person out for not titrating the right combination of sugar and milk in her coffee.

  2. Hannah says:

    Why would they pay her to be the main attraction of an event anf then sabotage her? Ok, they f***ed things up, but she also wasn’t gracious and professional and there’s no way she would sing live, so let’s just all chill.

  3. OTHER RENEE says:

    I’m not convinced it was a total set up, but once DCP realized they had screwed up royally, they let it go on and on for ratings sake. Someone at DCP made the call to continue even though they knew they had an epic mishap. That person decided to let it run on the west coast for ratings. And that person should be ashamed of himself.

    • HookedOnCoffee says:

      Eh, I don’t know. Mariah probably doesn’t appreciate a well-played dick move, but she is the kind of person who should.

      I believe in the Golden Rule, and I believe in its converse. If you are a jackass, you don’t get much sympathy when a jackass move is done to you.

    • Erica_V says:

      I think the point about pulling the West Coast feed is valid. They knew that people on the WC would’ve heard about the incident on social media and would tune in just to see it happen therefore boosting ratings.

      I don’t think they messed up the sound intentionally but I do think how the handled the fallout was bad.

  4. Marlene says:


  5. Vv says:

    I’m going to say Stella was behind it all. Anyone notice how much play she’s getting from this? 😉

    • Miss M says:

      It made me wonder if she was involved in it too… lol
      What would be the next thing to put the “Mariah cannot sing anymore” to rest?! Sing live…
      I wonder if she will sing for Trump…

      Ps: I saw Mariah sing live in 2015 and she did sing emotions…

  6. Ramona says:

    I noticed the DCP response merely refuted that they had intentionally sabotaged her with faulty tech. They didnt address the matter of leaving her on air when the most basic producer would have cut to commercial citing tech difficulties. They screwed her over with that move and they know it.

  7. LB says:

    All the excuses in the world doesn’t change that she didn’t handle it like a pro or like someone who has been working in the industry for decades. She clearly could hear some of her music because she started to sing but stopped. She also knew when the songs changed. You’re telling me that she hasn’t sang any of her songs enough for her to have a muscle memory of it now? Maybe tell them to shut off the music and do something acappella.

    Even if I’m totally off base with the above (I’m not a performer so maybe I don’t understand the limitations in improvising), walking around on stage was just lazy. I think about what other artists would have done in this situation, and none of them would have been blabbering about vacations, the album version and whatever else she did.

    • Kate says:

      The music wasn’t the issue. She couldn’t hear her own voice due to the crowd and environment. You need to be able to hear yourself at least a little in order to sing half-decently.

      Muscle memory doesn’t really help. I mean, you’re more likely to stay somewhat with the music if you’ve performed it many times vs. singing a song you don’t know well, but you still have no idea what you sound like. You need to actually hear your voice to properly control it.

      Try blasting some continual loud noise through headphones, and while you do that, record yourself singing. I think most people would be shocked by just how badly they do, even with the most basic nursery rhyme type songs.

      • Kiki says:

        That is why, Mariah Carey has no business there at the DCP New Years Eve Bash. I am really disappointed in the whole thing, because I am Mariah Carey Lamb but she could just tell the people to turn off the music and sing acapella. I know she can’t hear her voice but there is no reason to walk off the stage like that. That was unprofessional, heck even Madonna knows that and she was around longer than Mariah Carey. This was both Dick Clark Production and Mariah Carey fault for this disaster.

        Also Mariah Carey, she needs to fire her Manager Stella. SHE IS AN OPPORTUNIST

  8. grabbyhands says:

    Well Stella is certainly earning her paycheck this week.

    About the only thing I believe is that Mariah is handling the whole thing by ignoring it and leaving her management team to do the clean up.

    The fact that DCP also messed up doesn’t hide the fact that she is still trying to coast on the whole diva schtick and has become a lazy, entitled caricature of the singer she used to be. Say what you will about Madonna-she is still as hardworking as she was when she first came out.

    • NastyWoman` says:

      This. When you can no longer WALK (not due to any disability, but because you prefer to be carried everywhere), you’ve basically jumped the shark in life.

      • VegasSchmagus says:

        When she first started playing Caesars in Las Vegas, she had her “people” pushing her around the casino floor on some sort of cart thing. Why? Because she’s either too lazy, too whacked out on glitter, too much of a Diva to walk as mortals do, or she thinks she’s Cleopatra.

  9. Anna nuttall says:

    I said this before and i will say it again:
    I think her management team seem to at fault here as well. If you watch her ”reality show’ Mariah’s World. Her manager seem to be a little bit of a money grabber and doesn’t seem to really know how to manage Mariah professionally. There is something very off with her manager, watch her show to see what I mean.

    • Neelyo says:

      I haven’t watched the show yet but doesn’t the manager already have a reputation for being kind of a nut even before working with Mariah? Also not the most scrupulous person if i recall correctly.

    • Clare says:

      Agree – I randomly watched one episode and they were late arriving in Luxembourg because no one had realized there was an hour’s time difference. Her entire team seems like a mickey mouse show run by a gaggle of enablers and users.

    • Kiki says:

      @Anna nuttall. I agree, that manager of hers is a user and she will do anything to sabotage Mariah Carey at anytime and be paid. STELLA IS AN OPPORTUNIST.

    • InVain says:

      The fact that Stella has her 13-yr old daughter running all of Mariah’s social media accounts says it all. This woman is clueless, and shame on Mariah. It might have been a mistake to hire her, but you sure as hell can fire her.

      I think Mariah is a hot mess and has been for years…but I’m not entirely convinced this was all her fault. I do blame DCP for a lot of this fiasco. They’ve been airing live performances for long enough to know when a correction, feed adjustment, commercial break, etc. is in order. Ratings.

    • holly hobby says:

      Say what you will about Tommy Mottola, he kept the eccentricities under wraps when they were married. I know there were reports that she chafed at his micromanaging but she had a better rep when she was with him. Heck she was better when Benny Medina repped her. Why is she with a 5th tier manager?

  10. Cee says:

    She was still not a pro and the production company is terrible for not cutting the West Coast transmission. They enhanced her ridiculousness.

  11. Thaisajs says:

    How many years has DCP being doing the ball drop telecast? And how many years have they tried to “manufacture” drama during the ball drop? Never, right? Because the ball drop is all the drama you need.

    Team Mariah needs to stop talking. It’s not helping her cause at all.

  12. Neelyo says:

    Still waiting for the costume sabotage explanation.

  13. Colleen says:

    Everyone involved in this situation stinks. DCP, Stella, AND Ms. Mariah. Nobody behaved like professionals. Epic fail for all involved.

  14. Hiccup says:

    I’m not a fan of Mariah but as someone who’s been in the music industry for a bit I’m all too familiar with the amount of unprofessional asshat sound technicians who basically don’t give a shit about doing their job so that I can do mine. Of course there are great sound guys and girls too but the worst ones are usually also the most arrogant ones which makes it even harder to swallow, as many as I’ve encountered I can only imagine Mariah with her career. She was probably fed up.

    Being on stage with constant feedback ringing in your ears or no sound at all with no one even trying to help with the problem is pretty frustrating when you actually care about the audience and want to play or sing well. I’ve had to strong arm a few sound technicians in my day to get them to actually pay attention and fix the problem because the only person who ends up looking bad if I don’t is me and I know it. It’s a lose lose. This production company should have fessed up and apologized instead in my opinion. I get why she’s mad! 🙂

    That being said she could have handled it a bit better… 😉

  15. Beckysuz says:

    My question is , where did this Stella chick come from and what experience does she even have managing a big artist ? I’m a longtime Mariah fan, so I say this with love, but she seems like managing her would be the equivalent of managing a giant toddler. You cant just say yes to everything she wants and expect things to run smoothly. And I think that’s why Mariah likes Stella. She’s a drama enabler instead of actually managing her artist

    • HappyMom says:

      I seem to recall Lainey Gossip did a write up on her (and what a piece of work she is) a year or so ago. I’m going to google it .