We might never really know the real cause of Mariah Carey’s high-profile live performance fail on New Year’s Eve, but the incident is getting a ton of mileage in online roadie forums, where the singer’s behavior is being picked apart, scrutinized and massively memed.
“She had wedge monitors AND huge sidefills,” a commenter wrote on the Facebook page for Roadie.net. “The dancers had no IEMs (in ear monitors) and obviously could hear just fine. Even when she took her IEMs out, she could hear her tracks. I have worked with her and have respect for her, but she screwed up.”
Facebook pages like Roadie Memes and Roadie.net were teeming with comparisons to Milli Vanilli, who were famously busted lip-synching their songs, or Ashlee Simpson, who was caught lip-synching on Saturday Night Live.
“At least Ashley had real musicians playing with her,” one commenter wrote. “But she really should have hired a Protools tech instead of the drummer to cue the right song.”
Shortly after the televised fiasco, a rep for Carey blamed the television fiasco on a faulty earpiece and told Billboard “it was a shame that production set her up to fail.” A rep for Dick Clark Productions fired back, calling the claims “absurd” along with “defamatory, outrageous and frankly absurd.”
Online, many sound techs and roadies seemed to back DCP, closely scrutinizing screen grabs that showed Mariah’s ear piece sitting on her outfit instead of in her ear.
“So are you saying in ear monitors go IN your ears? That’s just crazy,” a poster named Dave wrote on the Roadie Memes page. “I’m no sound monkey, but I do believe that those go in your ears,” roadie Jason responded.
Mariah Carey to Mariah Carey's NYE performance pic.twitter.com/tvUHaIxlaS
— Devin (@Hendrixhero987) January 1, 2017
Of course not everyone was quick to jump on the Mariah blame train.
“Hey guys, remember these are the people that have kept us gainfully employed,” a roadie named Byron posted. “Like her or not it’s sad because there are many factors to how this might’ve played out. Not sure anyone here can’t say they’ve never screwed up. We just get off easier because the focus is on the artist. Let’s go into the New Year on a more positive note, shall we?”