The self-styled “elusive chanteuse” was the final act before midnight on ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. She opened with a successful rendition of “Auld Lang Syne,” but when the music started playing for her next song, “Emotions,” she announced: “We can’t hear,” apparently waiting in vain for technical support as the music played on. While her background dancers carried on as normal, the star gave up on singing, sashayed around the stage and threw out some commentary and explanation: “We didn’t have a sound check, but it’s New Year’s, baby. It’s OK, guys.” And later: “I want a holiday, too, can I not have one? I’m trying to be a good sport here.”
Her final song, “We Belong Together,” went slightly more as planned—because she was lip-syncing, as she seemed to admit at the beginning when she said, “This is the album version.” She could plainly be seen to lower her microphone and stop moving her mouth at points during the song, though the vocals continued.
“It just don’t get any better,” she said before leaving the stage.
ABC said it was not commenting on the story, while a representative for Carey said, “Unfortunately there was nothing she could do to continue with the performance given the circumstances.”
The singer later tweeted about the situation:
Fans and critics alike also took to social media to comment on the performance: