Mariah Carey ended 2016 by flubbing her New Year’s Eve performance — and Jenny McCarthy had a front-row seat in Times Square.
The icon stopped singing during Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, telling the New York crowd she couldn’t hear the backing track. After the moment went viral, she accused Dick Clark Productions of deliberately ruining her set, a claim the company called “absurd.”
McCarthy, who has co-hosted the special for the past seven years, described the awkwardness Tuesday on The Jenny McCarthy Show alongside her husband, New Kids on The Block’s Donnie Wahlberg.
“Mouths are hanging open, everyone is shocked. We only gave you a shortened version of that. We had to go through another song of her walking around,” she revealed.
“It was just, it was so bad, and then for a moment I said, ‘Take a step back, Jenny, and try to find some empathy right now.’ And I did. All of a sudden I felt really bad for her, because that bad, it was a complete train wreck. And like Donnie said, being in this business, I know what it’s like to have your prompter go out. I know what it’s like to have my inner ears go out. It’s scary, and it’s like your brain malfunctions and you’re on live TV. So I was like, you know what, I have sympathy for her. My sympathy stopped, however, the moment she accused Dick Clark Productions of sabotaging her performance.”
“Now I do understand our egos of course want to blame everyone but itself for mistakes, but I literally had a visceral reaction to her saying Dick Clark Productions did this on purpose and for ratings,” she added. “I mean, let me tell you something. If Dick Clark were alive today, I guarantee he would be on air right now fighting back. He’s not, so I’m going to.”
McCarthy praised the 45-year-old production company as “prepared,” accommodating and always supportive of artists.
“So for her to defame them was so incredibly insulting for the group of people who work their balls off preparing and rehearsing for their musical guests,” she said.
She also refuted Carey’s team insistence that the “Emotion” singer completed her rehearsal.
“The truth of the matter is Mariah didn’t do a sound check,” McCarthy said. “She did whatever you would call like a dance move rehearsal holding her gold microphone, and she stood off to the side of the stage while she had a stand-in do a sound check.”
“The bucks stops with the artist,” said Wahlberg, who’s performed with NKOTB on past editions of the broadcast. “If you’re gonna be a boss or you’re gonna be a diva, then you know, again it’s your name, your face and your legacy on the line. So you leave something to someone else, you have no one to blame but yourself. The music track, missing a vocal, that’s on her. No rehearsal, that’s on her.”
McCarthy’s final theory?
“I think Mariah was nervous as hell,” she said. “I think she chose really tough songs to try to sing along with. I think Emotions, that song, I mean her voice is not there anymore. I don’t think there is a problem with her inner ears. I just don’t. I think she used it as an excuse. The monitors on the stage are there on the way to blast out the songs to the musician in case that happens. … On the stage, I don’t think she expected to be as far away from the prompter and as small as it was, she could have possibly not been able to see the words to her own song.”
The Jenny McCarthy Show airs live weekdays at 10 am ET on SiriusXM Stars (Ch. 109).
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(Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)