It was the shot heard round the world. 2016 was taking it’s last victim before being booted out the door. And where best to do it but at the heart of our celebration of it’s demise? That’s right. Mariah Carey became the final victim of a heartless year, when technical troubles tarnished her performance on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rocking Eve, with Ryan Seacrest. I could attempt to describe to you the…event, shall we call it?… that it became, but I’ll leave it to you to witness it for yourself.
Reports have been flying everywhere since it went down, trying to explain what the hell happened. Was it her in-ear monitors not working that really messed her up? As you can hear in the video above, the sound was bouncing around everywhere, and on stage, it would be coming to her delayed from where it actually was, especially since the crowd was packed in and loud. So, even if she had taken them out, would she have been able to hear enough to carry on the performance? Was it sabotage from the producers to get as many eyes on their show as possible? Was 2016 REALLY that bad of a year? WAS IT THE ILLUMINATI?!
Since the real answer will probably not present itself in the coming days, because people will forget about this as they do with our short attention spans, and we can all just kind of revel in the aftermath. Many people were surprised and pissed off that it all went down the way it did. People were tweeting like crazy about how Mariah’s career was over now, that it was time for her to throw in the towel, like this whole thing about her lip synching her performances was new. First, her career is not over.
As Buzzfeed has made clear, despite people being upset and making fun of the fact that she had one of the most embarrassing live performances we’ve seen as of late, her career includes 18 Billboard #1’s and no technical issue will take that away. She’s hailed as one of our generation’s best vocalists, and THAT will not be taken away. And, there are many examples of her lip synching, so don’t get mad like this is some new thing you’re finding out about now. It’s been happening for a while now. Additionally, if the problem truly was due to technical problems and her in-ear monitors, there are ways around that problem.
My friend Dede pointed this out the other day. Here’s how Adele handled a problem with her sound:
Girl just keeps belting her heart out like nothing happened, though that might have been because she didn’t even know the sound cut out. Solid, professional, worked out well.
Here’s where I think people were really mad about the performance, where I was most mad, and where I think most people SHOULD be mad: even if technically, everything was working top notch, she was still lip synching. Poorly, I might add, and her reaction to the problem was arrogance and indifference to the issue.
She’s not the only offender of this rule, trust me. I’m sorry, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Britney Spears figured out what was going on with her life and has gotten back to her music and performing, but she lip synchs every performance. Don’t start with me on “But she’s doing a whole dance routine, it’s hard to sing and do all of that movement”. Oh really? Pink does it, hanging upside down every show. Lady Gaga does dance routines tremendously without missing a note, even if she falls down. Beyoncé does it remarkably without a flaw, sometimes even sounding better than on recording. Nope, I don’t want to hear it.
Britney, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, and Mariah are all repeat offenders of lip synching, and yes, it happens, but why has it gotten to the point where people are just accepting it?
Start this video at 1:31 and listen.
Correct! Ding ding ding! If you’re paying money to watch someone mime their way through a set, please reevaluate the money you’re spending! Or, if you’re willing to throw it away, give it to me! I’ll take it! I have student loans I’d like to pay off.
My point here is that the real reason we should all be mad is that we have gotten so used to saying, “Oh, they’re lip synching but they’re putting on a good show” that we’re losing the music in it all. What the hell happened to watching an artist play their music? That’s why you’re going to see their show, isn’t it? Why would you pay to go see them dance or add things to a song you could be listening to on your headphones instead? If that person can’t perform their music, what does that say about them as an artist?
The other part that made me mad is that Mariah didn’t seem to care that it wasn’t going well. Maybe she was doing a really good job of making it look like everything was okay so that she didn’t let her true emotions come through on stage in front of everyone watching. But coming off arrogant, reminding everyone that “well, it went to #1”, and flouncing around like you’re a fairy princess isn’t the way. If you’re going to come out, an artist with a fantastic voice that we know and love, who we’ve celebrated by making 18 of your songs go to #1 over the past decades, adorned with back up dancers and this whole over-the-top diva ensemble, then back it the hell up with a decent performance.
Maybe that’s what the real lesson was in all of this. Let’s leave the fake performances in 2016, people, and make 2017 about the music. Mariah can sing, so she should, as should the rest of the artists I listed and those I didn’t that continue to lip synch like it’s okay. Because it’s not. You’re a performer, a professional. Act like one.