Mariah Carey is in the news today and I can see there is some curiosity about it from a number of my Facebook and Twitter friends.
Here is what I think happened.
First, unless your are a live performer, you probably don’t know what the performers hear vs what the audience and especially the TV audience hears is a very different mix.
Mariah said on stage, there was no sound check and she couldn’t hear.
That meant she couldn’t sing along or even lip sync. Given the mix that played, she was supposed to sing live. There were only backing vocals to the track (especially for her hypersonic screeches, which I guess means she can’t hit those notes anymore)
She could tell the audience might be able to hear better (remember, they get a different mix), so that is why she offered for them to sing along instead. Not because she didn’t want to sing, was unprofessional, drunk, etc.
Her apparent bad attitude was because she was so frustrated and knew it was going badly and there was no escaping it. She has been doing this for about 30 years. She knew how this would be perceived.
She said, “Well, Happy New Year! We can’t hear!” Because she couldn’t hear. Not because she is an asshole.
She said, :We didn’t have a sound check for this song” so everyone could understand what was going on. Not because she is an asshole.
I think the dancers could continue dancing, because I think they basically just count off a routine they have memorized once the song starts. 1,2,3,4, turn, 5, 6, 7,8,9 wave your arms, 1,2,3,4 twerk, etc. For this, you only need to hear the beat.