By now, you’ve probably seen, heard, and been secondhand embarrassed by Mariah Carey’s disastrous New Year’s Rockin’ Eve performance. Now that we’ve had time to reflect on it (especially in the constant media coverage of the event and its aftermath), there are some lessons we can all learn from Mariah and Co. in its wake. Let me preface the rest of this by saying: I am a lamb. I paid to see Mariah Carey perform at her Christmas residency. I love her. She can sing just about anyone on the planet under the table. I love Mariah Carey, and I want to see her succeed.
That said, here are a few things we can all take away from Mariah Carey’s New Year’s Eve performance.
1. Be prepared. Sources can’t seem to agree on whether or not Carey bothered to rehearse for her performance. She admitted during the show that she didn’t do a soundcheck for one of her songs, but there are photos floating around the Internet of her at a show rehearsal in the afternoon—though some insiders insist she didn’t do a soundcheck there and that she used a stand-in for her choreography. Regardless of who you believe, in the case that it may have been Carey not rehearsing: Rehearse! No matter how good you think you are, prepare. Prepare twice as much as you think you need to for any given event, whether it’s a big pitch meeting or a big presentation. You don’t want to be caught off-guard, because then you’ll end up like a deer in headlights instead a poised professional.
2. Surround yourself with professionals who know what they’re doing. Carey seems to have gone downmarket since hooking up with manager Stella Bulochnikov last year. Think about it: Before she began working with the self-proclaimed “Russian Dictator,” could you have imagined her with a reality show? Or putting on a show for paparazzi? No. That was beneath her. Add to the fact that Bulochnikov may have opened Carey and Co. up to potential lawsuits from Dick Clark Productions by publicly alleging that they sabotaged the show, and it seems like Bulochnikov may cost Carey more than her reputation. Add to that the notion that , potentially at the expense of Carey’s legacy, and it’s a sad situation for the singer to be stuck in.
3. Learn to say no. Carey was vacationing in Aspen when she jetted over to perform on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, and afterward, her camp made it seem like she was performing reluctantly. Carey could have said no, and considering she was alleged to have not felt like rehearsing, she should have said no. If you can’t give something your full effort and attention, use your voice. Respectfully decline.
4. Avoid enablers and take accountability. Whether or not Carey’s inner-ear monitors worked, chances are there was at least something she could have done to prevent the mishap or minimize the damage. Could she have rehearsed more to get some familiarity with the stage setup and see her TelePrompTers so she’d have better timing with the music, even if she couldn’t hear it? If so, she should own up to it and learn for next time instead of passing the blame along to anyone else, at least in part. Also, Carey is an adult. Why did she allegedly need a special task force to get her to the show on time?
5. Take a break if you need to. When Carey had her breakdown in 2002, it was allegedly after some career setbacks (remember how Tommy Mottola actually did sabotage Glitter?) as well as a bad breakup from Luis Miguel. She may need a breather after her breakup from James Packer and this performance. She has enough money for her and Dem Babies to be set for life. She can take a break from the spotlight leading up to when her tour kicks off with Lionel Richie to ensure she can kick ass and take names come spring.