Sources with knowledge about the behind-the-scenes drama surrounding Mariah Carey’s now infamous woefully shaky performance at the NBC tree-lighting on Wednesday are blaming audio technicians for the leaking of her vocals without the music and backup singers.
The New York Daily News says that these unnamed sources believe the techies leaked the audio as a vindictive move against Carey, who is said to have kept them waiting for a whole three hours Tuesday night, when she was expected for a taping of her song “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
That left NBC to scramble for an alternative – Carey’s performance, which was to have aired Wednesday night, had been widely promoted.
So they opted to have her do a live performance of her 1994 holiday song.
The News said: “Show producers did their best to cover her awful appearance with sophisticated audio mixing that seemingly took advantage of good backup singers and musicians as well as the audience cheering. But on Thursday morning, an isolated track of Carey screeching through the holiday tune, sans musical accompaniment, hit the Internet.”
Someone described as “a source close to the production” is quoted in the News as saying: "It's really hard to leak 'just' audio. Mariah is blaming producers for leaking her audio track. She believes they did it to punish her for not showing up to taping the day before the live event!"
The singer’s representatives, the News said, downplayed a network role in the leaking of the audio, noting that since Carey used a wireless mic, anyone at the performance could have recorded only her voice.
NBC has not commented on the allegations.
Carey, meanwhile, tweeted about showing up late Tuesday night: “Last night's situation was beyond my control. I apologize to all that showed up, you know that I would never want to disappoint you.”
TMZ reported that Carey didn’t show up for her scheduled taping because she was on the phone with her lawyers discussing her divorce from Nick Cannon.
“People connected to the hotel tell us ... Mariah was ensconced in her East Side hotel, yacking with her lawyer on the phone about her divorce,” the website said. “People who overheard her say it did not seem nasty ... she was going over the property settlement.”
It’s not the first time this year that Carey made headlines for missing high notes.
In October, her vocals were off in a show in Japan, generating plenty of snickers on social media after TMZ posted a video of the performance.
"It's a wrap for Mariah Carey's singing career," one fan wrote.
Another said: "I see why Mariah Carey never sings live anymore. That's why."