Sources close to Carey told TMZ she suspected she was "sabotaged" to nab higher ratings. Insiders claim she repeatedly told Dick Clark Productions that her inner ear monitors weren't working throughout the night, and there may well be truth to that. She was even caught on camera bantering with host Ryan Seacrest about not being able to hear him properly. After the interview, Carey and her camp told producers she couldn't hear through her monitor; they allegedly assured her that she'd be at a different frequency for her performance and would be fine. As close as six minutes prior to her performance, Carey cited technical issues with both the monitor and her microphone, with a team member having to replace batteries in the latter. Sources also say Carey's TelePrompTer was broken, throwing off not just her lyrics but her stage cues. What's more, there is footage of Carey rehearsing for the event, so it's not like she was totally coming into the show unprepared. Still, Dick Clark Productions denied the allegations, calling the sabotage talk "silly."
Robert Goldstein, owner of Maryland Sound International—the company that makes the sound equipment for New Year's Rockin' Eve—told the Los Angeles Times, "Every monitor and in-ear device worked perfectly. I can't comment beyond that and don't know what her nontechnical issue may have been."
Carey's manager, Stella Bulochnikov, griped to Us Weekly that she was "furious" with the show's producers. "I'm certainly not calling the FBI to investigate. It is what it is: New Year's Eve in Times Square. Mariah did them a favor. She was the biggest star there and they did not have their s**t together. They acknowledged that they knew her inner ears were not working," she added. "They did not cut to a commercial. They did not cut to the West Coast feed, they left her out there to get ratings." A source added that Carey's team emailed Dick Clark Productions "asking why they are suspiciously silent and let Mariah take all of the hits today when they are responsible for the mess."
Carey herself maintained a sense of humor, tweeting a silly GIF of herself and writing, "S**t happens…Have a happy and healthy new year everybody! Here's to making more headlines in 2017."