TV and radio personality Ryan Seacrest has broken his silence about Mariah Carey's New Year's Eve concert flub, calling her embarrassing performance "unfortunate".
Seacrest was hosting the Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve special when Carey hit the New York stage to perform Auld Lang Syne and two of her own hits on Saturday night.
The diva experienced a series of technical problems and couldn't hear the music over the din of revelers celebrating the end of 2016, so she gave up and awkwardly grooved with her dancers as TV viewers heard a backing tape.
Carey has since revealed she was "mortified" when she realized she wouldn't be able to perform properly, and now Seacrest has weighed in on the drama on his On Air With Ryan Seacrest radio show.
"I'm just catching up on all this, but there's been a lot reported about the performance in Times Square for Mariah…," he said. "It is difficult to perform in Times Square. She (Mariah) had done it before because she was the first musical guest that we had had live when I started doing the show… about a decade ago. So she had seen it. She knows what Times Square's about.
"It's complicated… Imagine every single outlet – TV outlet – in the world is there, so there's all kinds of technical things going on… I was up there at the stage to introduce her on the same stage she performs on. And it's live television, and things happen on live TV, and, you know, if something goes wrong, it's unfortunate for anybody."
He also defended the show's producers and dismissed claims from Carey's camp they sabotaged her performance to score viral hits on the Internet.
"I know this team of producers, I've known these guys for years," he said. "This is a team that wants to do everything they can to accommodate any artist. We are in the business of wanting people to look good and, believe me, tricky things, tough things can happen. It happens on live television.
"You've seen artists before in a concert pull out their earpiece because something happens. Something could have happened in the ears. I wasn't in those ears. It's just unfortunate that it comes to all of this. It's a night of celebration and a night of fun."