Not a pretty first impression. Bryan Tanaka opened up about meeting rumored love Mariah Carey for the first time in a new interview, and revealed that their initial introduction was not exactly ideal.
“The first time we met we were actually in a rehearsal setting, a huge sound stage at Sony studios back in L.A.,” the backup dancer told E! News at the official Mariah’s World premiere party at Catch NYC on Sunday, December 4. “And she walked in with a beautiful entourage and I was on stage already.”
He continued: “Our first introduction was kind of a sweaty mess, because I was on stage sweating. … She came out all looking gorgeous and everything. But it was great. We said, ‘Hi,’ real quick and we got back to work.”
Tanaka, who has been dancing on and off for Carey since 2005, also gushed to E! News that he is still completely enamored by the Elusive Chanteuse.
“I’ve always had a thing for Mariah. I love her so much. Just make sure you tune in to the show, and you’ll see kind of how everything happens,” he shared. “We’ve been friends for a long time. I do a little dance move here and there and we have a good time.”
The Washington native also told E! News that he and the “We Belong Together” singer had instant chemistry from the moment they met.
“Something connected with us back in the day, and there was just a mutual admiration. She saw something in me that I actually didn’t recognize at first, from that it was over,” Tanaka said. “It was set in history that we were gonna be connected some way, somehow.”
As previously reported, he and Carey were spotted packing on the PDA during a romantic beach date in Hawaii on November 28. The duo spent some quality time together at Maui’s Grand Wailea Resort after the pop diva’s three shows in Honolulu.
For her part, Carey — whose engagement to billionaire businessman James Packer ended in October — told E! News that she is thrilled to have reconnected with Tanaka. “It’s really nice, especially when you’ve worked with somebody in the past and then you get to work with them again and just see how everybody’s grown creatively and all that,” she explained on Sunday.
Mariah’s World airs on E! Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.
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