Mariah Carey ‘Wanted to Prove Herself’ With New Year’s Eve Comeback Performance

One year after her disastrous New Year’s Eve performance, Mariah Carey had redemption on her mind. “She was ready to play,” a source tells Us Weekly exclusively. “She wanted to prove herself.”

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And she did. Moments before the clock struck midnight on Sunday, December 31, the pop diva took the stage on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest and delivered a live medley of her 1990 debut single, “Vision of Love,” and her 1993 ballad “Hero.”

Mariah Carey performs during Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve at Times Square on December 31, 2017 in New York City.
Mariah Carey performs on ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ at Times Square in New York City on December 31, 2017. Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

“She redeemed herself,” the insider says. “They had everything on lock.”

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Well, everything except for a cup of hot tea. Mid-performance, Carey searched around the stage for a beverage to keep her warm amid the freezing temperatures in New York City’s Times Square. “They told me there would be tea,” she told the audience. “Oh, it’s a disaster! OK, well, we’ll just have to rough it. I’m going to be like everybody else, with no hot tea.”

The source tells Us that the production team requested a cup of tea for the five-time Grammy winner, but it ultimately never made it to the stage. “She played it off but was a little mad,” the insider adds.

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One thing that wasn’t missing: Carey’s boyfriend, Bryan Tanaka. “Bryan is a really nice guy. He really is her support,” the source tells Us. “When the show was done and they went into the tent, Bryan was so happy and screaming and telling her, ‘We did it!’” (Prior to Sunday’s performance, the couple and Carey’s team headed to TGI Fridays for a bite to eat between rehearsals, the insider notes.)

After the ball dropped at midnight, the vocalist told host Ryan Seacrest that she was “feeling a lot better than last year,” when she was caught lip-synching and experienced several technical difficulties during a three-song performance. In a statement released ahead of this year’s show, Carey admitted, “We can all agree that last year didn’t go exactly as planned.”

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