‘Mariah’s World’ Recap: Mariah Carey’s Manager Tries to Get Rid of Bryan Tanaka

Who needs the Golden Globes when there’s a new episode of Mariah’s World, with its steamy, burgeoning love connection? On the Sunday, January 8, episode of Mariah Carey’s E! docuseries, we had a front-row seat to the beginnings of Mariah and dancer Bryan Tanaka‘s romantic roller coaster. (Wait, he admitted having feelings for her?! We can’t get enough of this show.)

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Bryan Said He Loves Mariah

The episode kicked off with an afterparty during one of Mariah’s European world-tour tour stops. After the “Butterfly” singer called the party “a bleak crowd,” she found solace in sitting next to her favorite dancer to flirt with, Bryan, who’s also her current beau. While holding a glass of wine and serenading the dancer by lip-synching to her own song, the dancer admitted, “I feel like I’m blushing a little bit.” 

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In a testimonial, he confessed, “I love Mariah. She’s thoughtful, she’s inspiring. There’s something so unique about her. She’s a queen.” Mariah followed up diplomatically with, “I’ve known Tanaka for a really long time. … We have the best time together.” It’s definitely worth noting that at the time of shooting, Mariah was still very much engaged billionaire James Packer; the duo has since split, and Packer’s presence on the show has been scarce, to say the least.

Bryan Admitted Feelings for Mariah, Saying They’re “Meant to Be Together”

Later, after a dance rehearsal, Bryan shared his feelings to fellow backup dancer G. Madison. Bryan confessed, “I can’t believe I’m even saying this right now. I’m catching some hard feelings, bro.” When G. Madison asked who the feelings were for, Bryan responded, “Miss Mariah.” The dancer elaborated on his crush, saying, “I feel like our chemistry’s not just professional. … Feels like there’s a connection that’s more than just what we’ve had for the past 10 years. … I wouldn’t cross that line if it didn’t feel the way it does.” 

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G. Madison then reminded Bryan that his career may be in jeopardy. Bryan responded, saying, “That’s where I’m tripping. She’s engaged. So maybe I’m just tripping.” Later, in a confessional, Bryan gushed to the camera about his feelings for Mariah, saying, “It feels like we’re meant to be together.”

Mariah (Sorta?) Admitted to Having Chemistry With Bryan

After a quick shot of Mariah being wheeled around backstage on a rolling office chair while sipping coffee out of a straw, the team set off for Lake Como, Italy. While en route, Bryan and Mariah shared a very flirtatious van ride, which involved the two giggling nonstop. 

Mariah admitted to the camera, “I’m not gonna say, ‘Oh, I don’t feel the chemistry.’ … Tanaka is a great person, and I’m really happy that we’ve reconnected.” Her coy statement left Us wanting more. What did she mean by the double negative? Does she feel the chemistry or not?!

Bryan “Can’t Ignore” His Feelings for Mariah

Mariah and her team arrived at the huge, 1600s-era mansion in Lake Como and immediately started enjoying their mini tour vacation with some wine and laughter. Mariah commented several times that the property was an “Airbnb.” Do we smell a low-key sponsorship? 

Regardless, Bryan was feeling the chemistry with Mariah more than ever. He revealed, “It’s getting really hard for me because the more time we spend together, it feels more real. … I have these feelings, and I can’t ignore them. But I also have to try not to cross those boundaries, but it’s not gonna be easy.” We can’t help but wonder what James Packer was doing during all of this!

Mariah’s Manager Was Concerned Over Bryan’s Flirtations With the Star

Trouble started to brew when Mariah’s manager, Stella Bulochnikov, started gossiping with hairdresser Danielle about Bryan and Mariah’s flirtations, calling it “chaos.” Stella seemed annoyed when she said, “Tanaka is getting a little cheeky with Mariah. … He’s looking at Mimi like she’s supper.” 

Mariah’s makeup artist Kristofer Buckle interjected with, “It’s very clear that Mariah is engaged.” Stella clarified, scandalously, “Some people ripped up that memo.” Stella said to the camera that she understood why Bryan may have feelings for the singer, but that he still needed to “simmer.”

Mariah Carey Theo Wargo/Getty Images for M.A.C

Bryan Touched Mariah’s Butt

After the crew decided to take a night off to do some “Mariah Carey-oke,” Mariah had some fun and showed up to the event wearing a dark wig, dressed as her British-dialect-speaking alter ego, Bianca Storm. “Bianca” strolled into the party and approached Bryan, saying, “I love you, darling.” Bryan then said, behind her back, “Bianca’s ass is perfection.” Later in the night, he even managed to graze Mariah’s backside with his fingers. … Uh, wait. What? Is that allowed?

Stella Wanted to Send Bryan Home

The episode ended on a sour note, with Bryan partying just a little too hard and busting his kneecap, sending him to the hospital and taking him out of the tour for the next 10 days. Mariah made sure to check on her wounded soldier, even saying, “I’m concerned about Tanaka.” Stella seemed giddy about the news at first, hoping to send him home for the rest of the tour. The manager admitted, “This is the universe’s way of telling him to take a seat. … He needs to go home. … Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.”

Stella continued, “We can keep the focus on the tour … not the dating game.” Bryan said to the camera, “I can’t imagine leaving right now. There’s so much that’s been growing between us, I feel like if I leave now, I’m gonna lose everything.”

Is Bryan Already Playing Stepdad to Mariah’s Son?

The episode ended on a sweet note, with Bryan connecting sweetly with Mariah’s 5-year-old son, Moroccan. Rocco sat on Bryan’s lap and said, “I don’t wanna see you get hurt.” The episode ended with Mariah offering to keep Bryan on the tour while his leg heals, despite Stella’s wishes to send him home. Stella wrapped up the episode by referring to Bryan as Mariah’s wounded bird, commenting, “Well, this bird is 170 pounds and has a crush on Mimi. It’s a recipe for disaster.”

Tell Us: What do you think of Mariah and Bryan’s growing chemistry?

Mariah’s World airs on E! Sundays at 9 p.m. ET. 

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