Mariah Carey's Isolated Vocals on "All I Want For Christmas" Live Performance Are Terrible, But She's in Good Company — VIDEOS
There's no way around it: Mariah Carey's live performance of "All I Want For Christmas" from Wednesday night's tree lighting at Rockefeller Center was bad. And now that the isolated vocals version of what used to be everyone's favorite Christmas song are going around, it sounds even worse. Carey, who's known for being a powerhouse vocalist, let us down on this one. She's off key, out of breath, and tends to miss the high notes she's famous for hitting more often than not. But now that I've admitted it, let me make a case for Carey. Although my live singing performances are limited to road trip karaoke and the occasional song in the shower, even I can understand that singing live is hard. Add the cold winter air (homegirl was clearly freezing) and the dozens of other variables that could've been at play, and I can't condone judging Carey so harshly. Obviously, she can sing... but for some reason, this time, she didn't.
And speaking of bad live performances, Carey is hardly the first to give one. In fact, when searching "live mic feeds" from performances on YouTube, you'll find there are few mainstream artists who give performances worthy of winning even an elementary school talent show.
Before you condemn Carey for her off night, take a listen to these isolated vocals. It's nearly impossible to sound good without music and backing vocals helping you out — unless, of course, you're Beyonce, but we already knew she was flawless.
Britney Spears, various performances
Even more cringeworthy than Carey's song is this collection of Britney Spears' live performances, which are super painful to listen to. I'm practically a lifelong member of the Spears fan club, and even I will admit these just don't sound good. However, Spears has always been way more of an entertainer than anything else, and if vocals have to fall by the wayside in order to assemble an impressive live show with tons of dancing and, you know, snakes and stuff, that's OK. When you put it all together, it's good.
Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke, "We Can't Stop"/"Blurred Lines"
When Miley Cyrus wants to, she can sound amazing. However, her now infamous VMA performance (if you've forgotten, I have two words for you: foam finger) was a bad example. "We Can't Stop" wasn't bad, but when Thicke appears on stage and she starts chiming in on "Blurred Lines," it starts to get dodgy. To his credit, Thicke himself doesn't sound too bad.
Selena Gomez, "Naturally"
Being that I've recently become obsessed with Gomez's most recent single "The Heart Wants What it Wants," this one makes me kinda sad. Gomez sounds super out of breath for the entirety of the performance, and a lot like she's relying very heavily on the backing track.
Katy Perry, "Roar"
Perry gets a dancing pass for this one, too, but "Roar" still doesn't sound awesome — and nothing like the performances I've heard Perry pull off in the past.
See? Regardless of how talented you actually are, separating vocals from a live performance really doesn't make anybody look good. Not even Katy Perry, who is otherwise a perfect human being.