Mariah Carey showed up late for her TCA Q&A, walked out onstage with a bevy of shirtless hunks, canoodled with with one of them and sat on another, who had turned himself into a Hot Guy bench with two other Half-Naked Hot Guys playing the roles of Armrests. “So, this is normal,” she said.
Although she was there to to tout her upcoming E! docuseries Mariah’s World, her Sweet Sweet Fantasy concert tour and her personal life, she got dragged back into talking about American Idol – again – which she said – again – was the most abusive experience ever. On the other hand, her one season on that now-defunct Fox singing competition, in which she famously did not see eye to eye with fellow judge Nicki Minaj, made for wonderful train-wreck TV.
But, getting back to Carey’s entrance, she wondered if sitting on Half-Naked Guy was the most comfortable spot from which to take questions. Standing up, she asked TV critics what they think of her very skimpy Mae West-cum-Vegas costume and moved over to a purple and gold Rococo fainting couch that looks like something out of a Tim Burton fantasy – or Donald Trump’s dressing room.
Picking up the bedazzled E! microphone, she purred: “Hi! Photo op! Photo op!” Then she instructed one of the Half-Naked Hot Guys to pour her a “splash” — as in Veuve Clicquot, assuming she’s drinking the same stuff she distributed to the TV critics – because, she tells HNHG, “You’re burly and strong. I on the other hand, am frail. And forgetful.”
After instructing the journalists in the front rows to let her know if she forgetfully parts her legs and “there are issues here,” she began to take questions about the eight-episode series that follows her as she begins her tour of the U.K., Europe and Africa, while also planning her upcoming wedding to Australian business mogul James Packer. Packer, she said, is not actively involved because he’s not an entertainer and she does not want to “permeate” his world.
“What made you decide to take the leap into reality TV at this point?” one reporter asked.
“If I don’t document my life, I’m not sure when I’m going to go on tour again,” she said, insisting this “feels like a documentary” and she did not say to herself “ooh, let’s do a realty thing” because “I don’t even know what reality is. Literally.”
Another journalist wanted to know if her children will be in the project, and how far along are her wedding plans. “That’s two questions and almost as high as I can count,” she answered.
Her 5-year-olds, she says, should have their own show “because that’s how funny they are.” Hopefully E! execs are steeled for that talk.
Asked whether former husband Nick Cannon will appear in the docu, she responded, “I can’t speak for what he thinks” adding “he came around” and is “cool to be on.” Then she added, smiling coyly, that while he may be cool with appearing on the project, but she hasn’t yet decided if he’s going to make the final cut. The crowd roared.
About that time, one journalist asked her about that one season on American Idol. That set Carey off. “Ugh! It was the most the most abusive experience!” she groaned. “By the way, you’ve just driven me to drink,” she scolded the reporter, stopping the interview to have another “splash” of Veuve Clicquot. “I need a festive moment,” she said as she “splashed,” anxious E! execs waited, and reporters waited.
She wasn’t ready to resume:
“Honestly, I’m going to have to get a touch-up in a moment too,” she said.
On cue, out come two young male artists to apply more makeup and fluff up her hair.
“This is part of my world,” she explained, as they touched her up.
“Anybody else want a touch-up? It’s very expensive,” Carey boasted.
Another journalist noted, “You’re such a private person” — not intending it as a laugh line, wondering if she was involved in the docu editing. “I’m like a closet editor,” she said.
She petted her hair. A lot.
Asked where she drew the line, telling cameras that some aspect of her life was too private, she said, “I think we’re still drawing the lines.”
“What do the lines look like?” the journalist asked, hoping for more. “Peaks and valleys.”
Another reporter wondered what is the biggest misconception about her and what is it she just can’t wait for people to see in this show? “Oh my gosh! Why such an abusive question?!” she emoted, quickly adding, “Kidding!”
“The answer to that is, I don’t know if anybody … knows the real me.”
Later, a journalist who’d learned nothing during the extensive performance asked Carey to tell her audience what other, younger, female music artists are “up and coming” or “just killing it in the music industry” right now.
“There’s a few,” she answered, which should have been a red flag.
The dumb bunny asked Carey who they were.
“They would be lovely ladies. And it’s not their day.”
Mariah’s World premieres in the U.S. and Canada at 9 PM Sunday, December 4. Premieres outside North America will then follow on E!’s 15 international channels, reaching 153 countries in 24 languages with the UK, Australia and New Zealand, within 24 hours of the US.., and all international channels within two weeks of the E! US broadcast.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.