7 of the Worst Lip Sync/ Technical Difficulty Fails in Pop Music History

Show of hands: who heard about Mariah Carey’s NYE performance and were kind of like, “Oh… yeah, I’m not surprised.” That was my reaction. 2016 was just too awful of a year to expect a nice, drama-free sendoff. In honor of that fated welcoming of 2017, let’s look at the worst lip sync — or shall we say “technical difficulty” — fails of yore.

1. Mariah Carey – NYE 2016

Okay, let’s just get this one out in the open. You’ve seen the videos. You’ve heard Mariah claim the producers tried to sabotage her. Like a car wreck on the highway, this performance was bad, but you just can’t look away.

2. Ashlee Simpson – SNL 2004

2004 was basically a lifetime ago, but this horrible lip sync fail still holds its own. Two words: hoe down. (Just googled that and it’s actually one word, “hoedown”, so please excuse me but I needed to wedge hoedown into this description somehow.)

3. Britney Spears – VMAs 2007

Britney gave us more, much more, than we wanted from this performance. I grew up a diehard Britney fan, so this is very hard for me to write. But the obvious lip-syncing and just overall lethargy of the performance makes it impossible not to put on this list. But hey, at least it’s still Britney bitch. And some Britney bitch is better than no Britney bitch.

4. Justin Bieber – Phoenix Concert 2012

Justin’s acoustic performances show that he can, indeed, sing (something to be questioned about many of today’s pop stars). But on this ill-fated day, at least, the Biebs had a little backing vocal help. Also he puked.

5. Selena Gomez – The View 2013

The lip sync issue happens around 1:08 in this video, and it taught us two things: 1) Selena Gomez lip syncs and 2) wigs are good at hiding your face when you’ve just made a booboo in public.

6. Katy Perry – NRJ 2013

Apparently the wrong backing track came on during Katy’s performance, resulting in about 52 second of awkward out-of-sync dancing/”singing”. Thankfully, a fancy Frenchman stepped in and announced they’d restart the song. Always gotta have that fancy Frenchman.

7. Mariah Carey – Good Morning America 2008

If you thought Mariah’s NYE was a doozy, check out this little gem from about nine years ago. Despite sound engineers who just can’t seem to catch a break, Mariah still manages to keep her cool, and that’s why she’ll always be my baby. Or wait! I’ve got an even better joke: it seems like Mariah and live performance problems… belong together. Harharhar.

What’s your favorite lip sync fail? Let us know on Twitter at @AndiHester!

Andi Hester
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