There’s one star bigger than the one that shines atop the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree — and that’s Mariah Carey.
The notorious diva (below) caused a major headache for NBC producers Tuesday night when she failed to show up to tape a segment for the network’s annual tree-lighting extravaganza, which aired Wednesday night, one well-placed NBC insider tells Confidenti@l.
Carey arrived on time to perform on Wednesday’s show, but not before causing NBC major concerns.
“The diva was supposed to pretape her performance of Christmas songs, like she’s done before. The show is live Wednesday, but producers have learned their lesson with her over the years, and that they must pretape her. She always shows up late,” spilled our source. “On Tuesday night, she didn’t show up at all.”
Our set source said the almost-divorced Carey, who just spent Thanksgiving with estranged husband Nick Cannon and their twins, Moroccan and Monroe, in Aspen, Colo., kept network staff and crew waiting for three hours in the freezing rain — delivering excuses instead of herself.
“Her camp kept saying she was 10 minutes away, which was technically true because her hotel, the Palace Hotel, is about a 10-minute ride away from 30 Rock,” laughed our source. “But she was not en route!”
Our insider, who added that Carey may be the most difficult guest to ever grace the halls of 30 Rock, said that after three hours of waiting, the audience was released and sent home without an explanation.
“They left without seeing Mariah, and now producers were scrambling to figure out what to do, since NBC has already advertised she is a part of the show, and usually a big draw for it as well,” said our source. “NBC is upset also because she has cost production extra money by staying late.”
We’re told producers were discussing putting a performance from an earlier year into the show or “dropping her altogether,” said our insider. “The producers were saying ‘enough is enough,’ and this will be the last year she is invited to be a part of the special.”
On Tuesday, producers were scrambling to replace her, but were assured she would show up Wednesday night for the real deal.
Our source said Carey’s camp “begged” NBC to put her back in the lineup, saying “it’s not the holidays without Mariah.”
“They are giving her a rehearsal time at 5 p.m. so they have her in the building, but now she’s performing live and that can mean disaster,” said our source.
Carey sang Wednesday for the 8 p.m. show from Rockefeller Center, averting disaster, as a rep had assured us she would.
Carey herself took to Twitter, writing about the Tuesday taping, “Last night’s situation was beyond my control. I apologize to all that showed up, you know that I would never want to disappoint you.”