On the eve of Jan. 1, 2018, to do her part in helping us forget that all of 2017 even happened, Mariah Carey triumphantly returned to New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on ABC to sing live and well in sub-zero, dry winter weather with no hot tea. NO HOT TEA.
The injustices of the world strike again!
But never one to be deterred by her fervid haters whom she doesn’t know anyway, the Queen of Comebacks stood tall, understandably nervous and/or cold, amid the frosty chill in New York’s Times Square to show that, yes, while “shit happens,”it’s how you move forward that makes all the difference.
If ever the world needed a diva emblematic of survival tactics and perseverance and getting tea when you want tea, it’s now, in 2018, during one of the darkest times for the queer population.
Mariah has long been an underdog. Celebrated for her eighteen No. 1 hits, her now-Top 10 single “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” 200-plus million albums sold, five Grammys, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a GLAAD Ally Award, Ms. Emancipation has also faced a flash of career-derailing shame via her major cinematic misfire, Glitter –and then a subsequent hospitalization for extreme exhaustion – only to still come out on top.
But all eyes were on her during 2016’s final hour, when Mariah Carey the human famously fumbled after her in-ear monitor went kaput –symbolic of 2017, the year that was also broken? –unknowingly foreshadowing the difficult days ahead for the whole anguished world. Like all of us in 2017, she did the best she could with what she had. She did a lift!
Between NYE performances, Mimi could’ve stayed at home with dem kids and drank tea to her heart’s content and done a second season of Mariah’s World, but no –a performance bust was enough reason for her to get her brave self back out there and show the world that you can’t keep an enduring diva down. There was absolutely no lip-syncing for her life –Mariah saaaang for her dear life, for your life, and literally for everyone who dedicates their life to social justice. She made note of the latter just before serving up “Hero,” her lyrics about finding the courage to rise above never seeming more self-reflective than in that moment.
Even “Vision of Love,” the song she opened with, felt like it had been reborn post NYE 2016, as she sang, “Suffered through alienation / Carried the weight on my own / Had to be strong.” Mariah wrote that song as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 20-year-old newcomer, but imagine how the 48-year-old version of her felt belting that number just before the clock struck midnight, into 2018.
And without hot tea.
Mariah’s urge to sip some hot tea when no hot tea was available – “I’m going to be just like everybody else with no hot tea,” she demurred, reminding the world in her very special Mariah Carey way that she’s simply one of us – set the meme-makers in motion. She didn’t just redeem herself – barely shivering in a transparent cleavage-spilling dress-ish thing, she was the most inspirational of Falkor-sheathed angels. (Just about as inspiring as when, in 2017, she sued her ex-fiance James Packer after their breakup for $50 million, citing an “inconvenience fee.” #RelationshipGoals)
The morning after she rose like a glam Phoenix because that’s just what she does, I was sent the best press release of 2018 so far from Good Earth Tea with the subject line, “Mariah finally got her tea – now it’s your turn.” Target marketing to the gays because no one loves diva antics more than us and Mariah Carey.
Found my tea! 🍵 pic.twitter.com/r5EIIbT5Zw
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) January 1, 2018
As a collective of marginalized people who’ve been told what we deserve – basically, less than everyone else who isn’t LGBTQ – there’s a lesson to be learned in needing the necessary tools to live through this maddening Trump-era life. Or in Mariah’s case, a seemingly nerve-wracking performance in less-than-desirable weather after you’ve been publicly ridiculed for the prior year’s Glitter-level fiasco.
Yes, in 2018, be a little more like Mariah. Face your fears. Embrace your flaws, and embrace the very human flaws of our diva foremothers/spiritual guides, too. Give yourself and others (Queen Mariah, even) second chances. Demand your voice be heard. Demand your rights be granted.
And if you want some hot tea, boo, demand some hot motherfucking tea.
Chris Azzopardi obviously stans hard for Mariah because her music saved him as a struggling gay teen. He’s also a celeb interviewer for LGBTQ press across the United States, as well as a contributor to Entertainment Tonight.