Mariah Carey did not lip-sync on 'American Idol,' according to her repAdd to Favorites | American Idol
Judging from the reaction online following the "American Idol" Season 12 finale, plenty of viewers believe that Mariah Carey lip-synced the medley of her hits aired during the final results show. But according to a rep for the singer and "Idol" judge, this is not true.
Carey's spokesperson made a statement to E!Online, saying "She ABSOLUTELY DID NOT lip-sync. She performed LIVE in front of several thousands of people!!!! (and did it 3 times!!)"
The rep did confirm that Carey sang to a pre-recorded track but that the singing -- along with the 40-person choir providing backup vocals -- was done live. Singing to a recorded track is not all that uncommon in the music industry, even though many do object to it.
Still, video of the performance does indicate that something was off. It is very possible that the sound relay in the FOX broadcast had a bit of a glitch, making it look like Carey wasn't exactly at the right place in her songs at the right time.
There is also the fact that Mariah Carey did not in fact perform live at "American Idol." The song medley shown during the Thursday-night (May 16) broadcast was actually recorded the day before in front of a live audience at the Nokia Theater. Audience members attending the live "Idol" finale results were simply asked to cheer at the end of a video shown on screens.
At no point during the "American Idol" finale did Carey leave her seat at the judges' table. That does make it hard to determine for sure if the original singing was live (at the time of recording) or not.