Mariah, Mary and Kelly do 'Christmas at Rockefeller Center'

Here’s a holiday truism you can depend on: Put Mariah Carey anywhere near a Christmas tree, and she will bring it.

That’s what the singer did Wednesday night on NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” special, which opened with Carey, a yuletide vision in a sparkly white mermaid dress, ripping into “Joy to the World” with an intensity in her eyes that seemed to be telling Ariana Grande to step off. (Watch the performance below until Carey’s people have it yanked it from YouTube.)

“Joy to the World” was one of two songs she did on the hour-long broadcast, for which “hundreds of thousands” of New Yorkers had lined the streets of midtown Manhattan, according to a rather dubious claim by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. Carey also blessed the assembled with a melisma-rich rendition of “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

And yet she didn’t succeed in scaring off young Grande, who only opened herself to more Carey comparisons with her performance of the very Mariah “Love Is Everything.”

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In fact, Rockefeller Center was positively lousy with divas Wednesday, including Mary J. Blige (who looked better than she sounded in Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas”), Kelly Clarkson (who rocked the stuffing out of “Run Rudolph Run”) and Leona Lewis (who, curiously, still exists).

Jewel did a sleepy-sultry take on “The Christmas Song,” while Babyface and Toni Braxton quiet stormed their way through “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” And somehow the Goo Goo Dolls turned up, which seemed to surprise even frontman Johnny Rzeznik, who broke out laughing near the end of “A Holly Jolly Christmas.”

Less Goo Goo, more Mariah next year, please.


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Twitter: @mikaelwood


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