As it usually goes, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest had some truly brilliant year-ending moments, but out of all the night's talent, two classic performers really stood out as clear winners: pop queens Britney Spears and Mariah Carey, the latter of which was in rebound mode after last year's debacle. So the question is, who gave this year's best New Year's Eve performance? Let's discuss.
Going into the New Year's Eve festivities, the world had its eyes on Mariah Carey. The diva's performance last year was a disaster of epic proportions that seemingly set the tone for the rest of 2017 pop culture, so some joked that if Carey could turn things around with this year's performance, 2018 would be a good year for all. When the lights went up for the highly anticipated segment, Ryan Seacrest kicked it over to Carey, and she went straight into a performance of the time-honored hit "Vision of Love" while wrapped in a warm and cozy (and probably very expensive) white fur coat.
That first song went pretty well but despite New Year's Rockin' Eve's best efforts to better accommodate Mariah Carey this year, the singer claimed the producers forgot something, and in what will likely become the first major meme of 2018, Carey informed the audience that there was no hot tea for her to drink onstage, and that it was a "disaster." Carey then told everyone that it was fine and that she would be "like everybody else" in continuing on without hot tea. Carey indeed soldiered on for a choir-accompanied version of her hit "Hero," escaping the performance with no meaningful drama or screw ups. That much can be said for Britney Spears as well, but it does feel as though Carey should get points for sitting out in the freezing Times Square cold during her performance to silence her critics. And note that she did get her tea later.
While many eyes may have been on Mariah leading up to New Year's Rockin' Eve, there's no denying attention spans weren't completely locked in on one particular pop princess of the late '90s and '00s. With the end of 2017 came the end of Britney Spears' four-year Las Vegas residency, and she had Sin City rocking perhaps even more than Times Square. While Spears was performing all throughout the night for her Vegas audience, television viewers got to see her ring in 2018 with a rousing rendition of her hit "Work Bitch." In a word, it was "electric."
Britney Spears was zooming through choreography that lesser performers would pass out attempting, and she kept that energy going well past midnight. Rockin New Year's Rockin Eve came back to her for an alternate take on her hit "Toxic." Once again clad in yet another glamorous costume, Spears gave another amazing stage show performance that nothing short of flawless. Of course, she's had loads of time to perfect that routine, so it should come as no surprise that she flowed through that song like water from a faucet. Additionally, when a singer is dancing that hard on stage, one always has to assume her performance isn't as "live," as we would like to believe, but Spears went on record earlier in the year with Rolling Stone saying that while she does use a background vocal track for big dance moments, she actually is singing the whole time. Whether or not she's to be believed is up to the viewer.
So who gave the better performance of the two? Be sure to vote below and check out the best shows TV has to offer in 2018 with our midseason premiere guide. For a look at last-year memories, check out all the shows that were canceled in 2017 at our cancellation guide or see some of the craziest live moments of 2017 right here. Those who missed the entirety of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve can still catch the event via ABC on-demand.