Don’t Touch Mariah Carey’s Flyaways

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Photo: Courtesy of E! Entertainment

Last night E! aired the final episode of Mariah Carey’s docuseries Mariah’s World. The series has followed Mariah on a world tour focusing on her love life and the lives of her employees, and it will go down in history as one of the oddest shows on television. Without further adieu, let’s get to my final musings on this absurd show.

Mariah’s tour ends in South Africa, where she celebrates both a successful run and twins Roc and Roe’s 5th birthdays. As we all know, there’s nothing children enjoy more than hanging out with a bunch of adults, so Mariah takes her co-stars popular tour crew with her — including scam artist Stella, perpetually petty dancer Anthony, and sleaze ball Bryan Tanaka — to a butterfly sanctuary and petting zoo.

After posing with butterflies and birds and petting snakes and turtles, Mariah calls it a night, heading back to her hotel room. Her whole team is with her, which makes it easier for Stella to find Bryan, who is elevating his knee, and tell him that he’s been promoted to co-creative director for Mariah’s upcoming Vegas residency. Bryan’s other creative director will be Anthony, who recently asked Bryan to assist him, not share his title. Not knowing that Anthony doesn’t know a thing about his title change, Bryan looks directly to the cameras and says, “I just got promoted!”

Since Roc and Roe can’t celebrate their birthdays with actual children, Mariah tries to make their celebration — which continues into the next day — as special as possible. This mean she does something rarely seen: ventures outside into full daylight. Physically supported by at least three people, Mariah walks to the truck that will take her and her kids on an African safari, as makeup artist Kristofer narrates that Mariah is a “creature of the night” whose body is not used to sunlight. Mariah and her kids have fun on the safari, and Mariah even has time to squeeze in an extra solo shoot in the truck.

That evening is the night of Mariah’s final show in South Africa and of her tour. While she’s getting made up, Kristofer asks what’s next for the superstar. Calmly, Mariah explains that she’ll need to run to the studio, where she feels most at home, and record some background vocals. In the shock of the season, Mariah Carey admits to considering herself a background singer — not being in the studio recording background vocals, she says, would “kill” her. Mariah’s background-singer soliloquy is placed over footage of Mariah in a studio with Jermaine Dupri. My god.

During the final show, Stella cries on the side of the stage, shedding a tear for each one of the perks and free rides she’ll not be getting once they touch down in Los Angeles. Once Mariah exits the stage for the final time, her dancers, shirtless, sit on correctly staged trunks where they pop Champagne and take photos with Mariah. In a toast between Mariah, Anthony, and Bryan, Bryan cheers to his future as co-creative director, which gets a silent but deadly response from Anthony. Anthony, who was previously a fit of thankful tears, has replaced those emotions with ones of pure hate for Bryan.

Privately, and on Mariah’s private jet flying back to L.A., Bryan asks Stella who is going to tell Anthony that Bryan’s title has officially been changed. Stella looks Bryan in the eye and says, “You.” Then her head swivels around 360 degrees.

In L.A., Mariah celebrates Roc and Roe’s birthday with their father, Nick Cannon, and his mother, Beth. The family celebrates at a trampoline park, and after some jumping, Mariah, Beth, and makeup artist Kristofer fit in some time to make fun of Nick’s turban, which he’s wearing to shed light on “cultural differences.” In addition to shading Nick’s look, Mariah shades the activity of jumping on a trampoline. She considers it a “moment” when you’re in the air and your hair is blowing, but then when you come down, you’re just out of breath, sweaty and all-around “bleak.”

At home, Mariah and Stella work to find a date for Mariah’s wedding. Fiancé James Packer and Mariah don’t have an open line of communication in regard to the planning since Mariah’s people, a.k.a. Stella, are communicating with James’s people to find a date that works. The news is 100 percent bad, though, because Mariah and James’s schedules don’t link up and the dates his people sent don’t work for Mariah. Stella thinks this may be a sign, and Mariah just stares off into the ether with sad eyes. Breaking a long silence, Mariah asks Stella, “What am I supposed to do?”

Shortly after Mariah and Stella’s meeting, Bryan visits. He and Mariah drink red wine on her kitchen countertop and talk about Anthony. Bryan’s excited for his new role, but fearful about how it will impact his relationship with Anthony. Mariah doesn’t offer up much advice, and Stella also shows herself, creeping behind a large door while wrapped in a blanket. She sits and listens.

Mishka, Stella’s daughter and Mariah’s social-media manager, celebrates her bat mitzvah. Mishka’s party is at 1 Oak, and aside from herself, the only other child there was Mariah Carey and she was born in 1970. Mariah does admit that it’s funny to be hanging out with a 12-year-old even though she herself is “eternally 12.”

Mariah hosts an after-party at her house for some of Mishka’s friends and the hangers-on from her tour. Of course Bryan is there and he even brought his mom to meet Mariah. Bryan quickly ditches his mom when Mariah invites him out to the cabana in her garden, where they dance and look longingly at one another. In this scene he asks Mariah if she’s really going to marry James. She says nothing, but does scold Bryan for fixing a flyaway in her hair. His gesture was meant to be sweet, but Mariah did not take it that way. For Mariah, Bryan pointing out her flyaway made her feel ugly, which is the basis for many of her insecurities. Bryan corrects his mistake by calling her beautiful and letting her know that he only cares about her happiness. Much like in Glitter, the acting in this scene is a 4.5 across the board!

After their intimate moment, Mariah and Bryan head inside to confront Anthony about his bitter attitude toward Bryan’s promotion. Anthony defends himself, claiming to always be the last to know about changes, and he doesn’t think that Bryan has the know-how to creatively direct. Anthony goes a step further, threatening to walk away from the tour as he feels blindsided and that this is a slap in the face. Stella laughs and in a husky voice tells her liege that he’s not going anywhere. Anthony does stick around (well, until he was fired after Mariah’s New Year’s Eve performance).

Now that her workplace drama is settled, Mariah is free to go into the studio to record some main and background vocals. Mariah sings a new original called “I Don’t,” a breakup song. A snippet is heard, and lyrics include “… ’cause when you love someone, you just don’t treat them bad.” Emotionally, Mariah finishes recording, and takes her engagement ring off, leaving it inside the recording booth and on the music stand.

Stella brings Mariah her ring, which looks like it came out of a vending machine, but after taking it back Mariah tells Stella that she and James need to “cut the shit” and finally call off the wedding. Stella, teary-eyed, agrees. Sadly, Stella won’t be able to add “Mariah Carey’s Wedding Planner” to her résumé, but she promises to follow her boss’s lead and halt all planning.

Dramatically, headlines featuring the news of Mariah and James’s split fill the television screen. The original narrative was that Mariah was the dumpee and not the dumper. But whatever the story, the breakup has not stalled Mariah. She’s got a concert in Hawaii, an upgraded version of her show that Bryan and Anthony worked on together. Bryan is also all healed and back to dancing.

Though it’s unsaid, Mariah’s tour ended in May 2016, but the final ten minutes of the episode take place near the very end of last year. Most important, Mariah takes Bryan to Maui, where they find love frolicking on a beach and softly kissing one another as their bodies tumble into the ocean. It’s pure insanity, yet the most blissful Mariah’s been all series.

Wow! What a ride. Thank you for accompanying me on this deep dive into the life of Mariah Carey. If we’re lucky, this is the end of this very confused and confusing show, but if not, I’ll see you right back here. Make sure to join me next week as I walk you all through my exclusive and undercover search for fired assistant Molly who is hopefully seeking help for her Stella-related Stockholm Syndrome and living deep in the valley of L.A. Just kidding, we all know she doesn’t really exist.

Don’t Touch Mariah Carey’s Flyaways