Carey plays it safe, but 'lambs' lap it up
It was the unspoken million-dollar question at Mariah Carey's show here last night - will she soar or will it be another cringeworthy performance from the pop diva?
After all, the US singer reportedly left some fans disappointed and shocked after she failed to reach the high notes while singing her famous hits - appallingly off-key - at her shows in Tokyo and Seoul earlier this month.
The disastrous start to her The Elusive Chanteuse Show tour made some conclude that Carey's glitzy heydays - and possibly 26-year career - were over.
They were wrong, even though it is hard not to miss the Queen Mariah of her earlier days.
Her whistle register remains intact and so is her ability to stretch her vocals to impossible heights.
But Carey chose to play it safe with challenging numbers like My All, Hero and We Belong Together which had proved problematic in Tokyo.
She gave fans teasers of her impressive vocals - but picked her battles wisely.
Still, she could do no wrong in the eyes of her Lambs (the name she gives her fans) who lapped up her performance as they gyrated madly and screamed every song lyric.
She kicked off the two-hour concert at the National Stadium with Fantasy, dressed in a shiny plunging top and short skirt. A similar outfit had caused a wardrobe malfunction at her earlier show in the Chinese city of Chengdu.
This time, Carey managed to keep her underwear hidden from view as she performed Touch My Body while waving the silk mermaid side tail attached to her skirt.
She also proved that she still has that star power left. She nailed all the high notes in Emotions, drawing loud cheers from the crowd.
Of course, she sat on top of the piano, diva-like, wearing a classy black dress performing Cry, Ella Fitzgerald's Lullaby of Birdland and Fly Like A Bird.
She claimed her Fitzgerald cover, a song she used to sing as a child, was unrehearsed, but gave a smooth rendition of the classic.
Another outfit change then followed, this time an elegant electric blue gown, before she invoked some nostalgia with her old song Honey and I'll Be There with singer and Carey's longtime friend Trey Lorenz.
She upped the tempo with Thirsty before slowing down with Hero which every last fan, even tennis star Serena Williams, who was present, sang along to.
It might be a dig to her haters, but Carey slyly promised her fans that she will sing it for as long as she can.
Carey dedicated Supernatural to her three-year-old twins, Moroccan and Monroe, who were by the side of the stage. They later said hello to mummy and told her they loved her, prompting "oohs" and "ahhs" from the crowd.
Carey ended the show on a high with We Belong Together and Always Be My Baby before thanking her fans.
She was chummy with the audience from start to finish, acknowledging their fan signs, even telling a lucky fan that, yes, she can give a hug (which did not happen).
Fans The New Paper spoke to admitted they expected a bad show, but were pleasantly surprised.
It seems that Carey might have expected the same of herself when her management initially disallowed media reviews - possibly following harsh criticism for her earlier performances - and then revoked the ban after a positive run in Malaysia.
"I thought I would be disappointed but to me, she was on point. It was way better than I expected," said student Alex Wong, 18.
"Understandably, she's older now and going through a rough patch in life, so she's not like she was in the past. But watching her has always been my dream and to me she was perfect," said another student, Ting Lin, 17.
Carey's show yesterday was held in association with the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore that is presented by SC Global.
The pop star, who was said to have arrived in Singapore in the wee hours of Thursday morning, will next fly to Taipei, Manila and Bangkok before completing the Australian and New Zealand leg of her tour.
"Understandably, she's older now and going through a rough patch in life so she's not like she was in the past. But watching her has always been my dream and to me she was perfect."
- Student Ting Lin, 17.