Showbiz Commentary: Heidi Oringer

Dear Mariah,

Do you remember the 1990s, when you were at the top of your game?

There was really no competition, save for Whitney Houston, and plenty of room for the both of you.

You kicked off the decade with a self-titled album and it was such a success, you had enough money to buy Guam. Sony Music honcho Tommy Mottola, who gave you this opportunity, had instantly transformed you into a music icon. So whaddya do?

You married him, despite the fact that he is much older than you. He made you what you are. Perhaps you loved him. Perhaps you owed him.

Mottola groomed your career. You enjoyed hit after hit. But you are young and he is not. You were in the "Hangin' with the Homies" mode while he was in the "Hangin' AT Homey" mode.

Finally, you dumped him, certain you could carry on. (Later you'd say so in a song.) Alas, you walked away from the marriage with even more money, enough to buy a large chunk of the Netherlands … if you wanted.

All Was Good … Until

In the late 1990s, you were free to make some decisions all by your lonesome.

You got yourself out there and dated some hotties, all the while continuing to dance on the turntable called success. All was good until …

We entered a new millennium and you took the reins of your life. You made some big business decisions (a whopping $81 million deal) and you made some crazy business decisions (acting).

The problem you face now is that you keep thinking it is 10 years ago. You started thinking you were born in 1979, instead of 1969. You allowed those around you to put demands on you that you couldn't fulfill. The pressure mounted and you lost focus.

That pesky acting bug bit you and its venom clouded your thinking. It made you believe that if you conquered the silver screen, you could once again achieve your former invincibility. Perhaps it made you believe that if you portrayed a girl much younger than yourself, you could be much younger than you are.

A Glittering Failure

The truth is, the problems with Glitter were many. Aside from the meaningless script and your age, you are a singer, not an actress. Some make the transition. You didn't.

Unfortunately, you cannot go home, eat a gallon of Häagen-Dazs and not answer the phone for a week. Well you can, but not without the rest of the world knowing.

Eventually you had a meltdown. It was bound to happen. Only as mentioned, you were in the public eye and there was an $81 million recording contract bounty on your head and a movie that required your star power to make it a hit.

That didn't happen.

As a matter of fact, your movie tanked so badly, it was considered one of the worst films of the year, perhaps one of the worst in many years.

The record you released to go with the movie does not fare much better. Hey, you still have the vocal talent, but that too has taken a downward turn. There's a bevy of other divas selling right past you.

You melted down again.

Whether it was the fault of the managers, publicists and others surrounding you or just your own stubbornness, you insisted on getting up … the veritable Rocky Balboa of music.

Unfortunately, for you, execs at your record label decided it would be in their best interests to lift this recording bounty from over your head and buy you out for a total of $49 million rather than wasting an additional $32 million to see you continue to slide down the firehouse career pole.

You're Not Washed Up

Listen, honey, no one is saying you are washed up. Your die-hard fans still see the super-songstress you were when you hit it big in 1990 and they hardly notice the spiral.

Still, the rumors persist that like a stick of butter in the Arizona sun, you are melting down once more.

So, Mariah, here's a suggestion: Why not walk away for a while? They say, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." Why wait until you pass out completely?

Now's your chance to get out of the slumping record sales gunk, the emotional instability gunk, the box-office bomb gunk, etc, etc. If any of your so-called advisers gave a rat's hindquarters about you, they'd let you lie low.

They'd let you find some quiet time to enjoy your 100-plus million-dollar fortune. You could find a new man, settle down and live happily ever after. They'd tell you it's OK to let the new voices have a go at the musical merry-go-round business. Truth is, these gals are already riding high on the carousel, and the only horse left for you is the one that doesn't move.

Don't Be Afraid

Don't be afraid to disappear for a while. It worked for Celine. She left at the top … almost over the top. Many people said if they heard the theme to Titanic one more time, they'd have gone down with the ship.

Celine's coming back now. Slow and steady. She's lined up a Barbara Walters interview and next year she's set to hit Caesar's Palace in Vegas. She'll sell out every night and probably release another album right about then. And you know what, everyone who loved her before will love her then because we've had a sufficient break.

So, Mariah … whaddya say? Why not take a powder? Then, in say 2006, come back. Fire up those fantastic vocal chords and bombard us with an album that has three top 10 hits. Just like you used to do. Do a concert tour when you are a little less tired and fed up with the world around you.

If you were that good to begin with, and you were, we'll be here when you get back.

Heidi Oringer is director of entertainment programming at ABCNEWS Radio.