"And, you know, just to talk about it for a second, it is difficult to perform in Times Square," he said Thursday on his radio show, "On Air With Ryan Seacrest."
Seacrest, 42, said Carey had experience performing in Times Square "because she was the first musical guest that we had had live when I started doing the show years — about a decade ago. So she had seen it."
"She knows what Times Square’s about. It's complicated," he continued. "Imagine every single outlet -- TV outlet -- in the world is there, so there's all kinds of technical things going on."
The host then offered sympathy for Carey, 46. "For Mariah, I was up there at the stage to introduce her on the same stage she performs on,” Seacrest said. “And it's live television, and things happen on live TV, and, you know, if something goes wrong, it's unfortunate for anybody.”
As millions of viewers watched worldwide, Carey successfully opened her "New Year's Rockin' Eve" set with a rendition of "Auld Lang Syne," before abruptly stopping while trying to perform her 1991 hit single "Emotions." Carey finished her set using a recorded track of "We Belong Together."
Reps for the singer told ABC News in a statement that the singer's "earpiece was not working. They told her it would be fine once she was onstage. However, that was not the case, and they were again told that her earpiece was not working. Instead of endeavoring to fix the issue so that Mariah could perform, they went live."
A rep for Dick Clark Productions denied any implication that it would "intentionally compromise the success of any artist."
Seacrest defended the show's producers Thursday, saying, "I know this team of producers."
"This is a team that wants to do everything they can to accommodate any artist," he added on his radio show. "We are in the business of wanting people to look good and, believe me, tricky things, tough things can happen on live television."