The Billboards were in Las Vegas, so naturally, they had Mariah on, advertising her new Vegas residency and whatever terrible song she’s possibly promoting (Latter-Day Mariah just is not my jam).

All the standard ingredients are here — some sheer, some short, some long, some cleav — and she’s got accessories and earrings and a big ol’ gleaming smile. It’s fine. I think my problem with it is: This was presumably supposed to rechristen her the diva she imagines herself to be, but instead it feels a half step — or even a whole one — away from something that’s actually fresh and contemporary. It’s hitting its marks in a perfunctory way only, and has a stale aura to it that poor Mariah surely does not want.

But, it could have gone worse. And inside, to me, it did:

This is just sort of silly, clothing-wise — just wear a mini and matching boots, or a whole dress — but the actual unfortunate part for me was the performance itself. Something is clearly not right, and never going to be anymore, with her voice. Hearing her sing an abridged and slightly lower (I think) “Vision of Love” made that abundantly clear, especially when she jumped to the big finish and then cut out right before the glory notes. Good for her for trying to keep her career going, but it’s sort of heartbreaking to see her now because all it does is remind us that what she USED to do, she probably can’t anymore. And I wouldn’t pay Vegas prices just to feel sad about it all over again. Oh, MARIAH. I was going to say “It could have been so beautiful,” but of course that was Tiffany, so instead… you’ve got me feeling EMOTIONS, my friend.

[Photos: Getty]