Remember When Mariah Carey Gave the Most Extra Home Tour?

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Things were very different in 2002. In lieu of a pandemic sweeping the globe, our biggest problem, by far, was Glitter. Enter: Mariah Carey’s “Cribs” episode, which, in its Marie Antoinette-in-the-early-aughts ridiculousness, collectively boosted morale.

The episode begins with Carey opening the gilded gold doors to her Tribeca penthouse (three bedrooms, five-and-a-half bathrooms, 11,000 square feet) and greeting us. “Hi guuuuuys,” she says smokily. Her hair was much blonder then, and she was trying out an almost Farrah Fawcett-esque whispy style immortalized not only in this episode, but on her Charmbracelet album cover. “It’s an art deco apartment,” she continues. “The walls are a process called glazing. I like it because they look like candy.” Indeed, the shiny orange walls do have a Jelly Bean-like quality to them, a peculiar choice considering the rest of her aesthetic is fairly neutral. “I like neutral colors because they’re not jarring,” she explains. “I have enough jarring things that happen to me on a daily basis.” The living room furniture is oversized and mostly beige, save for gold satin touches, and would fit nicely in a banquet room at a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott on, say, Staten Island. There are lots of flowers, candles, and chandeliers. An issue of Architectural Digest rests on her coffee table. Her apartment just so happens to be in it. “I didn’t grow up in a house that was in Architectural Digest,” she says. (Anyone who saw Glitter would know this.) Carey mentions that she has Marilyn Monroe’s piano somewhere in the penthouse, but won’t show it to us. She also won’t show us her bedroom because “if I show you my bedroom, what’s left for me?” Fair.

Her lingerie closet—yes, she has a specific closet just for silky unmentionables—is the real draw. There, she changes into while silk nightie and a pink robe and proceeds to show off her ultra-luxe bathroom, equipped with a rainfall shower head, a lounge chair, a flat-screen television, and a jacuzzi tub. The latter is arguably what made this episode so iconic. Carey wraps herself in a towel (beige) and actually gets into the tub, which is miraculously full of water already. Her entire ensemble gets wet. When you’re Mariah f*cking Carey, who cares?

After her bath demonstration, Carey’s assistant, named Blair, changes her into another outfit. This happens while she’s walking—an impressive feat and one Blair certainly deserves credit for. “Hurry up, Blair. The clock is ticking!” Carey snaps. Then she shows us her guest room, a butterfly sanctuary in the form of a bedroom. “I like butterflies,” she says. Carey explains she only has one guest room because if you have too many guest rooms, “fools like to stay over a bit too much,” which feels like a diss to someone who recently overstayed their welcome at Carey’s abode. This is also a room dedicated to her fans, she says, and includes scrapbooks people have mailed to her. “My fans’ creativity is unparalleled.” The whole thing is really sweet.

She then takes us into the kitchen, which includes a big island with a marble countertop. Though it doesn’t seem to bear any resemblance to a butterfly, Carey says the island is called “butterfly because the design looks like butterfly wings.” There’s also a built-in dog bed under the counter, as well as the actual bell from the Tower of Terror ride at Disney World. The bell lives in the kitchen because “a lot of stupid remarks are made here.” (?) Carey’s dog, a Jack Russell Terrier named Jack, bites her cat’s tail.

Carey takes us downstairs. At some point, she’s changed into a camisole and grey sweatpants with an “M” on the front, though it’s not clear when exactly this transformation occurred. Here is where the mermaid room lives, which is an entertainment room with shell-shaped lamps, aqua-blue walls, and beige couches intended to look like sand. “People call me a mermaid because I like to swim,” she says. There are also fish tanks; Carey, confusingly, says she had to get the fish “changed” to match her schedule. The laundry machine and cleaning supplies are also downstairs, and here is where we find her other dog, Ginger, who is casually hanging out in one of the dryers.

Next we go up to the very top, where the Moroccan room and her gym are. The episode concludes with Carey riding a VersaClimber in satin black heels with diamond-encrusted straps like a true queen. Thanks to YouTube, the famous episode lives on—albeit in pixelated parts. We recommend the Bonus Edition, which includes badly aged commentary from the likes of Sharon Osbourne and Pauly Shore and clips from some of Carey’s greatest music videos of all time, like “Emotions” and “Make It Happen.” During the COVID-19 crisis, it’s really the gift that keeps on giving.

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createdAt:Thu, 26 Mar 2020 13:41:31 +0000
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