The Paramount Network TV show "Lip Sync Battle" is airing...

The Paramount Network TV show "Lip Sync Battle" is airing a tribute to Mariah Carey on Thursday. Credit: Paramount Network / Trae Patton

The Mariah Carey-themed episode of Paramount Network's "Lip Sync Battle” that airs Thursday at 9 p.m. features Carey herself, commenting on the performances by competitors Darren Criss and Jermaine Dupri.

In the episode, the pop star, 49,  good-naturedly admonishes rapper-producer Dupri, 46, for forgetting some words to a song they co-wrote. "Even though you forgot the words to 'Shake It Off,' which we wrote together  …" she says, her voice comically trailing off as she, the audience and Dupri all laugh. Carey then quickly reassures, "You forgot some of the words but I've done that myself so it's OK."

"C'mon JD...," Carey tweeted Wednesday after Paramount released a promotional clip of that moment, adding a laughing-so-hard-I'm-crying emoji. She had written the 2005 hit with Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Dupri and two others.

Elsewhere in the episode, "Glee" star Criss, 31, mimes Carey's 1999 chart-topping collaboration with Jay-Z, "Heartbreaker" — performing in drag with a long blond wig, bare midriff and pink chunky heels. "Darling," Carey tells him later admiringly, "the ensemble! The ensemble!"

Criss tweeted Wednesday that his performance on the show "has GOT to be one of the wackiest" things he's ever done.

Criss and Dupri are in the midst of a lip-sync duet to the title track of Carey's 1991 album "Emotions" when Carey herself descends onto the stage, seated on a swing with giant pink butterfly wings behind her, as the audience roars. Dressed in a spangled, silver strapless gown, she momentarily lip-syncs to that No. 1 hit herself.

Five-time Grammy Award winner Carey, who was born in Huntington, raised in Greenlawn and graduated from Harborfields High School in 1987, is one of pop music's most successful recording artists, with 18 No. 1 hits since 1990.

Manhasset's LL Cool J hosts the show, now in its fifth season.

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