When Rihanna invited 200-plus journalists on her seven-day, seven-country, seven-concert 777 tour, a level of unprecedented access was expected from the chart-topping pop princess.
Alas, reporters aboard the Boeing 777 whisking the singer off to such locations as Mexico City, Stockholm and London found themselves exhausted, ignored and, yes, unloved in the most unlikely and hopeless of all places: a triple-VIP party plane.
"We were looking for a story, and we turned out to be the story," declared a correspondent for the Fuse TV music channel. "Everyone is delirious to the point where we are chanting random things. One guy from Australia has streaked stark naked throughout the entire plane! Everyone is up with their cameras rolling waiting for a glimpse at Rihanna. We don't know if it's going to pay off, but we're all ready."
Footage shows the frustrated media pack chanting "Just one qoute!" and "RiRi!" in unison. Journos also complained about the lack of sleep, red-eye flights and not-great food.
Rihanna, who must have been fairly jet-lagged herself, had gone down the aisles pouring champagne for the press last week while en route from Los Angeles to Mexico City on day one of the tour. But she has been MIA since, prompting a quasi-rebellion in the wee hours of Monday morning during a flight from Berlin to London.
"A Def Jam publicist emerged from business class to mouth, 'What the f--- is going on?' while one writer repeatedly screamed 'Occupy 777!' The fatigue of 200 people transformed and coalesced into semi-serious anger mixed with comical hyperbole," wrote Fuse's Jason Newman.
Meanwhile, Spin's Julianne Escobedo Shepherd reported of the "cray": "We've traveled through Paris and Berlin, and thanks to extensive delays, haven't seen daylight in days. When we return, our eyes will have shrunken into tiny slots and we will forage on the ground for centipedes and other high-protein foods we can feel with our hands. We will also be chained to Rihanna like Michonne's zombies."
A post on the blog Pop Dust decried: "Some of us wondered if she was not the pop star we know and love but a super crabby, Rihanna-shaped ghost. We now only see her at the nightly shows. About those shows: They’ve ranged from starting 'slightly late' to 'really, really, can’t-believe-these-Swedish-people-aren’t-rioting' late. As a result, the tour schedule is seriously off, so we spend hours and hours in travel limbo."
Rihanna's tour, in support of her forthcoming album fittingly titled Unapologetic, ends Wednesday in New York.
Watch the Fuse footage below: