Rihanna's "777 Tour" began as a publicity stunt, wherein she invited 150 journalists on her plane as she played seven shows in seven countries over seven days. But nearly a week and several thousand airborne tweets later, reports from those embedded with the singer now indicate that it may have been less of a stunt and more of what's being described as an intense social experiment: What happens when you trap reporters at 30,000 feet and barely feed them? Streaking, evidently. Indeed, over the weekend some Australian guy ran naked with a harmonica between Berlin and London. Still, was it all so bad to begin with? Let's go back in junket time, and look ahead to the last night aboard.
Toward the end here, Rihanna's passengers barely see her, but on November 14, which took the singer's Boeing 777 to Mexico City, she appeared—and with alcohol.
Billboard's Erika Ramirez Instagrammed a picture of Rihanna as she was pouring her "a glass of ace of spades during the flight."
Maud Deitch, an MTV correspondent, tweeted in disbelief:
I literally cannot believe this happened earlier today twitter.com/mauddeitch/sta…— Maud Deitch (@mauddeitch) November 15, 2012
Things started to go downhill quickly on November 15 and into November 16, which took the plane to Toronto. Jeff Rosenthal of Rolling Stone began his recap by writing: "It's only the second day, and already exhaustion has set in." That said, Rihanna was a pop star of the people, and Ramirez pointed out that "she waited for her baggage with the rest of us passengers." But that day even Ri was feeling the fatigue:
Rih seems a baby bit tuckered. Or jet-lagged? #777tour— e. (@3rika) November 16, 2012
The next stop took our passengers to Stockholm, where, apparently, if nothing else, the candy was good.
The candy situation in Stockholm is so on point. #777tour— Maud Deitch (@mauddeitch) November 16, 2012
That would turn out to be good news as the food situation would turn dire quickly.
Rihanna performed a shorter show in Paris in order to leave time for her Diddy-attended party—though she did look pretty good:
The next morning, per Us Weekly's Ian Drew, the plane was late taking off because of the singer, who promptly fell asleep as the plane took off. Sleep deprivation and madness was in the air. As for the food situation, Julianne Smolinski wrote at Popdust: "The lone meal we got en route from France was a mournful, crustless finger sandwich that one journalist likened to 'summer camp food, if instead of summer camp, we sent children to prison.'"
Days Five to Six
After the Paris fracas, Rihanna was two hours late for her Berlin concert. Waiting is a trend on the Rihanna plane. Mary HK Choi chronicled her emotions while waiting for the plane to take off from Berlin to London:
God, I wish some of us WOULD eat something. I mean, for all the ribbing and good-natured complaining and the joshing about that one Australian guy with the harmonica that we’re cheerfully plotting to behead, some of us are the problem. As frequently as they don’t feed us, they keep plying us with alcohol. Some of us may have been on a tear since yesterday. And it's been another all-nighter. SOME OF US DON’T HAVE INSIDE VOICES. #ISITYOU. #PRETTYSUREITSYOU. I have had ear plugs in consistently for the last two days.
And then, once the plane did take off: streaking from the Australian guy with the harmonica (who Fuse identifies as DJ Tim Dormer) that everyone wanted to kill. Video per Fuse. Listen for chants of "Just one quote!" and "Ri-Ri:"
That thing where everyone starts screaming for Rihanna to leave her panic room on the plane and she doesn't come out but it's the best.— itsthereal (@itsthereal) November 19, 2012
Days Seven to Landing
So, what now? We see a couple of finalés: the tour could end with Rihanna redeeming herself, coming to the junketeers and making friends with the Australian streaker for a perfect meme opportunity. Or, Rihanna, now afraid of the rabid bunch stays hidden and incites their ire. Or there's this option:
Remember in that movie 2012 when they selected a bunch of people and put them on a plane and then the world ended? #777tour— Emily Zemler (@emilyzemler) November 18, 2012