In support of her new album, Rihanna set out on an impressive 777 tour, which consisted of seven concerts in seven cities in seven days. If that didn’t sound ambitious enough, the Bajan beauty decided to take 150 journalists and fans along for the ride. What could go wrong, right?
If you’ve been keeping an eye on the #777Tour hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, you may have gotten a little jealous of the bottle-popping, in-flight partying, swag bag gifting and international destinations, but things change.
Recently an “Anonymous Captive Journo” wrote an article complaining about the journalists’ treatment on Gawker and a video surfaced of several journalists on the plane chanting, “Where are you?”
At first, it all seemed like it was going to go so well. She “interacted” with us on the first day, sloppily pouring champagne into our outstretched plastic tumblers, demanding that we spend the week “partying” with her, and even challenging a sexy young English journalist to a “Zoolander”-style plane aisle walk-off.
…But after that first, coruscating appearance, Rihanna was gone. And I do mean gone.
It gets worse. After claiming that Rihanna seemed drunk or high during the excursion, he/she went on to take shots at the pop princess’ performances.
She barely does any of her own singing, which isn’t a huge pearl-clutcher, but at least Britney danced a little. For Rihanna, just licking her lips during a song constitutes a taxing, elaborate physical routine that deserves a couple of mid-performance tequila shots.
The fans who won seats on the plane from radio and Internet promotions went from feeling a little disappointed that they hadn’t seen more of the main attraction to wondering miserably when they’d be able to sleep or go home. That is not something you’re supposed to feel when you win a fabulous contest, probably.
The journalists agonized vocally and collectively about how to post anything resembling newsworthy on a daily basis. What do you file when you are rarely allowed outside of buses or planes or hotel “day stays” (read: naps, for those who can take them) except to see some visibly bored Barbadian wearing a t-shirt as a dress doing robotic, indifferent karaoke?
In case you’re just thinking this person is a hater, she/he contends she/he was initially excited to be a part of the tour. While the journalists have been on tour with other performers before, this journo says this time has been completely different.
Many of us here have gone on tour with artists before, but none of us recalls being on one where they didn’t make sure we were at least able to bathe and sleep or get a modicum of taxed-but-gracious face time with the artist. Omarion was brought up as a shining example, if that gives you some perspective.
If you resent the Rihannaplane 150 that’s fine. We understand. We would resent us if we were not here.
But please picture what it would be like going to your job if there was no toilet, kitchen, water fountain, faucet, or lunch break, and instead of going home at the end of the night, they made you wait standing up in an airport while the person responsible for determining when you go home laid around getting fucked up and wearing European money like pasties.
Rihanna is known for her wild antics and hard partying, but could this latest spate of bad press damage her brand?
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if the Good Girl Gone Bad has gotten way out of hand.