Wondering just what it's like in a plane with Rihanna, dozens of other lucky anonymous people and countless bottles of expensive Champagne? Please refer to the following FAQ.
Do you actually get to see Rihanna?
Rihanna greeted everybody by commandeering the plane PA and announcing that she had an emergency. SURPRISE! The emergency was that we had to party. I'm not going to lie, even when it's a Barbadian pop princess doing saying it, you never really want to hear those words spoken on a plane.
Then she walked up and down the aisle with a mini entourage, banging on the overhead compartments and chanting "777, motherf---rs!" We're sitting between a row of fans who won seats on the tour and a row of Serious Music Journalists, and they become equally insane, camera phone wielding lunatics whenever she appears.
She induced miniature panics whenever she walked among us periodically throughout the flight, like a black-clad, be-sunglassed Dionysus, pouring champagne and cognac for the press and fans in the back. Although could have been handing out wasps in those plastic cups, for all we cared.
"This is $140 champagne," she whispered to her assistant, Jennifer, as she passed me and photographer Alex.
"They don't care," Jennifer replied. Accurate! We did not.
How is it possible to wrangle 150 fans and journalists on a jumbo jet with Rihanna and her whole entourage?
Here's where it gets interesting. This is not a normal plane. We had an amazing flight crew who were all very sweet and patient and attentive, but seating is a little crazy, and it's hard to get that beverage cart up and down the aisles with Australian people dancing in it. (There are dance parties on the plane.) We got swag bags when we boarded (overnight kits, huge bottles of Rihanna perfume) and things get a little "Lord of the Flies"-y whenever we deplane and have to figure out whose bag is whose. Nobody is really turning off their phones, if you can believe that.
Is Rihanna so pretty? What does she smell like?
SO PRETTY. She smells great.
OK! So far morale is high and insanity is low, but we haven't even left North America yet, so we'll see. If I had to take bets on somebody going crazy, I'd say probably one of the Swedish journalists, just because they all have those intense Lisbeth Salander haircuts. I'll keep you posted as we head to Canada, and then Switzerland, and if you want to stay up to the minute on how Ri Ri smells, definitely check out Popdust's twitter for real-time updates. If you have any questions, you can tweet at them or me and we'll do our best to satisfy you.
Ella Ella Ella, out til Canada ...
And by the way ... here's me!
Last but not least ... see all the photos from the tour so far!