The dawning of Britney Spears’ Las Vegas years got off to a queasy start.
The pop icon got airsick during a sunrise helicopter flight Tuesday to a desert location near Jean for an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
That might explain why her helicopter hovered for 15-20 minutes over the site, a dry lake bed about 20 miles south of Las Vegas, before landing for a live interview with ABC’s Sam Champion.
As the helicopter hovered, the pop princess, who earlier confirmed her two-year “Britney: Piece of Me” residency at Planet Hollywood, was surprised with a flip-card salute by 1,330 greeters, most of them young women dressed as schoolgirls. It was a nod to Spears’ schoolgirl look in the video of her hit song “Baby One More Time.”
At one point during the flip-card reveal, while Spears was still in the air, Champion tried to engage her but he got no response. She might have been a little busy.
Her manager, Larry Rudolph, said she got ill during the short flight.
“Her security guy sick too,” said Rudolph in a text. “And he’s ex-Israeli special forces.”
Two hours after her brief 5:30 a.m. appearance at the desert site, where The Killers shot one of their videos, Spears was “feeling much better,” said Rudolph.
Spears, who wore sunglasses during her live interview with Champion, called the flip-card stunt, “such a sweet thing to do.”
Organizers said the 1,330 card flippers created two images of Spears 10 stories long and seven stories across. Twenty-eight buses transported the flip-card participants and about 200 Caesars Entertainment-related friends and family to the desert about 3 a.m.
Earlier on “GMA,” she unveiled her new single, “Work B***h.”
Set to a thumping club beat, “Work B***h” features Spears delivering the lyrics in a sort-of British accent.
“You want a hot body? You want a Bugatti? You want a Maserati? You better work bitch.
“You want a Lamborghini? Sippin’ Martinis? Look hot in a bikini? You better work bitch.”
The single is from her new untitled album, her eighth, which comes out Dec. 3, a day after her 31st birthday.
She starts her 96-show run at Planet Hollywood on Dec. 27. Tickets range from $66.50 to $194. They go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Friday.
Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at 702-383-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find more at normclarke.com. Follow @Norm_Clarke on Twitter. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas” airs Thursdays on “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Ch. 13.