Lady Gaga fans left frustrated as singer hits Singapore

She may be renowned for loving her "little monsters", but her Singaporean fans got little more than a glimpse and a wave when she arrived here last Saturday.

Though Lady Gaga told Oprah Winfrey in March she was refusing further media interviews for a long time - even a photocall scheduled for today has been cancelled - she has made time for photos with fans during all the Asian stops on her Born This Way Ball tour.

She was initially thought to be arriving on Sunday. But going on information fed to them through fans in Bangkok, Thailand, where she performed on Friday night and through a closed Facebook group - Singapore's Little Monsters - fans here were alerted to her early touchdown last Saturday.

They started to gather outside the private terminal Jetquay at Changi Airport as early as 7am to wait for their "Mother Monster".

One of the first fans to arrive was Ivan Ong, 17, who went there on a "feeling". He said she "usually travels to the next stop on her tour the day after her concert in one country ends."

Mr Teo Wei Thai, 21, a full-time national serviceman, got to the terminal at 11am after getting word online.

"Someone posted that she was coming and so I rushed down," he said.

By 1pm, about 20 fans, with various pieces of Gaga memorabilia, had gathered there.

By 3pm, the number of fans had grown to 40, all waiting under the hot sun. Many of them had skipped lunch to avoid missing the chance to see Gaga in person.

Fans shrieked when they found out through online sources that she had already touched down.

Even as the skies turned grey and rain began to drizzle, they remained hopeful of a sighting.

Around 4pm, a security guard from Jetquay told them to stay on the kerb.

To the fans, this was a signal that Gaga's appearance was imminent.

From the terminal carpark, a silver Mercedes-Benz emerged and pulled up alongside the fans.

The fans instantly knew it was Gaga and rushed forward.

As they pushed up against the car, three of Gaga's minders came out, trying to hold back the 40-strong crowd.

Then, the moment the "little monsters" had waited for - Gaga rolled down the rear window, leaned over someone, believed to be her boyfriend Taylor Kinney, and gave one of her iconic "paw" waves. But then, to the dismay of fans, almost as quickly as the car had arrived, it was gone.

The window rolled back up and Gaga was driven off.

A security guard from Jetquay was heard shouting: "She would have come out if you hadn't behaved like that."

As it turned out, that little wave was the only real glimpse they would get of her all day.

The attempts at chasing her to her hotel resulted in confusion.

Some headed to Marina Bay Sands, where Gaga had stayed during her visit last year. Others rushed to the Ritz-Carlton Millenia, where her manager Troy Carter is rumoured to be staying. Another source pointed to Marina Mandarin.

All turned out to be wrong.

Based on a tip-off, The New Paper on Sunday called Mandarin Oriental. The front desk hesitantly confirmed that Gaga was indeed there.

Some fans had also worked out the correct hotel.

Security was tight.

Fans in the hotel lobby were asked to wait outside on the pavement, before finally being asked to go to another area further across the driveway.

Word spread and about 50 fans turned up, though the wait proved too long for some. The youngest fan there, Renne Ling, was just 10. She was accompanied by her brother Ryan Ling, 16, but both left around 6pm.

The diehards who remained tried various ways of getting Gaga's attention and even tried sneaking into the hotel - some using the excuse of needing the bathroom.

Kamesh, a 16-year-old student, rallied a small group outside the hotel to call out Gaga's name, until hotel security asked them to stop.

After two hours of waiting, the number of fans had dwindled to 30.

There was talk of whether to leave or wait overnight for their beloved Gaga. Many of the fans were visibly tired and downcast.

Some questioned why Gaga did not come out to meet them, as she's done on previous concert stops.

Said fan Gary Ringo, 23: "If she doesn't come out, of course I'll be upset. It would be unfair, because she always greets her fans."

Some started talking heatedly about why Gaga was a no-show - pointing fingers at the fans whose pushing at the airport caused her to stay in her car.

Then at 6.45pm, some fans spotted a Gaga-like woman coming out of the hotel and going into a white van.

If she was meant to be a decoy, it did not work as savvy fans recognised the woman as Gaga's make-up artist Tara Savelo.

Immediately following the van, the same Mercedes-Benz from the airport was spotted pulling out of the carpark.

But this time there was no stopping. The car with Lady Gaga sped by them, as fans shouted her name.

However, it had to stop for a few moments at the exit of the hotel driveway as a taxi in front of it was waiting to turn into Raffles Avenue.

In those few moments, a TNPS photojournalist managed to catch up with the car and snap a few pictures of an unwilling Gaga with her arm across her face.

A minder from the car directly behind hers rushed out and stopped any further pictures from being taken.

Fans tried in vain to take photos of Gaga. She did not look at them, keeping her face shielded.

As the cars sped off, the fans looked on in disbelief.

Lee Xin Yi, 16, said: "Why does she hate us?"

When TNPS spoke to Xin Yi, she clarified that she wondered if it was the aggressive fans who had led her to shun them. She said: "She may be upset at us because of what happened at the airport."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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