Wait, What? John Travolta Mistakes Drag Race’s Jade Jolie for Taylor Swift

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Adele Dazeem part two? John Travolta mistook RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Jade Jolie for Taylor Swift at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards on Monday, August 26. 


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The Grease actor, 65, took the stage with Queen Latifah to present Video of the Year. To avoid another awards show snafu, Travolta asked Latifah, 49, to read the winner. 

John Travolta Mistakes RuPaul’s Jade Jolie for Taylor Swift at VMAs
Taylor Swift and Jade Jolie accept the award for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on August 26, 2019. Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

“I shouldn’t do this because I’ll just mispronounce s–t and f–k it up,” he said referencing his viral moment from the 2014 Oscars where he mispronounced Idina Menzel’s name as “Adele Dazeem.”  

Turns out, Travolta had a blunder regardless. After Latifah announced the winner as the music video for Swift’s song “You Need to Calm Down,” the Hairspray star accidentally gave the Moon Person to the wrong person. Video of the moment shows Travolta trying to hand the trophy to Jolie, who extends her arm for a hug instead. While this is happening, Swift is still at her seat, hugging those around her. 


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John Travolta Mistakes RuPaul’s Jade Jolie for Taylor Swift at VMAs
John Travolta and Jade Jolie. MTV

“JOHN TRAVOLTA THOUGHT JADE JOLIE WAS TAYLOR SWIFT AND HE WAS GIVING THE AWARD TO HER LMFAAAOOOO #VMAs,” one Twitter user wrote. 

Another added, “Anyone else notice that John Travolta tried to hand the award to the drag queen version of Taylor Swift?!”

Jolie, who competed on season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, was one of several celebrity drag queens who starred in the “You Need to Calm Down” music video. In the video, seven drag queen versions of famous artists, like Beyoncé and Cardi B, stand on a stage as they wait for one of them to be crowned by RuPaul, who instead throws the crown into the air. Jolie played a drag version of Swift for the video, which also stars LGBTQ activists and celebrities like Laverne Cox, Ellen DeGeneres and Adam Lambert

Along with Video of the Year, Swift also won the Video for Good category for “You Need to Calm Down.” Todrick Hall, Swift’s friend and the co-executive producer for the video, gave a speech on the “ME!” songstress’s behalf when she won.  

“If you’re a young child that’s out there watching this show who is different, who feels misunderstood,” he started. “We have never needed you more than now to share your art, share your stories, share your truth with the world no matter what you identify as, who you identify as, who you love. This is just such a beautiful place.”


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Earlier in the show, Swift opened the VMAs with a performance of two songs from her seventh album, Lover, which was released on August 23. After she finished her colorful performance of “You Need to Calm Down,” complete with rainbows and flashy choreography, the Pennsylvania native pulled out the acoustic guitar and serenaded the crowd with “Lover.”

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