John Travolta Finally Addressed His VMAs Mix-up With Jade Jolie


This year’s MTV Video Music Awards may have featured a ginormous inflatable ass and a stirring reminder that Missy Elliott still owns each and every one of us, but no moment left us more shook than when John Travolta nearly gave drag queen Jade Jolie a Moon Person after mistaking her for Taylor Swift.

The gaffe took place when the singer won Video of the Year for the queer star–studded “You Need to Calm Down,” which featured Jade and several other RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni, many of whom rushed to the stage to join Swift in accepting her trophy.

Jolie shared her side of the story with NewNowNext, explaining how she could feel a shitstorm brewing.

“We were walking to the stage, and Taylor was hugging everyone, and I happened to make it to the podium first, and I definitely felt John Travolta gravitating to me,” Jolie said. “It was a very sweet and flattering mistake, and I like to think I did my job right and looked just like Taylor!”

Travolta stayed mum about the mix-up—that is until he dropped by Dallas-Fort Worth radio station Hot 93.3 on Thursday, where he finally addressed what went down.

“There’s so many people that bombarded the stage, that I was looking for [Swift]. So the video has me trying to find her, and you know, I thought it was so funny the way it was interpreted, and it was cool, I didn’t care,” Travolta said.

So wait, did he or didn’t he think Jolie was T-Swift? The actor claims he knew the real deal, adding, “Sometimes I fantasize what if I had given it to [Jolie]? That would have been awesome… I should have just gone all the way with it.”

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 26: Taylor Swift receives award onstage during the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey.

Bennett Raglin/WireImage

Todrick Hall (L), Taylor Swift, and her “You Need to Calm Down” cast accept their award at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards.

Todrick Hall, who also popped up in “You Need to Calm Down” and was on stage to accept the award, would beg to differ. He told Jerry O’Connell on his talk show that he thought Travolta “was so confident” that Jolie was Swift.

Not to mention Travolta has a history with award-show blunders. Adele Dazeem, call us.

We may never know the truth. What we do know, however, is that Jolie left a trail of confusion wherever she went that night.

“Well, funny enough, when we were walking in the back [during the VMAs], where it’s mainly dancers and stuff, I got tired of saying, ’No, I’m not her,’” she told NewNowNext. “So I just started hugging people. ’So nice to meet you, too!’ And at the after-party Gigi Hadid kept thinking I was Taylor—they’re really good friends.”

She added, “The drunker we got, I guess the more Taylor I became for everyone!”

Jason Lamphier is a New York–based entertainment editor who has written for Out, Rolling Stone, Interview, Nylon, VMan, and Surface.



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