John Travolta thought he was handing Taylor Swift an award. It was actually a drag queen
John Travolta mistook Drag Race star Jade Jolie for Taylor Swift live on the MTVA VMA stage as he presented the award for video of the year.
Five years after his Adele Dazeem fiasco, John Travolta returned to the VMAs determined not to flub it again.
While announcing the winner for video of the year, Travolta turned to his co-presenter Queen Latifah and asked her to do the honours.
“I shouldn’t do this because I’ll just mispronounce it and f*** this up,” he said, handing over the envelope.
Latifah revealed that Swift was the night’s big winner for her LGBT-themed clip ‘You Need To Calm Down’.
The singer took the stage with the bevy of drag queens who starred in the video, which is when things took a turn.
John Travolta mistaking Jade Jolie for Taylor Swift. 👏DRAG 👏RACE 👏EXCELLENCE pic.twitter.com/zVLgsbHhD7
— Joey Nolfi (@joeynolfi) August 27, 2019
Cameras caught Travolta as he sidled up to Jade Jolie and tried to hand her the moon man trophy.
Swift, meanwhile, was still making her way to the stage.
Ever the professional, Jolie laughed off the mix-up and instead went in for a hug while her co-star Tatianna looked on, stunned.
you can literally see Tati realize what’s going on pic.twitter.com/eCFPZ84pu2
— Kevin O’Keeffe (@kevinpokeeffe) August 27, 2019
Swift eventually made her way to the stage, joined by Todrick Hall and queens including Akeria C. Davenport and Trinity The Tuck.
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Thanking fans for their votes, the ‘London Boy’ singer said that “several points were made” in her winning video.
“You voting for this video means that you want a world where we’re all treated equally under the law, regardless of who we love, regardless of how we identify.”
She urged fans who hadn’t already signed her petition supporting the Equality Act to go out and do so, noting that half a million signatures had already been collected.
Earlier, Swift and her cast of queens had opened the show by recreating the ‘You Need To Calm Down’ video.
The clip, released during Pride month, sees Swift name-checking GLAAD and includes the lyrics: “You just need to take several seats and then try to restore the peace / And control your urges to scream about all the people you hate / ‘Cause shade never made anybody less gay.”
The night also saw performances from Missy Elliott, who won the Michael Jackson music video vanguard award, and Normani, who showed the girls how it’s done with a ferocious performance of her debut single, ‘Motivation’.