When John Travolta introduced Idina Menzel as “Adele Dazeem” in this year’s Academy Awards, the whole world gasped. That is, the whole world that actually knew who Idina Menzel was and who were aware she was due to perform at the ceremony that night. For all anybody else knew, the rather attractive 42-year-old lady that went on to sing Let It Go with her equally beautiful voice was called Adele Dazeem. It was only after the event, when Twitter was all … atwitter with public reaction that the full extent of Travolta’s faux pas truly came to light.
I know it’s not the biggest news story of the year, that prestigious title remains with Justin Bieber’s current adolescent implosion (I’m joking) but when a famous movie star makes a blunder on Oscar night, it’s bound to make waves. He didn’t even slightly mispronounce her name, he forgot it completely, panicked, and chose two random words from the fascinating lingo library that is John Travolta’s vocabulary. I suppose we’re lucky he managed to pick a coherent name at all; it’s equally as likely that he could have welcomed “Cheese Royale” to the stage (as we all know those are two words he’s used before).
Anyway, skip to 3 weeks later and Menzel has finally opened up about the moment Pulp Fiction’s Vincent Vega felt the need to re-brand her on national television. “That threw me for a minute,” she declared, “but then I just got back on track and reminded myself of where I was”.
Admirable indeed. I can imagine if John Travolta made the same faux pas with me I’d have stood dumbstruck before the front row of A-List celebs, questioning him on why a man who memorizes scripts for a living couldn’t muster up the cognition to remember two simple words that might have furthered my career immensely. Can you imagine the amount of people that looked up “Adele Dazeem” on Google only to find none of Menzel’s prior works?
Of course, Menzel then revealed what we all already knew about Travolta anyway, he’s a gentleman. “He was really gracious and sent me this gorgeous e-mail,” she said, before insisting that the whole episode has done her career more good than harm. The New Jersey born actor also sent Menzel flowers and a note, all but eradicating any bad feeling there might have been between the pair.
So, you have to say all’s well that ends well. It looks as though Adele Dazeem and James Trablonca are now good friends, all that’s changed is the heart palpitations of a singer or musician who’s about to go onstage when they see a well-built, dark haired man with a dimpled chin take the mic to introduce them.
Idina Menzel is due to star in Broadway show If/Then which opens on March 30th, whilst Travolta hasn’t filmed a movie since 2013’s Killing Season with Robert De Niro, which was universally panned by critics (although apparently he didn’t make a single social faux pas in the entire picture).
Opinion by Zachary John