Travolta Breaks Silence on 'Adele Dazim' Flub

Travolta Idina Menzel FlubJohn Travolta — or “Jan Thozomas,” as he’s known via Slate.com’s “Travoltify Your Name” gizmo — has broken his silence on the Oscar night flub snarked about ’round the world, in which he introduced “wickedly talented” Tony winner Idina Menzel as… “Adele Dazim.”

PHOTOS | Oscars 2014: ‘Adele Dazim’ and More of the Worst and Best Moments

In a statement cited by Today.com, Travolta said, “I’ve been beating myself up all day. Then I thought, ‘What would Idina Menzel say?’ She’d say, ‘Let it go, let it go!’

“Idina is incredibly talented,” he continued, “and I am so happy Frozen took home two Oscars Sunday night!”

Yeah… I don’t know if that non-apology, non-explanation will fly with Elphaba.

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On Monday night, a properly billed Menzel went on to deliver a different if not more enjoyable take on Frozen‘s famous power ballad, participating in a “music room” version on NBC’s Late Night With The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon:

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77 Comments
  1. leigh says:

    I was under the impression that there was practice for the presenters. I’d he wasn’t wearing his glasses, he may not have seen her name correctly. Personally if she isn’t upset, we shouldn’t be. Let it go, as the song says.

    • leigh says:

      See what I mean? My eyes are terrible and I didn’t see before I posted how there was an error. My post isn’t an Oscar worthy post but mistakes can happen.

    • S. says:

      He apparently said her name right in rehearsal. He should’ve known it. Maybe he helped himself to whatever Harrison Ford and Kim Novak were eating backstage. That’s the only name he needed to remember all night. If he’d forgotten his own name for 5 minutes, he could’ve slotted Idina Menzel’s in there. Besides which she’s one of the most prominent people currently working in her field and it isn’t exactly nothing to have a Tony for Best Actress. Professional respect if nothing else should’ve mattered here. The joke of it all is he probably gave her more press by messing up her name than she’d gotten prior as awarded as that song has been. What I also found funny is that Entertainment Tonight messed up the pronunciation of her name when reporting on Travolta’s mess up. EYE-dina instead of Id-EE-na. Ironic much, ET? That said, I feel bad for Travolta at this point. He’s gotta be beyond embarrassed and seems to be a nice guy. On the bright side, messing up the name of a musical theatre diva is definitely gonna make people go ‘maybe he’s not gay.’ Conspiracy? ;)

    • vance says:

      shaaadaap

    • Rebecca says:

      Maybe Fonzie should have a little chat with Danny…. (Henry Winkler is a great advocate for dyslexia awareness). pqbd.org

    • rockgolf says:

      The important part isn’t apologizing.
      The important part is that he forgives himself.

      9 c 9
      (—)

  2. cjeffery7 says:

    dude just couldn’t pronounce her name in the moment. all he needs to do is accept his position as the butt of the joke. bonus points if/when he makes a Funny Or Die video about it.

    • **if/then he makes a funny or die video (If/Then is the name of her new musical that starts previews this week)

      • cjeffery7 says:

        hahaha i only just learned that! and also that apparently, as a joke, the If/Then playbill lists her as Adele Dazeem and has other spoofs and goofs in her list of accolades.
        SEE?? all john travolta has to do is go along with it! he’ll feel embarrassed for a week or two, then he’ll realize how funny it all is!

  3. Christy says:

    Right before her performance on the Tonight Show (which was amazing and so fun BTW), Fallon used that same “What would Idina say…Let it go, let it go” joke. So did Travolta copy that too??
    So this does not explain how on earth her name looks like what he said or apologize in any way. So the point of his statement was….????

    • rio says:

      I felt so bad for her, having to perform after Travolta’s inexplicable goof. Idina Menzel is not a household name; this would have been a huge chance to make herself more widely known. At least Ellen DeG. made a point of correctly pronouncing her name when she finished the song. I was left to wonder: how had Travolta pissed off the teleprompter guy??

  4. Sebastian says:

    Everybody mispronounces things sometimes. Although, usually, when that happens, there’s some resemblance to the target. What is Elphaba?

  5. LO says:

    it’s called rehearsal, perhaps Travolta should try it next time given her name could be easy to mispronounce if you didn’t check first. Didn’t look like she was very happy when she was singing, but this too shall pass.

    • theschnauzers says:

      Travolta’s first two words should have been “I apologize.” Then, “I’m sorry I messed Idina’s name up.”
      It won’t stop now without an even more complete and sincere apology.

    • The Beach says:

      It appears that Vinnie Barbarino was type casting at its most perfect.

  6. Adele says:

    It was just a funny mistake. Let it go people!

    • Shelly says:

      They presenters know in advance what they are suppose to say. He should of known how to pronounce her name. I personally don’t think it’s funny that he didn’t say it correctly. It’s a name, if he couldn’t say it correctly, he shouldn’t be a presenter. He mangled Idina’s name.

  7. NJMark says:

    No matter how much Ted Baxter practiced the name “Ideko Kawasaki,” when he finally got on the air, it came out “Ideko Sawakaki.”

  8. Mike R says:

    It was all good fun, I’m sure he apologized in person( at the oscars) to Menzel, so there is no need for a public apology.

    • Danyelle says:

      Playing along here…. Dontcha think he would have started off or said somewhere that he and Idina made nice over it all back stage? Instead of flippantly “guessing” what her reaction was?

  9. He’s dyslexic, that’s why he made that mistake, cut him some slack people.

    • Marianne says:

      I’m actually tired of people using that excuse. Clearly as an actor, he has to read or learn his scripts. All he had to do here was ask someone. There are also practice sessions for awards shows, so he darn well knew what he was supposed to do. He wasn’t just chosen out of the audience at the last second.

    • Lia says:

      That’s why he should have practiced (from what I can remember, there are photos online of presenters practicing) – and this isn’t the first time he has been at the Oscars presenting something/someone.

    • Meredith says:

      My boss is dyslexic, and before he speaks in public, guess what he does? Reads the notes. Practices the material. That intro was so brief, Travolta could have memorized it cold if he’d bothered to spend five minutes on it. I don’t think it’s a big deal, but dyslexia, indifference, and laziness are very different things.

    • Dan says:

      That’s the only explanation, really. It was NOT a problem in pronunciation. It was a problem of completely changin words for others completely different.

    • GuessWhat says:

      Here’s an idea — if you cant do the job requested of you, turn it down. No one forced the poor dyslexic to do it. He is not some school kid that HAD to do an oral report in front of the class. He is an adult.

    • pete says:

      but that was cured by Scientology

    • maggie says:

      Travolta got the rest of the intro correct. He only messed up on her name. So if he’s so dyslexic, why is that?

  10. Et al says:

    Getting her name wrong was an obvious ploy to squash the persistent gay rumors. It didn’t work.

  11. Regina, The Evil Queen. says:

    I won´t let it go. I shall destroy his happiness if it is the last thing I do.

  12. webly3 says:

    IDC about Travolta’s mistake anymore after seeing that awesome music room segment. <3

  13. Kaycee says:

    That doesn’t sound like an apology. I get that it’s making her more popular now that’s great but Idina had been so excited for her chance to perform at the Oscars, he messed up her name royally. Fair enough mistakes happen but still she deserves a real apology with the words “I’m sorry”

  14. GuessWhat says:

    He didn’t even apologize! Wow.
    What an idiot.

  15. Pat says:

    I still do not get it? The two names are so different from one another, especially the last names so how can you make that mistake? Did he flub somebody’s name last year?

    • MC says:

      The nature of the mistake was due to his dyslexia. I am not sure why he didn’t spend more time in rehearsal to compensate for his dyslexia.

  16. K. W. says:

    I don’t know if mispronouncing her name is what I’d call it. He pronounced Adele Dazim so clearly, I’d just say he called her the wrong name entirely. But who’s to say which is worse, huh? All I know is I was looking at her trying to figure out who this new Adele person was, lol!

    • K. W. says:

      I actually saw her as Elpheba on Broadway and she is out of this world!! Simply amazing. She brought me to tears with almost every song she performed – especially Gravity! See Wicked if you haven’t already. ;)

  17. Steve F. says:

    Some apology – but hey, Idina got the last laugh by performing at The Tonight Show! (Because everything’s better with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots.)

    Meanwhile, John Travolta should lobby the Church of Scientology for a remedial reading course…

  18. Fernanda says:

    I could imagine SNL writers or Glee writers put the Adele Dazim joke on their shows. When Funny Girl has its opening night on the Glee universe someone could say Raquel Barry instead of Rachel Berry.

  19. Lori says:

    1) It’s actually not a difficult name to pronounce; it’s basically said the way it’s spelled. Thank goodness he didn’t have to deal with Lupita Nyong’o or Chiwetel Ejiofor.
    2) He should have rehearsed. it, at least once.
    3) Why was he presenting in the first place?

    • Kaycee says:

      Can you imagine what he’d do to Benedict Cumbetbatch? I dread to think. & he pronounced Les Mis wrong last year, will this be a recurring Oscars gag?

    • Alex says:

      #1 Is it Eye-deena? Ih-deena? Ih-dinah? Eye-dinah? Ee-deena? Ee-dinah? MEN-zel? Men-ZEHL?

      #2 How do you know he didn’t rehearse it? You can rehearse something and still make a mistake.

      #3 Why not? He’s a movie star. Some of the presenters were virtual unknowns. I wondered why THEY were presenting, but I don’t question Travolta.

      • Lori says:

        1) Really? At this point, after all the media coverage, you’re going to pretend you don’t know how it’s pronounced? At any rate, I can assure you that it bears absolutely no resemblance to “Adele Nazeem”.
        2) There’s no way he could have rehearsed and mangled it so badly. He’s not a first grader with stage fright.
        3) Most of the presenters were former Oscar winners, nominees, or involved in recently nominated films. It could be off my radar, of course, but I don’t even remember him working recently.

    • april-ann says:

      Exactly Lori. To everything you’ve said, I agree wholeheartedly.

  20. april-ann says:

    This article made me laugh – thanks Mitch Van Wibomit!

  21. Xenu says:

    Travolta supposedly reached a Scientology level called clear, in which one has perfect memory and perfect intelligence. It appears that Scientology doesn’t work.

    • april-ann says:

      lol, and since they never make any mistakes, there’s no need to apologize. If anyone is offended by their offensive behaviour, that’s their problem. And it’s not necessary to acknowledge if they’ve hurt anyone’s feelings, because if someone’s feelings are hurt, they are weak. But if THEIR feelings have been hurt, even inadvertently, well then, cut people right out of your life, because you become stronger for it. Even if it’s the people who love you the most, because you can live without them by giving large sums of money to the chur….nope, cult.

      • Emma says:

        No, no, no. You don’t get it. Jan Thozomas actually is “clear”. His perfect knowledge has allowed him to know everyone’s REAL name, including Indin… Erm, Adele.

  22. Dianne says:

    I would think that Idina Menzel is happy that Travolta’s flubbed her name. How many people knew who she was before the Oscars and how many know who she is now?… Free publicity.

    • Lori says:

      She’s not a complete unknown, but good point!

    • april-ann says:

      I think she’d be gracious if he were to issue a decent apology, but I don’t think she’s “happy” about it. He seems to be shrugging it off, but he should have had her name right. She is most certainly not an unknown in the circles she cares about and in all of show business as well, and I doubt she cares very much about who has heard of her beyond that (but many of us have!). Successful theater people are an elite group. They really are the upper echelons of show biz. We, the peons at home, are led to believe it’s the movie stars who are respected the most because of their outrageous salaries, but in that world it’s really the successful theater people who garner the most respect. There’s an old quote that I find fun, and it’s probably true: “The nighttime tv people pretend not to know the daytime tv people. The movie people pretend not to know the nighttime tv people. And the theater people pretend not to know ANYBODY”. LOL.

  23. topoopon says:

    I think what he said was “I have seen Xenu”.

  24. Lorri says:

    The best part of this was that he put some stank on it and pronounced it with an accent, sort of like the way Obama says Pahkahstahn.

  25. Jessica says:

    Poor guy (talented actor) made a mistake over an unknown actress- let it go.

  26. R.O.B. says:

    I see this kind of embrassing thing happen at church almost every weekend. Someone will stand at the podium and go through the list of people who passed away that week, and stumble on a name or two, which is certainly hurtful to the berieved families, and I sit there wondering how difficult it would have been to simply go over the list ahead of time and ask someone if they have the names pronounced correctly. I don’t think they do. In this case, Travolta either didn’t practice his names ahead of time, or perhaps his thetans were busy trying to get in on Ellen’s selfie.

  27. Jenny says:

    Why do u guys care soooo much?! “Oh he owes an apology to Idina” innocent (yet hilarious) mistake boo hoo now get over it.

  28. Michael says:

    So he was beating himself all day and thought about Idina’s words “Let it go, Let it go”? Sounds sexual to me. hahaha

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