In one of the most famous television gaffes of all time, actor John Travolta inexplicably mispronounced singer and actress Idina Menzel's name at the Oscar broadcast, introducing her as, 'Adele Dazeem.'
Travolta himself was at a loss for an explanation, so I have filled the vacuum and come up with several theories that I believe may be the real reasons why the Grease star changed Menzel's name. They range from the innocuous to the disturbing.
Now it can be told. Why Travolta mangled Menzel's name
Reports say Travolta (Welcome Back Kotter) had no problems saying the Broadway queen's name in rehearsals. And a press statement Travolta released explaining the famous flub only deepened the mystery.
The Battlefield Earth star 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!"
Huh? What kind of explanation is that? So, why did he "Travolta-fy" her name? How did he mess up her name? And why?
Several sources, mostly my friends and I, have come forward to offer with theories on what we believe are the real reasons John Travolta mangled Idina Menzel's name.
What really happened
A source close to me (my good friend Matt) and I have narrowed down the bizarre name change gaffe to the following possibilities. None of which, by the way, have been confirmed by the Travolta camp. But they haven't been denied either (probably because we did not ask them). Nevertheless here are my leading theories:
1. Somebody went Anchorman on Travolta
A disgruntled Oscar's tech, or team of employees were so fed up with Travolta's back stage snubs and general boorish behavior, they changed Idina Menzel's name to Adele Dazeem on the tel-prompter.
The employee might have said something like, "f--- him, that guy is rude to everyone, but he'll say anything put in front of him on camera. Heh heh."
2. It has something to do with Scientology
Idina Menzel may be a member of the Church of Scientology (I did not confirm this, it's just a thought), of which Travolta is a prominent member. Travolta and the Church conspired to make Menzel a household name and knew that a flub like this by a star of Travolta's magnitude, would propel a relatively unknown Broadway star into the celebrity stratosphere.
Indeed sales of Menzel's new Broadway musical If/Then have spiked since the broadcast and Menzel and Dazeem have become household names. Mission accomplished!
3. It's a secret intergalactic attack code
Many people believe (myself mainly) that Travolta is actually an alien from another planet and his new hair and face do nothing to dispel my belief. I speculate that 'Adele Dazeem' is actually secret code for "let the attack begin" and we Earthlings will soon be coming face to face with our new alien overlords who will use us to produce all of the galaxy's plastic.
In this New World Order Travolta will be the Supreme Ambassador between the races, securing a cushy place for himself while helping to negotiate the tiny scraps of food and sustenance our new rulers will mete out to their new slaves.
Of course, the secret code could also mean, "bring peace to earth now," too.
4. 'Adele Dazeem' is her porn name
Menzel may have shared a secret laugh with Travolta just before performing her hit song "Let it Go!" at the Oscars broadcast and the name just stuck in his head when he got out there.
Travolta is still chuckling at that one.
5. He made a mistake, ok?
What, you never messed up? He's only human (probably). Sure he said he has a special place in his heart for the movie musical, and yes, Idina Menzel is extremely well known in Hollywood circles, and he did call her the "one and only," but cut him some slack. It's not like he knew he was going to be on TV or anything.
6. He just didn't like her name, so he changed it. He's Travolta.
Travolta giveth and Travolta taketh away. And Travolta anointeth anew.
7. It's Arabic for "help, I'm completely out of touch with reality."
Some have said the man who believes in "silent birth" and lives a sequestered celebrity's life filled with sycophantic hangers on is simply estranged from nearly all modes of normal reality.
My friend thinks that, "this guy is just totally whacked out, that's all. Heck, in his mind he probably did see the name 'Adele Dazeem' on the tel-prompter. What does he know from Idina Menzel? He could just as easily have said 'matzah ball soup.'"
EXTRA BONUS: Travolta-fy your name
From the endless intelligence of the Internet comes the "Travolta-fier."
Put your name through the "Travolta-fier" here and get it instantly mangled.
Rhiannon Znyder (aka Roger Ziegler)