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John Travolta explains that Taylor Swift mix-up at the VMAs

The actor opens up about the viral moment he appeared to give Taylor Swift's Video of the Year award to a "Drag Race" alum.
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/ Source: TODAY

There were plenty of memorable moments at MTV's 2019 Video Music Awards — from Miley Cyrus' emotional post-split performance to Taylor Swift's powerful speech after winning the Video of the Year honor — but the person behind what turned out to be the most talked-about moment of all wasn't even a musician.

John Travolta/Taylor Swift
Queen Latifah and John Travolta stand on the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards stage as Taylor Swift wins the Video of the Year honor. Getty Images for MTV

It happened just moments before Swift accepted the award for her "You Need to Calm Down" video, when big-screen star John Travolta appeared to almost bestowed that honor on someone else — 'Drag Race' alum and Swift impersonator Jade Jolie.

Now the actor has shared his thoughts about the mini-snafu that earned him so much attention.

"There's so many people that bombarded the stage, that I was looking for (Taylor)," he said in an interview with Dallas-Fort Worth radio station Hot 93.3. "So the video has me trying to find her, and you know, I thought it was so funny the way it was interpreted — it was cool. I didn’t care."

Travolta explained that he and Swift are actually friends and, in retrospect, he now wishes he'd taken the mix-up a step further and actually given the Moon Man trophy to Jolie.

"Sometimes I fantasize what if I had given it to (Jolie)?" he said with a laugh. "That would have been awesome. ... I should have just gone all the way with it."

It's likely Swift would have laughed along with him if he had, since according to her friend and video producer Todrick Hall, she found the initial near-flub "hilarious."

As for Travolta, he's not new to this sort of thing. Back in 2014, he had a famously viral moment at the Oscars when introduced Idina Menzel as "Adele Dazeem."

"If I wear a polka-dot tie, it's headlines," he told Hot 93.3 host Bret Mega. "If I shave my head it’s headlines. If I mispronounce something, that’s headlines. And I know that about me."

And he's just fine with it.

"I have a sense of humor about all of that," he added. "I always have because, look, we're in pretty good shape on any given day that that kind of thing could make headlines. When I mispronounced at the Academy Awards a few years back, it was a good day because no news upstaged it. We're so used to this inundation of bad news that the idea that something so light, so insignificant as those items would do that means — at least for today — there's no bad news."