Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

John Travolta mistakes drag queen Jade Jolie for Taylor Swift, which is really just a testament to Jade Jolie

Last night’s VMAs proved to be a big night for Taylor Swift, who just dropped an excellent new LP in Lover. She opened the show with a dual performance of “You Need To Calm Down” and “Lover,” and doubled down on her recent promise to use her platform to speak out against inequality. While accepting the award for Best New Video, she even called out the White House’s lack of response to the Equality Act, a bill that aims to make “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” protected classes under federal civil rights law.


While that certainly got people talking, so, too, did the moment that preceded it. For some ungodly reason, John Travolta was chosen to join Queen Latifah in handing out the award, reminding everyone of his enduringly strange “Adele Dazeem” gaffe from the 2014 Oscars. Wisely, he acknowledged his awards show past, telling Latifah that he’d “just mispronounce shit and fuck it up.” (That language! We blame a former Limp Bizkit singer.)

Still, the eager masses found a chance to pile on the actor once again when he mistook Rupaul’s Drag Race alum and famed Taylor Swift impersonator Jade Jolie for the pop star, going so far as to actually try and hand them the award.


It’s easy to dunk on Travolta, a 65-year old man who’s probably only seen Swift in passing on TV, but it’s perhaps healthier to celebrate Jolie, whose Swift drag is about as on point as it gets. Just look at the below clip and tell us that, in the chaos of Swift’s entourage storming the stage, you wouldn’t also susceptible to mixing the two up?


And, of course, we can’t write about Jolie without also acknowledging her role (no pun intended) in one of the most memorable Drag Race memes of all time.

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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.