The Oscars were supposed to be a "coming out" of sorts for Idina Menzel as she performed her smash hit, "Let it Go," but due to a badly mangled name pronunciation by presenter John Travolta, Sunday night has become so much more for Menzel. While Idina was not yet a household name prior to the Oscars, thanks to Travolta, her name has been a top story for the past week. Not bad publicity for the Broadway star, Menzel.
Unless you have been in a cave the past few days, you know that on Sunday night's Academy Awards show, Travolta was set to introduce Menzel, but instead her name came out as something like "Adele Dazeem." An estimated 43 million people were watching, and Travolta has been mocked relentlessly on social media ever since. The blunder was particularly surprising, considering the fact that Travolta had attended rehearsals.
One would think that if you were assigned a difficult name to announce, you'd practice it over and over again: Idina Menzel, Idina Menzel, Idina..... You get the picture. Maybe even come up with some form of "crib note" to get you through the night. Luckily for the viewing public, who has been having some fun with Travolta over the goof, he did none of the above.
In order to make amends to Menzel, Travolta issued an apology, which was released Tuesday:
"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 and I am so happy 'Frozen' took home two Oscars Sunday night!"
A Twitter account with the handle @adeladazeem went up immediately after the mistake and has almost 20,000 followers. On Facebook, a Travolta-fier Name Generator, which garbles any name typed in, became immensely popular. Thanks to Idina Menzel's tough name, many people had some fun at Travolta's expense.
Menzel's star turn at the Oscars has seemingly correlated into higher ticket sales for the Broadway musical that she is starring in currently. According to the Washington Post, Menzel's Academy Award performance and win fueled a surge in sales for "If/Then", the Broadway musical starring the singer, with box office receipts doubling on Monday.
Idina also had some fun with this situation, printing up special Playbills Tuesday night that replaced her name with "Adele Dazeem," and noted her past work in "Nert" (Rent), "Wicked-ly" (Wicked) and "Farfignugen" (Frozen).
After reviewing Travolta's apology, some may find it a bit lacking in substance. He doesn't apologize specifically, but merely says he is "beating himself up" over bungling Idina's name on the biggest night of her professional life. Also, he never offers any type of explanation of what happened or why he made such a mistake, when he knew well in advance that he had to read Menzel's name on live television. Apparently, it is a mystery that will live on as we received no insight from Travolta.
Luckily for Adele Dazeem - er... Idina Menzel, her name will forevermore be pronounced perfectly wherever she goes.
[Images via ABC]