The Most Awkward Award Show Mishaps of All Time
Although it’s nice to know that while celebrities are richer, prettier, and more talented than us, they too can experience embarrassing moments. However, theirs tend to happen while the whole world is watching. Especially when these moments happen at an award show.
From the Oscars to the MTV Video Awards and beyond, here are some of the most awkward award show moments we can recall.
At the 2014 Academy Awards, actor John Travolta was tasked with introducing singer Idina Menzel. Menzel was there to perform “Let It Go”, her hit song from the Disney animated musical Frozen. Travolta introduced her as “the one and only Adele Dazeem”. To be fair, although Menzel had enjoyed an immensely successful career on Broadway, she was not yet a household name — or at least not in Travolta’s house.
This botch quickly became the night’s most talked-about moment. It even inspired a popular “Adele Dazeem name generator”, which allowed users to “Travoltify” their own names.
Travolta later claimed to have been confused by the phonetic spelling of her name on the teleprompter. Luckily, Menzel wasn’t bothered. In fact, she calls it the “best thing that ever happened” to her.
La La Land or Moonlight?
The 2017 Oscars will go down in history as perhaps one of the strangest thanks to the infamous Best Picture category envelope mix-up.
Actors Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as the Best Picture. The movie’s producers nearly got all the way through their speeches before word had spread across the stage that Moonlight was the true winner of the night. The La La Land cast and crew graciously handed the microphone over to the Moonlight team, who were confused but nonetheless elated.
It was later explained that Beatty and Dunaway had mistakenly been given a second “Best Actress” envelope that named Emma Stone as having won for La La Land. The accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, who’s responsible for tallying the Academy’s votes, has since announced several new measures they will be taking in order to prevent any future envelope mix-ups.
Kanye West Interrupting Taylor Swift
Kanye West and Taylor Swift’s long and storied feud began all the way back in 2009. The rapper rushed the stage at the MTV Music Video Awards and hijacked the microphone from Swift as she accepted her award for best female video. West famously protested her win by saying, “I’m really happy for you. I’mma let you finish. But Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time”. Swift, who was only 19 at the time, looked more than a bit deflated over not getting to finish her speech and the feeds cut to a pre-recorded video shortly after. Later when Beyoncé won, Queen Bey graciously invited Swift back to the stage to finish saying her thank yous.
Although West apologized soon after and the pair even claimed to be pals for a while, their friendship is now off again after Kanye mentioned Swift in his 2016 song Famous. West claimed credit for having “made that b**** famous” with his stunt.
Judy Finnigan’s Wardrobe Malfunction
Only people on the other side of the pond are familiar with this embarrassing awards show moment, but Judy Finnigan’s bra mishap at the 2000 National Television Awards is one that won’t soon be forgotten in Britain.
As Finnigan accepted the award for Most Popular Daytime Programme for This Morning alongside her husband Richard Madely, the TV host didn’t realize that her halter dress had fallen down exposing her pink lacy bra to the audience upon hugging the presenter. Finnigan continued for several moments until actor John Leslie leaped onstage to pull up her dress.
While Finnigan was a good sport about it at the time, the host later admitted that she was “mortified”. In fact, she took that same bra and “chucked it into the dustbin the very next day.”
The 1974 Streaker
Perhaps the most memorable moment in Oscar History is one that many of us were too young to see. Despite not witnessing live, we’ve all likely heard about the 1974 streaker.
British comedian David Niven was co-hosting the 46th Academy Awards. When Niven was about to introduce actress Elizabeth Taylor onstage, a fully nude man ran onstage while flashing a peace sign. The audience screamed with laughter and a bemused Niven looked on as security guards tackled the nude man and hauled him off stage.
Niven famously quipped: “Isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?” An amused Taylor described it as “a pretty hard act to follow”.
Madonna’s Brit Awards Fall
Madonna was killing it as she performed her single “Living for Love” off her album Rebel Heart at the 2015 Brit Awards. However, the Queen of Pop was momentarily thrown off when a wardrobe malfunction caused the singer to take a painful spill.
Madonna was wearing a long Armani cape that was supposed to detach when a backup dance pulled on it. Instead, she was yanked backward. This caused Madonna to fall down a small set of stairs. Madonna stopped singing momentarily but quickly recovered from the incident to carry on with the song like a true professional.
Madonna later claimed that the cape was tied too tight. However, designer Giorgio Armani blamed Madonna for the mishap. In fact, Armani was quoted as saying: “The cape had a hook and she wanted a tie, and she wasn’t able to open it with her hands… Madonna, as we all know, is very difficult. That’s all there was to it.”
James Franco and Anne Hathaway
At the 2011 Academy Awards, hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway didn’t just have an awkward moment; their entire tenure was a nightlong cringe-fest. This embarrassing hosting job was due to the pair’s complete lack of chemistry. Franco’s slacker attitude and Hathaway’s cloying sweetness and enthusiasm were a mismatch from the start.
The Great Imposter
The 37th Emmy Awards in 1985 were marked by a truly bizarre moment.
This moment happened when actress Betty Thomas was announced as the winner of the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama for her work on Hill Street Blues. By the time Thomas reached the stage to accept to her award, it was being brandished by a man claiming that the actress wasn’t there tonight and that she’d asked him to accept the award for her. Both the man and Thomas were played off the stage and the broadcast cut to commercial. After the break, Thomas returned to the stage to give her speech and said “it is definitely hard to follow an act like that.”
The mysterious man was later revealed to be Barry Breman. Known as “The Great Imposter”, Bremen had previously posed as an NBA All-Star player, PGA golfer, and even an NFL cheerleader. Breman was arrested for the stunt and paid a $175 fine.
Jennifer Lawrence’s Fall
Every actor dreams of the moment when they someday win an Academy Award. Many even admit to preparing a speech years in advance in order to make the moment truly perfect.
We doubt that Jennifer Lawrence dreamt that she would fall when her moment came. But, that’s exactly what happened when she accepted the best actress statuette at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013.
Lawrence, who won for her role in the romantic dramedy Silver Linings Playbook, tripped on her long dress as she walked up the stairs to accept her award. She sunk down out of embarrassment for a moment while a man jumped up from the audience to assist her.
While Lawrence laughed the gaffe off in her speech, she later explained that in the moment she’d forgotten to “kick, walk” due to her long dress as her stylist had instructed. “I kept thinking… Why is ‘cakewalk’ stuck in my head?” the actress joked. “I totally forgot because I was thinking about cake! And that’s why I fell.”