The 18 Most Memorable Award Show Flubs of All Time
And the winner for Best Face Plant is...
From the immaculate designer gowns to the impeccably planned speeches, award shows are all about perfection. But not even Hollywood can uphold that dazzling illusion of flawlessness 100 percent of the time. And a live award show is particularly ripe for showing some of those cracks. From teleprompter malfunctions to literal trips up to the podium—we're looking at you, Jennifer Lawrence—these are some of the most memorable award show flubs of all time.
John Travolta calls Idina Menzel "Adele Dazeem" at the 2014 Oscars.
In an award show faux pas for the ages, John Travolta had the honor of introducing Idina Menzel's performance of the hit song from Frozen, "Let It Go." The hugely popular Disney track would go on to win the Oscar for Best Original Song, but not before Travolta somehow epically mispronounced Menzel's name as "Adele Dazeem."
How does someone even mess up a name that much, you ask? Well, as Travolta himself explained during a 2015 interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, apparently, his prep time was trimmed down from 15 minutes to one minute, and he ran into Goldie Hawn backstage, and then he became too starstruck to speak, and then they changed the spelling of Menzel's name to phonetics, and, and, and, and… Yeah, okay, Glom Gazingo.
Jennifer Lawrence trips up the stairs after winning an Academy Award in 2013.
2013 was the year we all fell in love with Jennifer Lawrence. After a series of interviews promoting Silver Linings Playbook, she officially claimed the superlative of Hollywood's most relatable star. So, the moment she fell up the stairs on her way to accept her award for Best Actress at the Oscars was only fitting for the ultimate star who's just like us.
Later, Lawrence told W Magazine, "I was at the Oscars, waiting to hear if my name was called, and I kept thinking, Cakewalk, cakewalk, cakewalk. I thought, Why is 'cakewalk' stuck in my head? And then, as I started to walk up the stairs and the fabric from my dress tucked under my feet, I realized my stylist had told me, 'Kick, walk, kick, walk.' You are supposed to kick the dress out while you walk, and I totally forgot because I was thinking about cake! And that's why I fell." Isn't that just the cherry on top of her relatability factor?
Michael Jackson accepts an award he did not win at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards.
At the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), Britney Spears was tasked with introducing Michael Jackson. When doing so, she referred to him as the "artist of the millennium"—just as, you know, a nice thing to say. However, Jackson misunderstood the situation and assumed he was winning an award for "Artist of the Millennium," which is not a thing. He gave a full acceptance speech and everything. Rough.
Margot Robbie and Jonah Hill struggle through some technical difficulties at the 2014 Golden Globes.
Margot Robbie is the poster woman for perfection—and at the 2014 Golden Globes, she walked on stage looking as angelic as ever. But when she and co-star Jonah Hill went to introduce their movie, The Wolf of Wall Street, as a contender for Best Motion Picture—Comedy or Musical, the teleprompter malfunctioned and began rolling the wrong speech. Robbie stopped dead in her tracks, unsure of what to do. But, thanks to some honesty and a healthy dose of charm, it all worked out OK.
"I'm not going to lie to you right now, they've put up the wrong stuff on the teleprompter," Hill said. "And I've never done this before, so I don't want to improvise," Robbie adorably chimed in. She was quickly handed a hard copy of the correct script, and said, "Maybe it was a joke that they do on rookies like me!" Eventually, they got through it–because, as they say in Hollywood, the show must go on.
La La Land mistakenly wins Best Picture at the 2017 Oscars.
It's impossible to think about this moment without cringing, but few award show flubs are flubbier than this. At the 2017 Oscars, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as the winner of the coveted Best Picture category. After the cast and crew celebrated on stage for a solid 90 seconds, they were interrupted and told that the wrong card had been read. La La Land wasn't the winner; Moonlight was. It was truly some of the most uncomfortable television you'll ever watch.
Red carpet reporters continually call Hidden Figures "Hidden Fences" at the 2017 Oscars.
Clearly, something was in the air the night of the 2017 Oscars. Even before the event, multiple red carpet reporters referred to the movie Hidden Figures as "Hidden Fences." Hidden Figures, you see, had a primarily black cast. Same with Fences, another movie that was nominated that year. Apparently, people had a hard time distinguishing the two, as Michael Keaton, Laura Bush, and a representative from People magazine all mistakenly referenced "Hidden Fences" that night.
Is it really that hard to remember these two distinct movies? (Notably, there were no reported incidents that night of folks combining the names of films with entirely white casts, like calling Manchester by the Sea "Manchester by the Land" or La La Land "La La Sea.")
Christian Bale forgets his wife's name during his acceptance speech at the 2011 Oscars.
Christian Bale seemed genuinely shocked when he won Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Fighter at the 2011 Oscars. His speech felt very improvised, which could explain why, when he went to thank his wife, Sandra "Sibi" Blažić, he stumbled for a moment, seemingly unable to remember her name. He then resorted to simply pointing her out in the audience and awkwardly adding that he "usually isn't like this." Yeah, sure, that's what they all say.
Kristen Stewart drops her golden popcorn at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards.
At the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, Kristen Stewart had a real butterfingers moment. While accepting the award for Best Female Performance (for her turn as Bella in Twilight), she fumbled, juggled, and dropped her golden popcorn statue. She ultimately laughed it off, saying, "So, I was just about as awkward as you thought I was going to be. Bye!"
Elizabeth Taylor almost prematurely opens an envelope at the 2001 Golden Globes.
Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor was tasked with naming the winner of Best Motion Picture—Drama at the 2001 Golden Globes, and she was so excited about it that she began opening the envelope before she had gone over all of the nominees. The crowd yelled out in an attempt to stop her, catching her attention. "I'm new at this," she joked. "I usually like to get them" (awards, she means).
Eventually Dick Clark ran on stage to slam the breaks. "We don't want to ruin the suspense," he said to her. "Just read the nominees first." All in all, crisis was averted, and it turned out to be just another sweet moment in the annals of Taylor's illustrious Hollywood history. (And for those wondering, the Golden Globe went to Gladiator.)
Andrew Garfield struggles to say "inspiringly" at the 2011 Golden Globes.
Talking in front of a room full of Hollywood's elite sounds pretty challenging, so it's understandable that words get mingled while presenting or accepting an award. At the 2011 Golden Globes, for example, Andrew Garfield found himself tongue-tied when introducing his movie, The Social Network, as a contender for Best Motion Picture—Drama. He got caught up on the phrase "inspiringly written," and once he finally got through it, Garfield earned some applause from the audience. "I appreciate the support," he said with a smile. "This is a very supportive room."
Courtney Love interrupts Madonna's VMA interview in 1995.
Getting interrupted during a red carpet interview must be uncomfortable. Know what's more uncomfortable? Getting interrupted during a red carpet interview by Courtney Love throwing her make-up at you. Well, that's exactly what happened to Madonna while she was being interviewed at the 1995 MTA VMAs. When VJ Kurt Loder invited the Hole front woman to join them, Madonna said, "No, don't. Please," before proclaiming, "Courtney Love is in dire need of attention right now." It was a tough moment to watch.
Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift's moment at the 2009 VMAs.
Speaking of epic interruptions, who could forget the moment we as a society learned decided that Kanye West might not be that chill of a guy? When Taylor Swift was giving her acceptance speech for Best Female Video at the 2009 VMAs, she was interrupted by West, who took over the microphone and famously said, "Yo, Taylor, I'm really happy for you, I'mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!" Instantaneously, "I'mma let you finish…" became a household phrase. (Shortly after the show, West apologized—kind of. But the two have had a years-long feud running ever since.)
Harry Styles misses One Direction's 2014 BRIT Award win because he's in the bathroom.
At the 2014 BRIT Awards, Harry Styles missed his call to go on stage. Why? Nature called! As Styles said when he finally joined the rest of One Direction to accept their Global Success Award, "I'm really sorry. I was having a wee. The toilets are ages away!" Then, he whispered (into the microphone), "Um, what did we win?" Only someone with Styles' level of charm could pull off a moment like that.
Britney Spears bombs her comeback performance at the 2007 VMAs.
Britney Spears' career has had just as many downs as it's had ups. Case in point: Her performance at the 2007 VMAs. It was meant to be a big comeback after that infamous public breakdown (you know, the one with the head shaving and umbrella swinging). Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. The Queen of Pop was clearly not ready to be back on stage and appeared out of her element as she awkwardly botched every bit of choreography. It was, to put it nicely, tough to watch.
Iggy Azalea falls off stage at the 2014 VMAs.
It's no secret that musical performances are elaborate productions that require meticulous planning, from the music to the choreography to the stage direction and more. And if you're a woman, all of this is often done in stilettos. Naturally, tumbles happen. During a pre-show performance at the 2014 VMAs, rapper Iggy Azalea fell right off the stage. But at least she's in good company…
Madonna's wardrobe malfunctions at the 2015 BRIT Awards.
What's every back-up dancer's worst nightmare? Simple: This moment at the 2015 BRIT Awards, when a dancer's failed choreographed attempt to pull off Madonna's cape instead resulted in the pop icon being yanked down a flight of stairs. Unfortunately, the cape was tied too tight, and didn't come off, sending Madonna backwards. Luckily, she wasn't seriously hurt. "Nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up!" she posted on Instagram after the incident. "Thanks for your good wishes! I'm fine!" Also thankfully, we can now all look back on this moment and laugh.
Katy Perry falls four times during her performance at the 2008 MTV Latin America Awards.
At the 2008 MTV Latin America Awards, Katy Perry decided to sweeten things up by jumping onto a cake at the end of her performance of "I Kissed a Girl." Unsurprisingly, that's when things got messy. She and the floor were both covered with so much icing that she couldn't stand her ground. She fell not one, not two, not three, but four times before literally crawling off stage. Turns out you can't have your cake and jump on it, too.
Steve Harvey crowns the wrong Miss Universe in 2015.
Next to the legendary La La Land–Moonlight mix-up at the 2017 Oscars, this mistake is one of the worst in live TV history. At the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, Steve Harvey read Ariadna Gutiérrez (Miss Colombia) as the winner by mistake when she was, in fact, the runner-up. Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (Miss Philippines) was the true winner.
After Gutiérrez was wearing the sash and crown, Harvey had to walk back out on stage and correct himself live in a truly excruciating moment for everyone involved. The crown was literally transferred from one woman's head to another's.
Later that night, Harvey apologized again on Twitter for his "huge mistake." But that wasn't enough to stop him from getting dragged to the end of the internet for the monumental mishap—because, in his Twitter apology, he misspelled the names of both countries. Whoops! And for more factoids about the pageant world, here are 27 Amazing Things You Never Knew About Beauty Pageants.
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