Turns out John Travolta’s Oscars face-touching of Idina Menzel was planned

Idina Menzel and John Travolta in the midst of the chin-grabbing during Sunday's 87th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Another Oscars, another viral John Travolta moment. But unintentional it was not: The “Pulp Fiction” star’s manhandling of singer Idina Menzel’s face was indeed planned, even if it didn’t come off that way.

The 61-year-old star’s latest misstep with singer Menzel came on Sunday night when they were paired on the Dolby Theatre stage to present the Oscar for original song to “Glory” singers John Legend and Common.

Menzel, 43, whose name was mangled as Adele Dazeem by Travolta during the 2014 telecast, had her sweet revenge when she introduced her co-presenter. Emphasis on sweet, because she really was extremely gracious -- especially when Travolta wouldn’t let her face out of his clutches.

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“Ladies and gentleman please welcome to the stage my very dear friend Glom Gazingo,” she joked.

“I deserved that, I deserve that,” Travolta said when he came onstage to hug Menzel and start caressing and grabbing her face.

“But you, my darling, my beautiful, my wickedly talented Idina Menzel,” he continued, palming the Tony Award winner’s cheeks.

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“You got it, yay! You did it,” she said, reacting to his proper pronunciation of her name and smiling maniacally as he continued to grasp her chin. “That was so good. It’s not like it’s going to follow me around for the rest of my life.”

“Yeah, tell me about it,” he quipped back.

Twitter users dubbed the exchange one of the craziest moments of the night.

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The actor’s rep confirmed to the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that “the entire bit was rehearsed.”

Unfortunately, even though he was in on the joke, Travolta couldn’t seem to catch a break.

The duo continued to banter about the “Grease” star’s competence as they presented the awards. And while they tried to redeem Travolta from last year’s blunder, the highly gif-able face-touching put an end to that.

At the end of the show, host Neil Patrick Harris revealed his prediction that “John Travolta will be back next year to apologize to Idina for all the face-touching.” (The fact that it was rehearsed now brings into question Harris’ entire magic trick, no?)

The two-time Oscar nominee, who attended the 87th Academy Awards with his wife, Kelly Preston, also behaved boldly on the red carpet when he photobombed his 2004 “A Love Song for Bobby Long” costar Scarlett Johansson, delivering an ill-timed kiss.

The “Saturday Night Fever” legend came up behind the Atelier Versace-clad “Avengers” star, put his hand on her waist and proceeded to plant a kiss her on her cheek -- for the throng of camera-wielding media outlets to see.

Johansson kept a straight face during the encounter, and Travolta’s camp said the stunt was taken out of context.

“If you watch the video in its entirety, of John and Scarlett on the red carpet,” his rep said, “you will see there’s nothing out of the ordinary. They’re just two friends greeting one another on the red carpet.”

There didn’t seem to be any hard feelings about the move: Later that night the pair were photographed hugging it out backstage. Still, the smooch will live on in social-media infamy.

Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.