Smith chalked up his Academy Award acceptance speech mishap – in which he falsely declared himself the first “openly gay man” to win an Oscar – to inebriation. “It all started with a hip flask of tequila,” Smith told DeGeneres. “We thought we had no chance of winning at all [for “Writing’s on the Wall” from the James Bond film Spectre], so I was just like, lets get the party started … and then we won. I went up and I mucked up my speech. I basically said I was the first gay person to ever win an Oscar. And I obviously know I’m not, but my brain and my mouth didn’t work together.”
“Afterwards I saw Elton John at the after party, and he was like, ‘I’ve won an Oscar,'” Smith continued. “I was like, ‘I’m sorry – I was young when you won your Oscar.'”
In the aftermath of the Oscar incident, Smith spent time with his family – “I just really needed to hug my mom, be with my sisters and go back home; a lot of mom snuggles” – and rebuilt his love life. “How many [boys] did you kiss?” DeGeneres asked. “Hundreds!” Smith joked. “Not that many, but I did kiss a few men. [I] ran around the streets of London; had a good time. I kind of got back to normal life.”
As a result, he’s now in a happy relationship. “When I brought out In the Lonely Hour I was so lonely,” Smith remembered. “Now I’m singing songs about another guy, but I’m quite happy, and it’s quite weird.”
Like many of DeGeneres’ guests, Smith was also subjected to embarrassment on national TV: he was scared by two different men in ghost costumes. “I’ll never sing again,” he quipped.
Smith releases The Thrill of It All on November 3rd. “This album doesn’t sound pretty to me,” he told Rolling Stone. “I want this to be more gritty. I want it to sound older, a bit more uncomfortable. In the Lonely Hour is a gin and tonic with your friends. The new album is a whiskey by yourself in a dark room, at night, thinking about life.”