EX-MTV Boss Says Christina Aguilera Group Requested Him to Re-Edit Her Into Madonna-Britney Spears VMA Triple-Kiss
It’s essentially the most well-known triple same-sex kiss in MTV Video Music Awards historical past. However chances are high you solely bear in mind two-thirds of it, regardless of reported efforts from Christina Aguilera‘s group to re-re-write the narrative to right what they noticed as essentially the most egregious cut-away in pop historical past.
In a brand new Rolling Stone story wanting again on the 2003 MTV VMAs that opened with a shock look from OG MTV star Madonna, former MTV president Van Toffler broke down his determination to kick off the published with a call-back to the “Like a Virgin” singer’s legendary 1984 efficiency on the primary VMAs.
“I don’t have to encourage Madonna to go over-the-top,” Toffler informed the journal on the twentieth anniversary of the kiss-heard-’round-the-world. “That’s in her DNA. We were just saying, ‘We’re gonna give you a lot of real estate. It’s a big moment.’ We talked about guest performers.”
And, as regular, Madonna delivered by kissing her pop progeny, Britney Spears and Aguilera, on the mouth in a bit that whipped up a media frenzy at a time earlier than such awards present provocations grew to become commonplace.
However what most individuals bear in mind is the Britney and Madonna half, after which the digital camera chopping away to Britney’s ex, Justin Timberlake, who appeared unsettled by the provocative efficiency piece.
In response to RS, behind the scenes, Aguilera’s group was upset with the cutaway, with Toffler saying it “caused a little bit of grief coming my way… It didn’t make life easier that night, but you have to make choices in a live show. Sometimes you’re wrong and sometimes you’re right, but I think the beauty of the VMAs was the combustibility. You wanted to make it fun and semi-chaotic. That’s what we did.”
Former MTV government vp Tom Calderone informed RS that Aguilera’s group requested MTV to re-edit the efficiency for future re-broadcasts to incorporate the Aguilera lip lock, a request the community didn’t adjust to. A spokesperson for Aguilera had no touch upon the report and RS stated the singer declined to answer their story.
Aguilera — who’s now not represented by anybody from her group on the time of the kiss — stated the cut-away was “weird” in a 2018 interview with Andy Cohen. “You know, why they cut away for it… to get Justin’s reaction,” she stated, noting that Brit and Justin had been exes on the time and calling the edit a “cheap shot.” When Cohen famous that some individuals won’t have realized Xtina was part of the kiss, she stated she undoubtedly noticed headlines the subsequent day and her response was, “‘Oh well, I guess I got left out of that.’” The RS story doesn’t contact on whether or not Aguilera was conscious on the time that her group had made the re-cut request.
(You possibly can see a rehearsal of the efficiency, with out the Timberlake edit, right here.)
The piece additionally famous that earlier than the published, Toffler and his group initially heard that Madonna had recruited Spears and Missy Elliott — who prolonged the efficiency with a run by her music “Work It” — in addition to Jennifer Lopez, who was driving excessive on the time because of her hits “Jenny From the Block” and “All I Have.” Lopez, nevertheless, needed to drop out as a result of she’d dedicated to shoot the film Shall We Dance? that summer season.
In response to the story, Madonna selected Spears and Lopez due to their dancing potential, however subbing in Aguilera added the additional layer of intrigue the VMAs have turn out to be infamous for because of her media-whipped teen pop rivalry with fellow ex All-New Mickey Mouse Membership alum Spears.
At all times a crafty narrative mastermind, RS reported that Madonna needed as few individuals as potential to know her plans for the efficiency that may open with “Like a Virgin” and have Spears and Aguilera standing astride an enormous hydraulic wedding ceremony cake from which Madonna would later emerge. The plan was to modify to Madge’s then-new single, “Hollywood,” then throw to Elliott and finish with a reprise of “Hollywood.”
The restricted view of rehearsals that MTV execs received appeared largely like the worldwide celebrity placing her expenses by their paces, till two weeks earlier than air when VMAs director Beth McCarthy-Miller referred to as Toffler to let him know what to anticipate. “’You’re not going to be able to tell anyone, but I think this is going to make you happy,’” Toffler remembered her saying. “‘Madonna kisses Britney and Christina.’”
Embracing the form of viral second that MTV relished lengthy earlier than there was a reputation for it, the MTV group reportedly broke out in triumphant high-fives at what they knew can be a one-of-a-kind TV section. With Aguilera and Spears dressed as veiled brides singing “Like a Virgin” and rolling on the bottom, Madonna emerged in shiny black coattails and high hat as their “groom,” with producers sprinkling in fast seems at viewers members in actual time.
There was Beyoncé smiling and clapping, Avril Lavigne and Kelly Osborne wanting bored, Madonna’s then-husband director Man Ritchie giving a standing ovation, in addition to photographs of Eminem and 50 Cent and the unique Queer Eye For the Straight Man forged freaking out. Most significantly, they made positive to incorporate a shot of Timberlake, who raised a playful eyebrow on the website of the three on stage dancing sensually.
However 30 seconds later, after Madonna took off Aguilera’s garter and locked lips with Spears, affiliate director Stefani Cohen lower away from Aguilera’s kiss to concentrate on Timberlake once more, who this time had a seemingly irritated expression on his face. It was a split-second modifying determination that the story says was a “no-brainer” contemplating that Timberlake had forged Britney look-alike in his shade-throwing “Cry Me a River” video a yr earlier within the wake of their cut up
“It’s just quintessential Madonna,” Toffler stated of the traditional MTV awards present stunt. “You give Madonna the germ of an idea or just the real estate, and she’s going to take it. She had a history of pushing us and pushing culture, and that’s what was great about her and what was great about MTV. We pushed culture in provocative ways.”
Watch the TV model of the kiss right here.