lip service

Madonna’s iconic threeway kiss at the 2003 VMAs was supposed feature an entirely different pop icon

On August 28, 2003, the world watched in shock and awe as three of the biggest female pop stars in the world locked lips on live television during the MTV Video Music Awards.

If you recall, during the show’s opening number, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera paid homage to Madonna’s 1984 “Like A Virgin” performance by dressing up as brides and singing the iconic song’s first verse. Madonna then appeared dressed in all black to belt out her recent single “Hollywood.”

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After doing the tango with the two pop princesses, the Queen of Pop leaned in and swapped spit with both Britney and Christina. Unfortunately, because producers did a quick cutaway to get Justin Timberlake’s reaction – who had recently split from Britney – most missed the Xtina portion of the face suck.

While the moment made headlines around the globe, gulp, 20 years ago, the quick lady pecks would be considered a tame publicity stunt today and barely raise an eyebrow. But now comes word that another pop diva was initially supposed to be part of the three-way tongue-athon instead of Xtina.

During a new interview, Jennifer Lopez confirmed she was tapped to smooch Madonna and Britney but had to bail due to her filming schedule.

“Yes, that is actually true,” the “Waiting for Tonight” singer told E!. “I was filming a movie in Canada, and we had met — me, her and Britney—to do it at her home. And then, I just couldn’t get off the film, and so, we couldn’t do it.”

J.Lo’s memory of the actual performance appears to have gotten a bit sketchy over time, as she added: “They got Christina Aguilera, I think, to do it.” Ouch!

Lopez finished recounting the missed opportunity by professing her love for Her Madgesty.

“Yeah, we had talked about it,” she continued. “I love Madonna. I’m a huge fan. I always have been.”

Although Christina may have gotten nearly edited out of the VMA performance, she previously disclosed how she thought all the controversy over the sapphic affection was completely blown out of proportion.

Related: Christina Aguilera remakes ‘Beautiful’ video 20 years after its release and it’s just as powerful today

“Shock value gets more and more extreme or whatever. But honestly, at the time, yeah, I never thought anything of it,” the singer said in 2020. “It was like, ‘Okay, it’s two girls kissing.’ It wasn’t shocking back then. It’s not shocking now, to me. But it’s so many things.” Agreed!

Britney, Christina, and even J.Lo, may get another chance to partake in a Madonna make out session as the “Hung Up” songstress recently announced the launch of her upcoming Celebration Tour.

Although Madonna has not indicated she’s interested in recreating the infamous kiss, the 35-city tour will highlight her biggest hits over the last 40 years and the VMA smooch could be ripe for a reinvention.

Tickets for Madonna’s Celebration Tour go on sale on Friday, January 20th.

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