Breaking news: Two teenagers who are dating just kissed! Something that statistically happens every 3 seconds or so shouldn't make headlines, unless those teenagers are Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber.
Their live TV kiss at last night's Billboard Music Awards led the coverage by the Washington Post. Ditto every other news outlet. First, let's get the questions out of the way. When did it happen? Just after Justin won his second award. Was it a kiss-kiss? Yes. Did everyone see? Totally.
Even though the pair have been photographed cuddling and smooching in the past, last night was different. It meant something, because people beyond their demographic Saturn rings, took note. For that reason, it's likely the kiss was planned in advance, after consultations with significantly older handlers who shouldn't care where and when two teenagers are kissing. But when fans dollars are at stake, and news can be made, a public awards show kiss is not to be taken lightly. But that doesn't totally explain why we're going bonkers over the news this morning.
When two stars kiss at a public arena like an awards show, people pay attention. Sometimes their heads even explode. It's an unexplained law of celebrity psychics. Here's a brief history of 'huge deal' kisses and how they panned out.
Adrien Brody and Halle Berry at The 2003 Oscars
You never know how a Hollywood newbie will react to winning the biggest award in the industry and that's part of the fun of the awards show. Brody's split-second decision to sweep presenter Halle Berry in his arms seemed like a side-effect of the kind of elation only found in movies.
The kiss: 10. Lets face it, that was a solid embrace.
The aftermath: "Who could blame women for wondering in unison, through tears and smiles, 'Who is that guy?' wrote one USA Today reporter. Brody totally stole the show, and the next day everyone wanted a piece of the actor. But slowly the backlash started to creep in as slow-mo replays got old and critics wondered whether Brody had diminished and disrespected Berry's very serious triumph as the first black actress to win an Oscar the prior year.
Madonna and Britney at the 2003 VMA's
We will never be allowed to forget this lame kiss between two women who weren't actually attracted to each other. The passing of the torch via lips was part of a choreographed dance between the two biggest pop stars at the time. Also Christina Aguilera was there but nobody seemed to care.
The kiss: 4. It was fairly wooden and Spears, understandably nervous, approached the task as if she was doing the breast stroke.
The aftermath: Shock! Dismay! Titillation! The standard canned reactions from all sides of punditry soon followed, playing neatly into Madonna's hands once again (cue Skeletor laugh!)
Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley at the 1994 VMA's
We wanted proof that Michael and Lisa were really a couple after news of their marriage. Then we didn't. The extremely uncomfortable kiss did nothing to validate their chemistry. But it sure did make headlines.
The kiss: 2.
The aftermath: It was their first and last public kiss, as the couple soon got a quickie divorce. Conveniently, the photo of their kiss accompanied every splitsville update. It was also one of the moments that punctuated Michael's public life, as proven by the various timelines it was included in after his death.
Richard Gere Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty at an AIDS Awareness event in 2007
Richard learned you can't pull the same tricks in other countries that we do stateside. Gere offended outspoken Indian conservatives and nearly destroyed Shetty's career when he playfully kissed her at a New Delhi function to benefit AIDS.
The kiss: 5. Gere was a little too grabby.
The aftermath: Shetty's photo was burned at demonstrations across the country. An apology was demanded. An Indian court issued a warrant for both Shetty and Gere's arrest. The case was suspended to Gere's relief and he later expressed regret. Shetty, a big-time Bollywood actress, call the outrage an overreaction.
Angelina Jolie and James Haven at the Oscars in 2000
After she won her Best Supporting Actress Oscar, Angelina was photographed kissing her date, who just happened to have a pair of genetically identical lips to her. Wait a minute.
The kiss: shall remain unrated
The aftermath: Brother James Haven became instantly as famous as his sister the day after the Oscars as their passionate kiss was reprinted around the world. But his curious fame didn't translate into a career for the actor. Maybe it's because Haven isn't great at negating the incest question. While both siblings have laughed off those allegations, Angie's brother keeps saying weird thing. " I'm so close to Angie it's like I've already got the perfect woman in my life and it's hard for anyone else to live up to that," said Haven in a 2007 interview.
Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling at the MTV Movie Awards in 2005
The real life couple, who were still cagey about their relationship at the time, reenacted their figure skating-esqe kiss in "The Notebook" at the awards ceremony.
The kiss: 11.
The aftermath: Everyone who hadn't seen the movie rented it. Everyone who had, watched it again.
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