Too hot to handle! Madison Bailey and Rudy Pankow won the coveted Best Kiss category at the 2023 MTV Movie & TV Awards.
Neither Outer Banks actor appeared at the Sunday, May 7, event. The show canceled the red carpet last minute and moved to a pre-taped format amid the Writers Guild of America planning to picket the event and host Drew Barrymore dropping out to show her support for the writers strike. (Barrymore will host the 2024 event.) Stars including Pedro Pascal, Ariana Madix and Jennifer Coolidge pre-taped acceptance speeches, but there was no speech aired from Pankow and Bailey.
Year after year, the Best Kiss award is one of the most anticipated categories at the MTV Movie & TV Awards — and the 2023 nominees only added to the hype.
Anna Torv and Philip Prajoux were up for The Last of Us while Harry Styles and David Dawson got a nod for My Policeman. From the small screen, the Outer Banks stars were nominated, Riley Keough and Sam Claflin for Daisy Jones & the Six and Selena Gomez and Cara Delevingne for Only Murders in the Building.
Ahead of the awards show, more than one of the pairings caused a stir for their scene-stealing smooches. Bailey and Pankow, both 24, turned heads on season 3 of Outer Banks as their respective characters, Kiara and JJ, finally crossed the line from friends to lovers.
“I think … the end game of the OBXI can see JJ and Kiara being like, ‘All right, there’s something here,’” Pankow exclusively told Us Weekly in April 2020 ahead of the season 3 romance.
Bailey, for her part, told Decider in February that fans would “finally” see the characters “act on their chemistry that has been present since season 1,” noting that the kiss was “slightly overdue.”
Gomez and Delevingne, both 30, also received an outpouring of love from viewers after they locked lips on season 2 of Only Murders in the Building.
“It was just fun,” Delevingne recalled of the onscreen moment during a June 2022 appearance on E!’s While You Were Streaming. “Would anyone in the world not like to kiss Selena?”
The model added: “It was just hysterical. It’s just one of those things, especially when you know someone so well, it’s the comfortability and you kind of have fun with it.”
As in years past, fans tuned in to the MTV Movie & TV Awards to see whether the actors who took home the Best Kiss popcorn trophy would steam up the stage during their acceptance speech.
In 2000, a roar erupted at the awards show when Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar shared a peck on stage after winning for their over-the-top makeout session in Cruel Intentions.
Five years later, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams — who were then a real-life couple — shocked the audience with their steamy kiss. (The pair called it quits in 2007 after two years of dating.)
After winning the accolade for their work in The NotebookMcAdams, now 44, famously ran across the stage and leapt up into Gosling’s arms to share a passionate kiss. The La La Land star, now 42, then proceeded to hold onto his then-girlfriend and wander off backstage.
In more recent history, Chase Stokes and Madelyn Cline brought the heat when they accepted the 2021 award.
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Stokes, 30, was in the middle of thanking the Outer Banks creators when Cline, 25, told him to “shut up” and laid a big smooch on him. The duo, who dated from spring 2020 to fall 2021, continued to make out for a few seconds as the crowd cheered.