We’ve officially made it through the first round of voting in Autostraddle’s March Madness contest. Between the four regions — Baby Gays, International, DRAMA and Sci-Fi/Fantasy — we had nearly 8,000 votes cast in our search for the best on-screen first kiss.
In the International region, two UK soaps, Coronation Street and Emmerdale, pulled off big upsets, with Kate and Rana and Charity and Vanessa prevailing over their higher ranked opponents. I’m less surprised by their success — both those couples are better than their first kisses showcased — than I am about Wentworth going out in the first round. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mercedes and Barbara from Perdona Nuestros Pecados, but the Bridget and Franky lore is the stuff of legends and I was shocked to see them bow out so early.
In the Baby Gays region, things broke almost as expected…which isn’t a surprise given how formidable the top half of that region is. There’s been an abundance of quality, high profile, coming-of-age stories on television so it was going to be difficult, if not impossible for shows like Mary Kills People or Malhação to break through.
I got lots of feedback in the comments and on social media about how it pained so many to see Sara and Ava opposite Nicole and Waverly in the first round of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy region…and I get it: my all-time favorite ‘ship ended up in an impossible first round match-up. But while it may have been a painful choice, an overwhelming majority of you chose the women of Wynonna Earp to move forward. It felt like a win to see Gotham ousted by The Librarians in the first round. I took it as proof that we value substantive, female-driven stories, however short, over longer stories, focused on the male gaze.
In the DRAMA region, the 6/11 battle went down to the wire, with Stef and Lena eeking out the win over Luisa and Rose in the closest contest of the first round. Thankfully, though, Jane the Virgin won’t go unrepresented in the second round: as Petra and JR’s first kiss earned them an easy win over Ali and Syd from Transparent. I’m a little surprised that Nova and Chantal’s win was so decisive, given how fervent soap fandoms can be, but I suppose when the picture of the first on-screen kiss involves Rutina Wesley in her underwear, it’s not really a fair fight.
But if you thought the choices in round one were hard, wait until you check out some of the match-ups for round two: Kat and Adena or Ruby and Sapphire? Kelly and Yorkie or Alex and Maggie? Piper and Alex or Callie and Arizona? It only gets harder from here. If you need a refresher about the remaining shows, or if you want to toss yourself down a rabbit hole of lesbian kiss videos, then check out my earlier write-ups: Baby Gays, International, DRAMA and Sci-Fi/Fantasy.
Voting for every round will be open for two days only! Voting in this round will close on Thursday, March 29 at 3PM EST. Soon thereafter, we’ll update the bracket, set the new match-ups and you can vote for all your faves all over again.
The Baby Gays
Laura and Aubrey, Casual vs. Elena and Syd, One Day at a Time
Camille and Amanda, Stitchers vs. Cassandra and Estrella, The Librarians
Cosima and Delphine, Orphan Black vs. Freya and Keelin, The Originals
Maria and Daniela, Ingobernable vs. Sara and Carlota, Cable Girls/Las Chicas Del Cable
Charity and Vanessa, Emmerdale vs. Florencia (“Flor”) and Jazmin, Las Estrellas
Amelia and Violet, Harlots vs. Susana and Cátia, Jogo Duplo
Mercedes/Mechita and Barbara, Perdona Nuestros vs. Kate and Rana, Coronation Street
Lena and Stef, The Fosters vs. Izzy and Stella, StartUp