Was that smooch the kiss of death? Madonna's passing of the video-vixen tongue to Britney Spears sucked the life out of MTV's 20th Video Music Awards. Aug. 28's event had guests awaiting the after-parties: ''I'm going to do what I'm supposed to do,'' growled DMX, ''then I'm out.'' Still, there were notable moments. Coldplay landed three Moonmen, while everyone from Justin Timberlake to Method Man paid homage to hospitalized nominee Johnny Cash, who cashed in for cinematography. Missy Elliott, who went in 0 for 23 as a vocalist, shook the Susan Lucci curse with two wins for ''Work It.'' ''All of [Missy's] videos deserve an award,'' said Beyonce, whose ''Crazy in Love'' scored a hat trick. At least they'll remember the '03 VMAs as more than just a kiss.