I left the Forum about two hours ago (7 p.m. PST) and it’s finally setting in that the KCAs are over. And to be honest, I was a bit relieved — not that the event was over, but that I had successfully made it from New York to Los Angeles, to pre-parties, to the press tent (I got lost twice), to the Orange Carpet and finally to my seat.
John Cena gets slimed. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
As I was live blogging, my goal was to try and keep my “live” coverage to a minimum — a paradox, I know. But as any child of the internet age knows, you can’t truly experience anything if you’re trying to document it in real-time. I’ve made this mistake many times in life — professional and personal — and the lesson is, you retain much more about whatever’s happening in front of you if you focus your attention on what is in front of you, not at your phone or notepad.
Here’s what stuck with me.
John Cena has range. I mean, he started things off somewhat somber, but it was an absolutely crucial moment for him to acknowledge the efforts kids were taking to end gun violence.
It’s strange, but I knew that this Saturday, March 24 was both the Kids’ Choice Awards and the nation-wide March for Our Lives. Somehow, I did not correlate the fact that both major events were driven by kids until I heard Cena and others at the KCAs address the movement.
I felt proud to work for Viacom, like I felt proud to work at Viacom when the company signed a historic legal brief this summer protecting LGBT rights, like I felt proud to work at Viacom when its brands rallied after the horrific Orlando massacre two years ago. It’s unfortunate when pride is solicited from ugly places, but at least I can say I work for a company that is invested in restoring beauty to the world.
Anyway…back to Cena. He was able to segue from the serious intro to a gag where he claimed his family was coming to the show and then looked befuddled as no one took the stage with him. Later in the night he donned a wig and “granny” glasses and pretended to be…his granny. It was silly, strange and totally on-brand for Nickelodeon.
Also on my mind — the kids! I mean, duh, it’s the Kids’ Choice Awards. But this is the kind of thing that gets lost when you read or write about these events from afar. It’s understandable — adults and young adults are the ones winning awards and literally organizing everything involved at a show like this.
These kids are so stoked to be here.
But sitting in an aisle seat at The Forum, I saw so many kids who had to be under 8-years-old losing their effing minds over JoJo Siwa and Liza Koshy, it really cemented the fact that kids are the biggest stars. I saw little girls crying like they were witnessing The Beatles performing in 1964 rather than a Pomeranian accepting an Orange Blimp. And that’s so cool!
Nickelodeon is the No. 1 brand for kids, and what I saw at the KCAs made me understand why. It’s not just about producing top-notch shows and partnering with the hottest toy companies, it’s about breathing life into these shows and consumer products. No other kids brand does this the way Nickelodeon does. For example, Barbie: Mattel’s iconic toy was one of Nickelodeon’s sponsors for the KCAs. Rather than having a few Barbie ads in the telecast, the character spoke directly to the audience, with a message about self-love and empowerment.
When the T-shirt cannon flew by (it was an *actual* Orange Blimp) one girl kept running into the aisle and waving her arms back and forth so fast I thought she would launch into orbit. Security kept escorting her back to her seat and she kept running back every time she saw the blimp. I was loving her energy. She couldn’t have been more than five years old.
This is the kind of thing I live for — seeing such raw enthusiasm from our fans. I would have gone bananas to be at the Kids’ Choice Awards when I was that age; Nickelodeon was the coolest channel and I grew up with the brand. Sitting in the audience as an adult was surreal. That’s the magic of Nickelodeon: it’s a kids first universe, yet anyone can be a kid. It’s less about age than it is about spirit. And the spirit at The Forum was contagious.
I was feeling the girl power in the room as Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez performed her hit You Can Do Anything (which sends a message she certainly embodies).
Heelys are one of Nickelodeon’s KCA partners, and I was stoked to see their product in motion. Heelys came out in the early 2000s, when I was in middle school. They were like transformers for your feet, and everyone wanted a pair. (I think my school may have banned them, which only upped the cool-factor by 1000 percent.)
I watched the social squad dancing and dashing around each other in their custom kicks, happy I decided to check out the excitement. I’ve always wanted to encounter an impromptu skate battle in Los Angeles (the home of OG street skating, after all). It was gnarly to watch the social squad shred like the lords of Dogtown: Heelys edition.
My KCA welcome kit…swag!
I adore the color palette for this year’s show…very 1970s playroom! My KCA welcome kit included this retro beach towel, which I laid out on my king-sized bed to show how massive it is:
Greetings from the land of slime
Welcome to the 2018 Kids’ Choice Awards live blog, where you’ll find all the latest updates and insights from an insider: me!
I work for Viacom’s corporate communications department as a blogger, meaning it’s my job to share news about Viacom and its brands — including Nickelodeon — with the rest of the world.
Live events are such a great way to connect with fans, which is why I am so thrilled to begin live blogging, starting with the Kids’ Choice Awards. This is my first time attending or covering this sensational experience, and I hope you’ll enjoy the magic along with me.