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Dwayne Johnson really knows how to make an entrance. The first-time host of Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards sailed across UCLA’s packed Pauley Pavilion in Westwood on Saturday on a zip line, carrying a silver case and landing triumphantly on an elaborate stage, dubbed the Slime Pyramid, as the audience roared its approval.
Johnson vowed to deliver “the best sliming in the history of the Kids Choice Awards — ever” and unleashed the evening’s first signature dousing when he cut a green wire hidden in the case.
The KCAs honor kids’ favorites in film, television, music, sports, books and games. More than 90 million votes for the 22nd edition were cast March 2-28 in 18 categories at Nick.com and through Nick’s new mobile online site, wap.nick.com.
The evening’s first award went to Nick’s “iCarly,” named favorite TV show.
Jack Black, who picked up the favorite animated voice prize for bringing life to the title character in DreamWorks’ “Kung Fu Panda,” arrived onstage in a motorcycle sidecar.
“Skadoosh,” he said, echoing his character’s signature phrase. “I am touched, I am moved, I am pumped, and I am jazzed. I promise you I will try my hardest to make ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ even more awesome than the first one.”
Will Smith was named favorite movie actor. Vanessa Hudgens, who thanked her little sister Stella “for asking all her friends at school to vote,” was named favorite movie actress. Disney’s “High School Musical 3” claimed the favorite movie prize, and DreamWorks Animation/ Paramount’s “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” nabbed the award for favorite animated movie.
Miley Cyrus’ win for favorite female singer caught her by surprise. “I really thought I was going to lose,” she said tearfully. “Unlike any other awards show, it’s all because of you guys, so thank you guys so much.”
Jesse McCartney claimed the favorite male singer prize, and favorite song honors went to Beyonce for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).”
Other Orange Blimp winners included Dylan Sprouse (TV actor), Selena Gomez (TV actress), Peyton Manning (male athlete), Candace Parker (female athlete), Fox’s “American Idol” (reality show), Nick’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” (cartoon) and “Guitar Hero World Tour” (video game). Favorite book honors went to Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series.
The Jonas Brothers, who sang their hits “Burning Up” and “SOS” for the ecstatic crowd, were crowned favorite musical group. The Pussycat Dolls also revved up the audience with energetic renditions of “Jai Ho” and “When I Grow Up.”
The animated character Rico, from Nick’s “The Penguins of Madagascar,” claimed the Burp Award prize, given in previous years to such celebrities as Hugh Jackman and Cameron Diaz.
Diaz presented the inaugural Big Green Help Award to Leonardo DiCaprio for his extensive environmental efforts.
“I want to thank Nickelodeon for encouraging the next generation to protect our planet by creating this award,” DiCaprio said before addressing the kids in the audience. “Our Mother Earth is hurting, and she needs a generation of thoughtful, caring and active kids like all of you to protect her for the future. You are the future.”
As Johnson promised, the show’s trademark green slime flowed freely throughout the ceremony. Will Ferrell set a record on the first “Slip ‘n’ Slime” by traveling more than 200 feet on the green goop. McCartney, Jackman and Sandra Bullock also were victims.
But the biggest sliming to date came at the end of the show, when Johnson performed a rousing Polynesian dance to summon the slime gods — aka the Jonas Brothers — to drench the audience one more time. The crowd was not disappointed. (partialdiff)
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