Kids' Choice Awards: Gwen Stefani, Kevin Hart, Ellen DeGeneres Bring Messages of Encouragement to Young Viewers

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From left: Heidi Klum and Gwen Stefani

"[The show is] special because it’s kids, what they like and at the end of the day, that’s really all that matters, because that’s the future and that’s pure," Stefani told THR on the red carpet.

It was all about the slime and fun Saturday night at Nickelodeon's 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards, held at USC's Galen Center in Los Angeles.

Hosted by WWE star John Cena, this year’s ceremony featured new elements onstage, elevating the show’s scenery and design. For the first time, kids were incorporated into the set, and conveyor belts, slides, slime fountains and slime cannons were also used during the ceremony to make it the gooiest yet.

While the show is known for its slime, on the orange carpet, an all-star list of stars in film, television, music and pop culture were on hand, ready to celebrate a show that differentiates from the rest.

Gwen Stefani, a presenter at the awards and producer of Nickelodeon's animated show Kuu Kuu Harajuku, told The Hollywood Reporter, “I think [the show is] special because it’s kids, what they like, and at the end of the day, that’s really all that matters, because that’s the future and that’s pure.” 

Platinum-selling artist Machine Gun Kelly was not only excited to perform on the show for the first time, but also made it a family affair and brought his seven-year old daughter to the event. Reflecting on the peaceful nature of the show, Kelly said, “You can be carefree [here]. We should all be kids 24/7.”

Fuller House star and KCA nominee for Favorite Family Show Jodie Sweetin dubbed the show as the Oscars for kids and thinks the fun atmosphere is what makes the show something special to watch and be a part of.

“I think it’s the one place where celebrities and kids on shows...everybody comes because they love the people that are getting nominated. It’s more fun and silly,” Sweetin told THR.

Apart from ensuring that kids have fun, this year’s show was all about inspiring kids to be the best they can be.

The Thundermans stars and nominees for Favorite Kids’ TV Show, Addison Riecke and Diego Velazquez, were excited to spread the message of Verizon’s partnership with Nickelodeon to promote the #WeNeedMore campaign, which introduces and inspires kids to the career possibilities in science, technology, engineering and math. Riecke and Velazquez hosted a three-part video series alongside students of Verizon’s Innovative Learning Program, where students learned real-world applications of science while working with a 3D printer and designing the Ultimate Slime Canon for the show.

“It’s really important for [the kids] to get those jobs.... Verizon has a really fun way of helping kids learn about jobs for the future, especially since there’s over 4 million [STEM jobs] now," said Riecke.

During the show, acceptance speeches were geared toward motivating kids to follow their dreams and embrace individuality.

While accepting their orange blimp for favorite kids’ TV show, Henry Danger star Jace Norman told the audience that if there’s anything more important to do, it’s to “have the courage to follow your heart.”

Winner for Favorite Villain and Onscreen BFFs with The Rock, Kevin Hart told the younger audience that “anything is possible.”

Winner for Favorite Animated Movie and Voice From an Animated Movie for Finding Dory, Ellen DeGeneres used her acceptance speech as a moment to instruct the audience to hold up their hands to make a pledge. The comedian told everyone to repeat, “I’m supposed to be unique and different. I promise to be kind to people,” finishing the pledge by saying, “I promise to watch the Ellen show every single day.”

The audience enjoyed energetic performances from U.K. sensation Little Mix and a stripped-down rendition of “Bad Things,” from Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello.

The show also treated guests to exclusive previews of upcoming blockbuster films with introductions from the stars. Previews included Smurfs 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Wonder Woman and Transformers: The Last Knight.

Slimed stars included Demi Lovato, Hart, Chris Pratt and Cena.

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