Kids' Choice Awards Preview: "We're Engulfing the Audience in Slime"

KCA set - H 2016
Courtesy of Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon gave THR a first look at the stage rendering for Saturday's awards.

There will be slime — lots of slime — onstage at Saturday's Kids' Choice Awards, airing live from the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on Nickelodeon.

The awards show is know for sliming celebrities with gallons of the green goo (the recipe used to make the slime is a closely guarded secret) and Nickelodeon senior vp live events Jay Schmalholz promises that this year will be no different.

"We always try to outdo ourselves, so let’s just say we are planning to take advantage of the Forum in ways we've never done before by engulfing the audience in slime," he tells The Hollywood Reporter exclusively, adding that 5,000 gallons will be used during the upcoming event.

Nickelodeon gave THR a first look at the stage rendering (above) for Saturday's awards, which air from 8-9:30 p.m. ET. Schmalholz says this year that the set is "designed to reflect pop culture in a kid's world."

He also weighed in on what else viewers can expect.

What’s new about this year’s show?

We are lucky to have booked country music superstar Blake Shelton, who is also a coach on The Voice, one of the top shows on television for kids and families. This year, kids are not only picking the winners, they are choosing what will happen in the show. They will have the opportunity to impact the show in real time, by casting live votes to see four different outrageous moments play out. These scenarios include Shelton pranking DNCE, choosing who should get slimed — Bethany Mota or Cameron Dallas; should Blake dress up as Abe Lincoln, an emoji or a unicorn; and if the onstage screen should instantly change to outer space or underwater. One thing that was important to us was making the kids the stars of the show. We always want the kids in the audience and those watching from home to interact with the celebrities and the slime unlike ever before. The best part of my job is to come up with new and innovative ways to deliver slime. Wait until you see what we have planned this year.

 What’s new about this year’s set? What are some features that viewers should look for?

This year’s Kids’ Choice Awards puts the power of choice in the hands of kids everywhere. The set is designed to reflect pop culture and everything that is going on in a kid’s world from social to TV to games to movies. Throughout the show, kids and families will be able to follow along with the live broadcast by casting votes digitally, to impact moments in the show in real time like changing the scenic environment, deicing what prank Blake will play backstage and even who will get slimed. Also, we know kids love movies, so we’re giving them a sneak peek of some of today’s hottest upcoming films by literally bringing trailers to life. DNCE will give a high-energy performance of “Cake by the Ocean” that will extend beyond the stage, into the audience, giving fans a healthy slime dousing. And this year’s finale is going to be huge. We have surprises built in everywhere. 

What can we expect from host Blake Shelton?

Blake is the quintessential prankster and has a great sense of humor, which is why we love him and knew he was the perfect person to host this year’s Kids’ Choice Awards. When we first sat with him, he told us he was up for anything and we’re going to hold him to it.

How much slime will you be using this year? Can you quantify the amount? How does it compare to years past? 

More than 5,000 gallons. We always try to outdo ourselves, so let’s just say we are planning to take advantage of the Forum in ways we've never done before by engulfing the audience in slime. 

The slime recipe has never been revealed. But does it ever change from one year to the next?

The recipe is a secret. Has your grandmother ever given up her famous apple pie or meatloaf recipe? It’s kind of the same thing here at Nick. We like to keep the mystery, fun and surprise of slime alive. There have been many attempts to guess our secret formula — it can be imitated, but never truly duplicated. It stays the same but the consistencies change depending on how we are delivering it. Slime was created to be messy, fun, gooey, silly and irreverent — and green is a dynamic color that captures the essence and feeling of being a kid. 

What is your best advice to celebrities who are getting slimed?

You’ve got to be all in. Stand there, open arms, and embrace it. Let it soak in and don’t be afraid. Slime is your friend.  

How do you prepare stars for getting slimed?

All the celebrities who come to the Kids’ Choice Awards are really excited about two things — kids and slime. They know the show is always unpredictable and they also know what to expect. You can never control slime and the celebrities have been known to take control of it themselves once it happens.