Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony, One Direction Win Big at Kids' Choice Awards
Stars and slime were in abundance at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards at the Forum in Los Angeles on Saturday night (March 29).
Host Nick Jonas opened the show with energetic, theatrically staged performances of his singles "Chains" and "Jealous" before acknowledging the struggle of some girls this week "when One Direction became Two Direction. What's next, Fourth Harmony? Three Seconds of Summer? The Jonas Brother?" he quipped.
Backed by tween metal trio Unlocking the Truth, his theatrical set also featured a celeb-filled video montage, 3D elements and aerialists.
Jonas picked up the blimp for favorite male singer, an honor that led presenter Jennifer Lopez to note, "you deserve this... and so much more." On cue, a gush of the green stuff gushed from both the giant orange blimp above his head and the floor below. In other music awards, Fifth Harmony beat out 5 Seconds of Summer, Iggy Azalea, Echosmith and others for favorite new artist (a category that stretched the definition of "new"), and One Direction scored favorite group.
Onstage antics from the likes of Chris Pratt, Shawn Mendes and Nick Cannon were peppered with decidedly young-at-heart musical performances, including show closer 5 Seconds of Summer, who ripped through "What I like About You" before being doused with slime.
Azalea and Jennifer Hudson seemed to have the most fun performing their single "Trouble," which they debuted on The Tonight Show in February. In keeping with the KCAs' playful vibe, Azalea hit the stage in a neon yellow jumpsuit to play prisoner to Hudson's prison guard. Perfectly played -- and pitch perfect, too.
Numerous other artists attended the show. Echosmith, about to wrap its U.S. tour and head to Europe, is particularly jazzed about the company they'll be keeping when they return to the States to play some summer festivals including Rock In Rio USA and Firefly.
"The Killers are playing Firefly. Holy crap, I'm so excited, they're my favorite band ever," singer Sydney Sierota told Billboard. Other band favorites? "We love Coldplay and early-'80s new wave like New Order, Joy Division and The Smiths. It's the kind of stuff we all grew up listening to."
Kendall Schmidt is accompanying the April 28 release of Happy Mistakes Unplugged, his first solo project Heffron Drive, with a music video and string of session videos to pump the promotional machine. He's as interested in the music business as he is in making music.
"My goal in life is to not just be a musician, but be in the music business. Someone who does things for other artists, and the first steps of that are just becoming a businessman," he says.
Having separated from his band Big Time Rush, Schmidt says he can relate to Zayn Malik's decision to leave One Direction.
"Anybody would say, 'That's crazy -- look how big the band is.' Others would say, 'He needs the space.' The only person who really knows is him. It's a decision that was not made easily, I can guarantee that. It wasn't easy, but you gotta do what you gotta do."
Olivia Somerlyn, who collaborated with family friend Jonas on her first single "Parachute," told Billboard she'll be releasing her next single in the next few weeks. The best advice Jonas has given her? "Stay true to your own writing style," she said.
Back in the arena, favorite villain winner Angelina Jolie Pitt (for Maleficent) delivered the most compelling message to Nickelodeon's core audience.
"When I was little, like Maleficent, I was told I was different. And I felt out of place, too loud, too full of fire, never good at sitting still... Then one day I realized something. Something I hope you all realize. Different is good," she said, adding, "And as your villain, I would also say -- cause a little trouble. It's good for you."