To state the obvious, the Kids’ Choice Awards are not the Grammys or the Oscars. Last time we checked, there was no K in EGOT. Slime is the main attraction at this show. And yet, even at this lighter-than-air, kid-friendly TV show, there are things we can learn about the state of entertainment in 2020. Here are seven takeaways from this year’s show.
Kids like a lot of the same music adults do: Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy,” which swept the Grammys on Jan. 26, also won the favorite song award at the Kids’ Choice Awards. In fact, five of the six Kids’ Choice nominees for favorite song were Grammy finalists earlier this year. Ariana Grande‘s “7 Rings” and Lil Nas X‘s “Old Town Road” were also Grammy-nominated for record of the year. Taylor Swift‘s “You Need to Calm Down” and Jonas Brothers‘ “Sucker” were Grammy-nominated in pop performance categories. (The sixth Kids’ Choice nominee, Maroon 5‘s “Memories,” was released too late to qualify for this past year’s Grammys, but will be eligible this coming year.)
The world is shrinking: K-pop sensations BTS won favorite music group, less than three months after the South Korean film Parasite became the first non-English-language film to win the Oscar for best picture. BTS was also nominated for a Kids’ Choice Award for favorite global music star, but lost to Swift.
Hip-hop is hot: Five of the six nominees for favorite breakout new artist came from the world of hip-hop. This includes the winner, Lil Nas X, and fellow nominees Lizzo , Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby and City Girls. The sole non-hip-hop nominee was pop balladeer Lewis Capaldi.
Films and TV are gradually becoming more diverse: Three of the six actors nominated for favorite movie actor—Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Will Smith — are African-American. And women are moving into traditionally male-dominated spheres of show business. Two of the six actors nominated for favorite superhero—Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) — are female. Likewise, two of the six nominees for favorite TV host – Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen’s Game of Games) and Tiffany Haddish (Kids Say the Darndest Things) – are female. Johnson won the award for favorite movie actor. DeGeneres took favorite TV host.
Attitudes about LGBTQ are changing: Lil Nas X came out as gay last June. It didn’t keep him from winning a Kids’ Choice Award. Actor Jim Parsons, who came out in 2012, was nominated for favorite male TV star for the final season of The Big Bang Theory (which was nominated for favorite family TV show). Swift’s LGBTQ-friendly “You Need to Calm Down” was nominated for favorite song.
Kids like some stars who may be older than their parents: DeGeneres is 62. Tom Hanks, nominated for favorite male voice from an animated movie for voicing Woody in Toy Story 4, is 63. Billy Ray Cyrus, nominated alongside Lil Nas X for favorite music collaboration, is 58. Other over-50 nominees include America’s Got Talent host Terry Crews and rapper-turned-actor Smith, both 51.
Kids’ Choice nominations are sometimes as inexplicable as those at every other awards show: Swift was nominated for favorite movie actress, for her performance as Bombalurina in the year’s most notorious flop, Cats. The film swept the Razzie Awards, which were announced March 16.