Monday, October 22, 2007

Surviving the Nickoledeon Kids Choice Awards. Or how I managed not to get slimed on Saturday afternoon.

Thing One and I were playing a highly competitive game of Monopoly Express on Saturday morning when a friend called. Were we doing anything that afternoon? Would we be interested in attending the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards?

Now although Nickelodeon and its younger sibling Nick Jr. are played semi-regularly in our house, I didn't know anything about the Kids Choice Awards. A dim light bulb went off in the back of my head, as did the words "green slime", but that was about all I knew about it. As it happens, we were free and so were the tickets, so I gladly accepted.

Once off the phone, I told Thing One and Thing Two where we were going, and much celebration ensued, because while I knew nothing about it, they knew all about it. "McFly!" they said. "McWho?" I asked.

Later that afternoon, as we made our way to the Excel Centre, I wistfully recalled the days when I was a journalist and living in Freebie Heaven: free books, free CDs, free videos, free dinners, free theater tickets, free you-name-it. The dosh was fantastic, and gratefully welcomed, given the paltry salary I was making at the time. Those days are long behind me now, though, so it was great to hitch another ride on the Freebie Express.

Once we got to the Excel, I fondly remembered the last time I went there: to pick up my London Marathon number in 2005. You could tell right away something exciting was happening-- large orange people on stilts wandered around the crowds, Nickoledeon staffers waited at the door waving foam fingers, and hundreds of excited children were making their way to the sound stage/awards ceremony.

We walked past the security checks, got our Kids Choice Awards Special Guest passes (though on that day we ALL were special) and slowly made our way to the stage area. The decorating theme was Nickoldeon Orange and it was EVERYWHERE. On the way to the sound stage, the good people at Nick also had set up several fun areas for the kids: a dance floor, pictures with Nickelodeon stars and video games. We skipped all of this, though, because we wanted to secure a good seat inside before the fun began, which was due to start in about 30 minutes. It was a good thing we went straight in, too, because we really had to hunt for a seat since so many parents had spread out coats to save seats for their offspring still in the fun area. We finally got a good spot, but only because a woman who had saved enough seats for about 10 people (she was only saving for three others), decided to let us take three of the spaces.

Then we waited, and passed the time by counting the number of cameras, monitors and Nickelodeon signs. Finally, the warm-up guy came out and got us all on our feet dancing and screaming. After he did his bit, he told us we were going to be live on TV that day. What he really meant to say is we were "Live to Tape" (a term I learned when I saw an Oprah show, years ago), meaning they were going to run the show as it it were live. However, if a McFly had trouble reading the AutoCue, which he did, it also meant they could do it again and fix the mistake in the edit suite.

We spent the next two and a half hours watching various Nickelodeon stars win awards (I think the fix was in). I started to play a little game with myself, predicting the winners based on who they said would be at the awards show in the introduction. I was quite successful. I suspect that Thing One's T-shirt might even make it on to TV, given that he was standing behind the stars of H2O while they did a comedy bit. (By the way, they don't ACTUALLY have fins. I checked.) Thing One was thrilled to see David Beckham win Best Sports Personality (oops! Spoiler!) and Thing Two was thrilled to see The Simpsons win Best Movie (oops! Another spoiler!).

The Grand Finale, for which the audience was warned several times, was the Great Sliming of the Audience. Neither Thing One nor Thing Two were so keen on this idea. One woman in the audience even had a shower cap on her head in preparation. Once the Great Sliming began, we ran for the exits. We ran so we wouldn't get slimed, but also because we wanted to get the Nickelodeon Goodie Bags before they ran out.

It was hot. It was loud. It was something else. But in the end, it was fun. We will be watching on Saturday morning to see if we're TV stars now.

No comments: