Spurred on by the exuberant antics of a bearded Jack Black — who bounded about a packed and rollicking Pauley Pavilion like a slightly overstuffed neutrino — and a contingent of circus performers swooping, plunging and contorting, Nickelodeon's impressively staged 19th Annual Kids' Choice Awards had the feel of the world's most elaborate birthday party with the kids in charge, the grownups in serious regression mode, and the real adults discretely offstage with the fire extinguishers in case anything got seriously out of hand.
Infectious was the mildly transgressive behavior as talk turned to farts, butts and nose-picking, while a highlight of the densely packed hour-and-a-half live Saturday night program was a burp-off between a thunderous and rumbling Justin Timberlake and a staccato, tinny Hugh Jackman.
Repeat kid favorite Will Smith took home his fifth "Blimp," winning Favorite Movie Actor for Hitch, and used the opportunity to admonish the kids to watch who they hang around with. "You are who your friends are," he extolled.
A record-breaking 25 million kids voted in a total of 16 categories on Nick.com and via cell phones by wireless text messaging between March 6-April 1.
A lean and croaky Lindsay Lohan nabbed the award for Favorite Movie Actress for her nuanced portrayal in Herbie Fully Loaded, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire snagged the cup as Favorite Movie. Chris Rock clinched Favorite Voice in an Animated Movie (Madagascar) and the “Wannabe Award,” an annual honor bestowed on a celebrity role model who kids most “want to be.”
SpongeBob SquarePants absorbed honors for the fourth consecutive year as Favorite Cartoon. Top TV awards went to Drake & Josh as Favorite Show, title star Drake Bell as Favorite Actor, and to Jamie Lynn Spears (Zoey 101) as Favorite Actress. Lance Armstrong crossed the finish line as Favorite Athlete. In music, Green Day picked up a pair for Favorite Music Group and Favorite Song ("Wake Me Up When September Ends"). A frenetic Jesse McCartney and and absent Kelly Clarkson netted Favorite Male Singer and Favorite Female Singer respectively; and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling took Favorite Book honors.
Another highlight was US Olympic Freestyle Aerial Skier Ryan St Onge whipping, flipping and twisting off a vertiginous ramp and plunging into a 10,000-gallon tank of Nickelodeon’s signature green slime on the slopes near Park City, Utah. Tony Hawk called the action.