Monday, July 13, 2015

Nickelodeon Unveils Kids' Choice Sports 2015 Plans

Carmelo Anthony, Derek Jeter and many more of the USA's top athletes will take a new stage at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2015 on Thursday 16th July 2015. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will host Nickelodeon's second annual Kids' Choice Sports awards ceremony live from Pauley Pavilion at UCLA where sports stars Stephen Curry, Serena Williams and LeBron James are among the night's nominees. To celebrate, executive producer and Nickelodeon veteran Jay Schmalholz talked to The Hollywood Reporter about what's in store for this year's awards, and revealed the new stage setup! Among the things fans can watch for during the event:

A brand-new stage design that will feature non-stop sports action.

High-octane dunkers and parkour free runners are part of the non-stop sports performances planned to fill the stage every minute of what will be a continuous sporting event. Rather than sprinkling the sets with musical performances, Schmalholz said they opted for continuous athletic feats that will be performed to the sounds of current hit songs played by DJ Boogie. Wilson has also come up with a unique way to spray slime above and throughout the audience.

"It's a transforming set," said Schmalholz. "There's lots of movement. Nets are coming in. Goals are coming in. A racetrack is being revealed for something called the KCS 500. It's sort of a tricked-out race with athletes (possibly NASCAR nominees Danica Patrick or Joey Logano?). The whole floor will get cleared to reveal a track on the floor, and then there's little secrets built in everywhere for where the slime comes from."

"There is sliming happening all round the arena floor and in the bleacher section as well," added fellow executive producer and director Hamish Hamilton. "The same way a great football game or basketball game uses the entire arena floor and the action flows from one end to the other, this show will do exactly the same thing,"

Russell Wilson will be slimed!

It is Wilson's first hosting gig, and he will be rewarded with his very first sliming experience by being doused in Nickelodeon's famous green slime, Nickelodeon's highest honor, too. However, the quarterback is being kept in the dark about the details.

"He will get his moment in the show, and he doesn't even exactly know when it's going to happen yet," said Schmalholz. "He seems very excited about the idea, so that will be fun."

Carmelo Anthony will attempt to set a world record.

A Guinness World Record representative will be on hand to watch the NY Knicks basketball star high-five 130 kids within a matter of seconds!

The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team will open the show.

"I know our audience is super excited about that win so having them there will be really special," said Schmalholz about the FIFA Women's World Cup champions. "It's live TV. Anything can happen."

The program will air live the day after the ESPYs.

"The reason these shows happen in this pocket because it's a unique time in sports," said Schmalholz. "This is when the NBA is off, they just finished their championship. The NHL is done. This year's Women's World Cup is done, and baseball is on an all-star break."

Honoree Derek Jeter will have his slime moment.

The former New York Yankees star is the recipient of the Legend Award, and he may or may not be soaked with a special color of slime.

"Last year we hit David Beckham with the gold slime," said Schmalholz. "This year we have a surprise set for Derek as well."

Three kids will try their shot at winning $50,000.

Wilson will coach three kids onstage, as they each have the opportunity to win $50,000 by completing a sports challenge. They will either throw a football to hit the target 30 yards away, nail a half-court shot or hit the crossbar of a soccer goal 22 yards away. Last year, 15-year-old Ricardo Jacobo Jr. hit the winning half-court shot that received an emotional standing ovation from the audience.

Kids will attempt to take down NFL player Marshawn Lynch.

Wilson's Seahawks teammate will have to hold on for dear life as kids pull from the opposite end of the rope to try and pull him down into a pit. Schmalholz exclaims he gets multiple calls each year from celebrities wanting to be slimed, including Lynch who was dying to be slimed last year.

"Believe it or not, athletes are lining up around the block to be slimed," said Schmalholz. "The calls just keep coming in."

Schmalholz wasn't able to give away too many details on the sliming, but he did share the advice he gives celebrities on preparing for the green goo.

"Take it as if it was your birthday — as if it was the greatest thing that has happened. Enjoy the moment, and don't try and protect yourself."

Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Sports 2015 will air live on Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, TeenNick and TV Land in the USA and YTV in Canada on Thursday 16th July 2015, from 8-9:30pm ET/PT (tape-delayed on the West Coast) from UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. Last year's host, Michael Strahan, will also serve as executive producer on the show along with Constance Schwartz from SMAC Entertainment and Hamish Hamilton and Ian Stewart of Done + Dusted Productions.
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