AP National Writer
There will be slime. There will also be a different twist on your typical sports awards show.
Nickelodeon debuts its Kids’ Choice Sports awards Thursday night, the night after the ESPY awards on ESPN. These winners are being voted on by the teen-and-under crowd, and the differences between the nominees’ lists of the two shows reflect Nickelodeon’s effort to single out athletes who are popular, though not necessarily for what they did on the playing field over the last year.
“This show isn’t about stats, championships, numbers or MVPs,” said the show’s executive producer, Jay Schmalholz. “It’s about the love of the game and the love of kids’ heroes. And for kids, this is the place that validates it all.”
Candidates for best female athlete are Gabby Douglas, Gracie Gold, Candace Parker, Danica Patrick, Hope Solo, Lindsey Vonn and Serena Williams. None of them made the list of ESPY nominees. Vonn didn’t compete in this year’s Olympics, Douglas’ Olympic win came nearly two years ago and Solo has been in the news for her recent arrest in a domestic violence case in Washington; she has pleaded innocent to fourth-degree domestic violence.
Among Nickelodeon’s eight nominees for best male athlete are Derek Jeter, Dwyane Wade and Tiger Woods.
Headlining the entertainment is Pharrell Williams. The list of presenters is eclectic — think, Durant, Megan Fox and Metta World Peace.
The show is modeled after the network’s Kids’ Choice Awards, which has made a laugh-filled staple out of “sliming” stars — covering them in green goo. Dozens of star athletes — many of them already in Los Angeles for the ESPYs — have RSVP’d for the show.
Michael Strahan is hosting and the program is being produced by Done and Dusted, the group that put on the opening ceremony at the London Olympics and the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Some of the kid-focused categories include “Queen of Swag,” ”Sickest Move” and “Don’t Try This At Home,”, with Vonn and Shaun White leading a list of nominees from surfing, skateboarding, motorsports and skiing and snowboarding.
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