‘Kids’ Choice Awards’ Best Moments, From John Cena and Britney Spears to Michelle Obama

John Cena

The Kids’ Choice Awards 2021 kicks off the party March 13 with host Kenan Thompson — yes, the star of All That and Kenan & Kel is returning to his roots — and five-time Blimp winner Justin Bieber performing a few hit songs.

This year’s show will feature live performances and use an XR stage (that is, one set up for virtual production) that takes viewers virtually around the world and beyond via Nickelodeon’s Orange Blimp. Think outer space! Bikini Bottom! (For adults who live in a cage, that’s SpongeBog SquarePants‘ underseas setting.) Also, naturally, virtual, simultaneous audience sliming.

The show’s timing couldn’t be more perfect, as just about every cooped-up kid in America is ready to let loose, even if virtually, and to see a whole bunch of stars get dumped in green goo. Ahead of the show, we take a trip down memory lane with 10 of the show’s top moments to get you feeling a little nostalgic — and a little old.

Debbie Gibson ‘Shake Your Love’ (1988)

Nothing screamed the ’80s more than the inaugural gathering — that is, the show was rebranded from 1987’s, which had a different name and no live audience — featuring hosts in Debbie Gibson and Tony Danza. Marking the festivities, Gibson performed the hit Shake Your Love.

Paula Abdul Honored with Hall of Fame Award (1991)

20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved, Courtesy: Everett Collection

When it comes to entertainers, Paula Abdul was ruling the charts. The pop superstar received the first-ever Hall of Fame Award at the fifth event. Heavy-hitters like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jordan, and Will Smith would be honored over the years until the honor was retired in 2000 with Rosie O’Donnell.

Whitney Houston Performs! (1996)

We’re just going to let you enjoy this one.

Rosie O’Donnell Gets Slimed (1997)

Rosie O’Donnell hosted the KCAs eight times, providing her share of fun moments. And the milestone 10th installment was no exception, sharing the master of ceremonies duties with NFL great Terry Bradshaw. The show from the Grand Olympic Auditorium closed with a surprise call to Rosie from her League of Her Own bestie Madonna. The pop icon wondered why nobody had been slimed. Rosie responded with the classic, “I don’t know,” and got a healthy dose of the green stuff. The footage isn’t very clear, but it’s worth it.

Britney Spears Takes the Stage (1999)

The 12th Annual event brought standout performances from TLC to NSYNC. Riding the wave of “Baby One More Time,” Britney Spears hit the stage from Universal Studios CityWalk to the delight of the screaming young fans in attendance. A star was truly on the rise.

Cameron Diaz Burp Champion (2001)

Out of all the accolades Cameron Diaz has one during her illustrious career, you may not have known this Charlie’s Angel is a burp award-winner. The Something About Mary’s actress ability to belch on command is an impressive skill to have. She put it to good use voicing Fiona in Shrek. Below, a compilation that proves she earned the award. You’re welcome.

Michelle Obama Honors Taylor Swift (2012)

First Lady Michelle Obama recognized Taylor Swift with the “Big Help Award” at the 25th event. The singer songwriter received the honor for her philanthropy and community outreach. Obama got it in 2010 To make the honor truly special, the trademark blimp was coated in silver rather than orange.

John Cena Dance Party (2018)

If there’s one thing John Cena knows how to do, it’s put on a show. And he certainly did just that when he hosted for the second time in a row. The WWE wrestler turned Hollywood heavyweight opened the 31st KCAs with a “Try Not to Laugh” challenge.” Music star Marshmello was not amused. His journey to the stage included a stop in the Upside Down, interaction with an actual black panther and hitting the ring with the Bella Twins. When Cena finally made it to his destination, he led a dance party alongside the viral “Backpack Kid” Russell Horning of Katy Perry “Swish Swish” fame. The hulking star doing the floss. Yes, it happened.

KCAs Go Virtual (2020)

A pandemic didn’t stop the KCA show from going on with Victoria Justice hosting virtually under the “Celebrate Together” theme. Winners sent in video acceptances, which were quite entertaining. Kristen Bell accepted the “Favorite Animated Movie” award dressed as Anna, the character she voices in the movie. Avengers even assembled through a Zoom call where the super hero actors accepted for “Favorite Movie” for Avengers End Game.

Kids’ Choice Awards 2021, March 13, 7:30/6:30c, Nickelodeon