Who's the target audience for the Teen Choice Awards? It's not a trick question: The answer is teens. But teens themselves are a very tricky bunch to cater to. A 13-year-old and a 19-year-old are both technically teens, but their tastes are often worlds apart. So what's a teen awards show producer to do? Pick one end of the spectrum or the other, and go with it.
This year's Teen Choice Awards (airing Monday, 8 p.m. EST, on Fox) are geared toward older adolescents, with a trippy nightclub for a set and an in-house DJ. Its headlining host, 25-year-old Katy Perry, is a saucy, voluptuous singer who hasn't been a teenager for six years now -- although her new album is called Teenage Dream. None of her cohosts -- Glee stars Chris Colfer, 20, Kevin McHale, 22, Cory Monteith, 28, and Mark Salling, 27 -- are high schoolers, either. "Join…all your favorite [celebrities] and the biggest teen star of the year, Betty White!" trumpets the show's promo.
Given a choice, teens often gravitate toward entertainers in their own age bracket, like Justin Bieber, Zac Efron and Taylor Lautner (all of whom are nominated for awards and/or scheduled to appear at the ceremony). But they're just as likely to take an interest in older stars in their 20's and 30's. And those celebs sure do vie for teens' attention and loyalty, showing up at this year's awards show in droves.
It's not surprising to see Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester, 25, and Chace Crawford, 26, on the Teen Choice red carpet; they certainly owe their fame to a young demographic. But lots of older stars will also drop by. Talk-show host Jimmy Fallon, 35, The Office's Ed Helms, 36, rapper LL Cool J, 42, soccer star David Beckham, 35, and Chuck's Zachary Levi, 29, all intend to yuk it up for their younger fans. Two Kardashian sisters -- Kim, 29, and Khloé, 26, have been lobbying for votes on their Twitter pages (Keeping Up with the Kardashians is nominated for choice reality TV show).
All this may give the impression that the Teen Choice Awards are growing up. But the truth is, young teens are still the ones most likely to vote. Which is why the big winner of the night was a foregone conclusion: Congrats, Justin Bieber! Fox already sent out a press release announcing the winners, and guess what? You won Choice Male Artist, Choice Breakout Artist, Choice Pop Album and Choice Summer Music Star!
You can gear a broadcast toward 19-year-olds, but 13-year-olds will still have their say!
Who are you looking forward to seeing on the Teen Choice Awards broadcast?
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