What the 'Teen Choice Awards' Tell Us About Teens

The Teen Choice Awards have come and gone, with most of the coverage focusing on vampires (we're talking about you, Robert Pattinson), Justin Bieber, and... Levi Johnston (!). But a closer look at some of the night's winners and nominees reveals more about the secret life of the American teenager than you can get following Bristol Palin for a year. For example...

* Gossip Girl's wins for Choice TV Show: Drama, Choice TV Actor: Drama (Chace Crawford), and Choice TV Actress: Drama (Leighton Meester) show that teens like their television dramas spicy but not too cheesy (90210), think realism is interesting but not cool (The Secret Life of the American Teenager), and prefer actors and actresses who are already established celebrities.

* Teens think vampires on TV are way cooler than superheroes (Smallville), science fiction (Fringe, Lost), and guy-heavy shows about paranormal stuff (Supernatural). The Vampire Diaries won its TV category, Vampire stars Paul Wesley and Nina Dobrev won their actor and actress categories, while Ian Somerhalder took the Choice TV: Villain award.

* Speaking of vamps, teens are apparently watching True Blood (starring nominee Anna Paquin), the most explicitly sexual and gory show on cable or free TV right now. I'm a True Blood fan myself; I just note that if it were a movie, a large majority of the Teen Choice audience and voters wouldn't be allowed to see it. Then again, a number of the nominated movies were R-rated.

* In a three-way catfight between teen TV princesses Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance), Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place) and Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly), the winner is the one with the hottest CD and the biggest upcoming movie debut. Coincidence? Teens chose Selena Gomez; you choose the reason. (More reasons for rivalry: Both Demi and Selena ended relationships with a Jonas brother and Barney!)

* Where was Miley, you ask? Miley Cyrus' absence from the TV acting categories (she won six Montana-related Teen Choice Awards last year) means she's fully transitioned into a bona fide music star to kids, although not quite at the level of big winners Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Lady Gaga. (Cyrus did win for Choice Love Song). Meanwhile, her absence from the event itself means either she was too busy, or the show's just not the same without a stripper pole.

* Teens love Family Guy, but The Simpsons is relatively dead to them. That's our generation's animated show anyway, isn't it?

* Teens prefer nice guy and American Idol winner Lee DeWyze over discretion-challenged Brody Jenner, Bret Michaels, The Situation and Pauly D. But it may be time they change the name of that category from "reality" to "scary reality".

* To teens, celebrity value trumps all other quality considerations; they'll vote for a superstar whether or not they liked or even saw the movie role for which he or she was nominated. See: Winner Robert Pattinson for Remember Me, winner Ashton Kutcher for Killers, nominee Audrina Patridge in any acting category and winner Leonardo DiCaprio for Shutter Island. It's a wonder Leo wasn't nominated in 2008 for his role in the equally family-friendly Revolutionary Road.

* Teens don't seem to care for 30 Rock or Saturday Night Live and think Levi Johnston is the most interesting person who's spent time in the Palin house, but they sure like Tina Fey (Choice Movie Actress: Comedy winner) anyway.

* Teens apparently think tiny wheels on pavement are cooler than anything on snow. I would have considered Shaun White a shoe-in for Choice Action Sports Athlete: Male, but skateboarder Ryan Sheckler rolled away with it. 

Which Teen Choice Award wins most surprised you? See them here. Chime in below!

Like This? Read These:
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