Backstage At Radio Disney Music Awards 2014 – Forbes
Those darned Disney stars keep getting younger and younger, which is why I needed help reporting this weekend’s Radio Disney Music Awards at Nokia Nokia Theatre downtown Los Angeles. In addition to big names like Austin Mahone, Ariana Grande, Kelly Osborne, Jason Ritter and Cody Simpson, a few up-and-comers needed a little introduction. My 10-year-old son, Sebastian, came in handy there, joining me for the first time on a red carpet, and later at the awards show itself. Here’s how things went down at what’s billed as “the biggest night in music for kids and families.”
Think of the RDMAs as Grammys with mouse ears. Disney’s music acts compete in 11 categories. To see the full list of winners of the Radio Disney Music Awards 2014, look here.
Red-carpet arrivals came fast and with the magic expected of Disney. A solemn parade of Star Wars Storm Troopers led the way — all carrying the gold “Ardy” awards featuring a mouse atop a DJ’s turntable — followed by stars of Disney Channel shows and music. Sebastian pointed out some of his favorite people: Calum Worthy from Austin & Ally and Coppertop Flop; Dov Cameron from Liv & Maddie (who plays both Liv & Maddie, much to my surprise); Francesca Capaldi from Dog With A Blog, who plays neither the dog nor has a blog, but is two years younger than Sebastian. Jason Ritter voices nerdy Dipper on Gravity Falls (“He can’t get the girls,” Sebastian told me) and is also on Parenthood.
As the performers walked the red carpet, Sebastian had a chance to play reporter and ask some important questions.
What’s your most surprising hidden talent?
Calum Worthy (Austin & Ally): “Spinning a basketball on my finger for five minutes. I think my longest is 19 days. No, um, actually, like five minutes or something.”
Dov Cameron (Liv & Maddie): “I can eat an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting and an entire large pizza by myself. Maybe.”
All-time favorite line from a movie?
Francesca Capaldi (Dog With A Blog): “Why you taking my beans?”
Luke Benward (co-star of Disney Channel original movie, Cloud 9): “Luke I am your father. It’s my ringtone.”
Raini Rodriguez (Austin & Ally): “I think I’m going to go for the classic, ‘Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.’”
Inside, the Nokia Theatre was a romper room of excited kids and happy parents. Disney had everyone download the Radio Disney app that let everyone participate in a light show during R5′s high-voltage performance.
The show opened with a faux-crisis in which Disney Channel stars Leigh-Allyn Baker and Mia Telerico of Good Luck, Charlie, Calum Worthy (Austin & Ally), Cameron Boyce and Peyton List from Jessie, and Tyler Jackson Williams (Lab Rats) have to save the show by taking over the teleprompter, special effects, security, being the director and bossing people around. That comedy of errors played out throughout the evening.
We won’t spoil too much but other highlights included music performances by Ariana Grande, Austin Mahone, Fifth Harmony and Shake it Up star Zindaya. Still, the standout of the night was Becky G. “She’s a You Tube sensation turned Disney star,” Sebastian said about the young woman rapping in front of giant bubble lettering of her name. “A music producer called her into her office and said, ‘You need to be famous, now.’ She calls herself an urban princess, which is a good idea.”