"We knew the puddle was there, but we didn't think it was deep enough to endanger anyone," said telecast producer Frank Haliman. But apparently producers didn't take into account Bieber, who is "just a little over four feet tall and very delicate," noted Haliman.
Bieber had just finished performing on the show when an errant stream of "slime" - the network's signature green goo, actually made of oil, house paint and recycled lard - grazed the singer, pushing his little body into the goo pool.
"I feel bad we didn't better consider the Bieber factor," said Haliman, noting a similar incident happened during the dress rehearsal, when a particularly strong gust from the building's HVAC system "blew little Bieber face-first into the kid who plays Gibby on iCarly."
Bieber's near-drowning was one of two serious slime-related incidents on the show - singer Katy Perry opened a box expecting to find the name of an award winner, and instead was hit square in the face by a torrent of slime shot out of an industrial strength fire hose.
"It seemed like a funny idea in the writer's meeting," said Haliman, admitting however that the Nickelodeon writers "do so much blow it's hard to go by anything they come up with."
Perry had to have more than a pint of slime removed from her nasal cavity and, according to her agent, Mitch Rosemont, has had difficulty singing in key since the incident. "Even more so than usual, I mean," said Rosemont.