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Elton Shines On Through
Thursday, October 4 2001

Review of Elton on MTV's TRL Music Video Program. Written by Reggie Zippo.

On October 2, 2001, at 3:30 PM EST, Elton John appeared as a mystery guest on MTV's TRL music video program in New York City. Throughout this program, young members of the studio audience were each given the opportunity to ask 2 yes or no questions that would help to determine who was concealed behind a large curtain with a big question mark attached to the middle of it. With each question asked, Elton would either say yes or no, but his voice was digitally disguised to sound very deep and sinister, further masking any indication as to his true identity.

In between the Q&A sections, the host introduced the current top music videos. After each video, this host chose a studio audience member to ask any 2 questions as long as the answer could be given with a yes or a no. Some of the questions asked revealed that he was a male solo artist with no current single on the charts (that will soon be remedied without a doubt).

The participants incorrectly guessed that he was Jon Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, and even Billy Joel. Periodically, the host gave a few hints to help speed things along, but it was altogether apparent that nearly everyone had no clue as to who was behind the haunting voice.

Finally, a female member asked if the mystery guest had a hit song in the 70s with the title "Bennie and the Jets". When Elton said yes, you could feel the gasp of excitement in the air then everyone cheered wildly! The roar of applause and cheers as he walked out from behind the curtain brought a smile to Elton's face. The female who guessed his identity correctly was awarded a CD shopping spree with Elton across the street at the Virgin Records CD shop. She then asked Elton if that included shopping with him at some of the finer clothing stores in the New York area. Elton gave her a big hug, but the host said no.

Elton did not perform, but he did provide details about his new album, "Songs From The West Coast, released the same day. He indicated that the album is receiving rave reviews and that it is the most single album in years that he is excited about, but his true hard-core fans have heard him say those very words with every new album release. When asked if he disliked the fact that some fans do not understand the meaning behind the lyrics, Elton said that as long as they love the songs then that's all that matters. It would have been wonderful if he had been given the opportunity to perform, but the quiz show type setting made for an interesting spin on the usual interview regime.

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