For several weeks, 12 relatives of A-list celebrities have been holed up in a mansion, doing their best to keep their celebrity connections a secret. But each week on the reality competition show “Claim to Fame,” clues are revealed and mysteries start to fall in place.
Unlike viewers at home, the contestants don’t have access to the outside world as they try to piece things together, and some people are harder to figure out than others — like Chris.
Despite looking just like his celebrity relative — we won’t put any spoilers here like we did in this other article — the “Claim to Fame” contestants are really struggling to figure out how Chris is famous-adjacent.
And after one of the most recent episodes — which revealed literally some of the most obvious clues about Chris’ celebrity relative — it’s clear that the “Claim to Fame” contestants have no idea who this person is. At this point, the only other thing there’s left to reveal is the name.
Which means there’s a very good chance Chris will win the whole show.
During the Aug. 7 episode, contestants paired up and had to piece shredded documents together that revealed clues about each other. Chris’ dossier was quite revealing. It indicated that his relative is 65, was born in Ogden, Utah, and that known associates include Andy Williams, Weird Al Yankovic and Andrew Lloyd (last name redacted).
And it didn’t stop there. Contestants also learned that this person was last seen hanging out with his (redacted) in Vegas, and that he had an 11-year (redacted) residency wearing an “amazing coloured dream coat.”
If that doesn’t give it away, nothing else will.
Sorting through all of this new information, the contestants got extremely excited as they landed on the celebrity they were confident was the answer: Elton John.
Sir Elton John.
The contestants don’t have access to their phones, so the age discrepancy is mildly forgivable — John is 76, not 65. John did have two yearslong residencies in Las Vegas. And John did collaborate with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s longtime lyricist, Tim Rice, for the music of “The Lion King.” Oh, and Weird Al Yankovic has said that John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” was the first rock album he ever bought with his own money.
But what the contestants really latched on to was the idea of the “amazing coloured dream coat.”
The Rocket Man is known for his flashy outfits, they figured. Pair that with Vegas, and you’ve got a winning combo.
There is one part of this equation, however, that simply cannot be rationalized: Sir Elton John is not from Ogden, Utah.
As the “Sir” title would indicate, John is, in fact, from England. He was born in Pinner, located less than 20 miles from London.
While the “Claim to Fame” contestants briefly debated this matter, the other evidence was apparently strong enough to override it. Wildly confident in their guess, the contestants opted to move forward and guess that Chris was related to Elton John.
Spoiler alert: They were wrong.
Hugo, the contestant who made the official guess, got sent home and the show revealed he was the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter. And Chris survived another episode — and will likely survive all of the remaining episodes, because the guesses from the “Claim to Fame” contestants are getting wilder each week.
Elton John may not hail from Ogden, but there are a number of celebrities who were actually born in Utah — although many now live elsewhere.
Below are 11 entertainment celebrities who were born in Utah — so you won’t see David Archuleta on this list (the “American Idol” star moved to Utah when he was 6), or The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers, who was born in Nevada but spent much of his childhood in Nephi. Or stars like Katherine Heigl, who chose to raise her kids here, and Post Malone, who chose to transform the Raising Cane’s in Midvale into a glowing salmon pink building with medieval-esque bathrooms.
But be warned: Chris’ relative may or may not be on this list.
Singer-songwriter Jewel was born in Payson.
“I left around the age of 2, though,” she told the Deseret News in 2007. “I spent most of my younger years growing up in Homer, Alaska, on a family ranch that my father built from the ground up. We didn’t have electricity, and had outhouses. It was a very real way of living.”
But Jewel has returned to Utah over the years, most recently to perform the national anthem at the 2023 NBA All-Star Game.
Brendon Urie, the longtime frontman of Panic! At the Disco, which broke up earlier this year, is from St. George. But like Jewel, he left around the age of 2, with his family relocating to Las Vegas.
Model and TV personality Chrissy Teigen, who is the wife of John Legend, was born in Delta— a surprising Utah connection that apparently had nothing to do with BYUtv landing Legend for its Christmas special in 2019.
Derek and Julianne Hough
Siblings and dance stars Derek and Julianne Hough both hail from Utah. Growing up, the Houghs trained at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Orem — which has produced a number of award-winning dancers who have appeared on shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” and “World of Dance.”
The siblings no longer live in Utah. Both have been mainstays on “Dancing With the Stars,” but they return to their home state from time to time — Derek Hough is bringing his show, “Symphony of Dance,” to the Eccles Theater for two nights in October.
But their father, Bruce Hough — who was on the ballroom dance team at Brigham Young University-Idaho — has stayed in Utah and is currently one of three Republican candidates vying to fill Rep. Chris Stewart’s 2nd Congressional District seat.
Longtime actor James Woods — who voiced Hades in Disney’s 1997 film “Hercules” — was born in Vernal. His family was living in Rangely, Colorado, at the time, and Vernal had the closest hospital — 65 miles away, according to Route Magazine.
According to a 2022 study sent to the Deseret News that looked at IMDb’s box office and birthplace data for nearly half a million actors, Woods, 76, is Utah’s most profitable actor, grossing more than $3 billion for his roles over the years.
A few members of The Used, including lead vocalist Bert McCracken and former guitarist Quinn Allman, hail from Utah. The band has performed in the Beehive State a number of times, most recently at Salt Lake’s The Complex in June.
Comedian Roseanne Barr was born in Salt Lake City and attended East High, per the Deseret News. Barr has returned to Utah several times over the years, including in 2018, shortly after the hit revival of “Roseanne” got canceled amid controversial statements from Barr on social media.
Actor Gedde Watanabe, known for his role in “Sixteen Candles” and voicing the character Ling in “Mulan” and “Mulan II,” was born and raised in Ogden. His mother sewed costumes for productions at Weber State University (then Weber State College), and Watanabe’s first stage appearance was in the school’s production of “The King and I,” per the Deseret News.
The late Wilford Brimley, known for his roles in films like “The Natural,” “Absence of Malice” and “Cocoon,” was born in Salt Lake City and lived much of his life in Utah. Brimley died in 2020 at the age of 85.
“Even when he wasn’t feeling as well, that man had a memory like you would not believe,” John Diehl, a longtime family friend, previously told the Deseret News. “The man had an unbelievable repertoire of music that he knew. He remembered words to every song that he wanted to sing. I thought it was pretty amazing to have all those songs in your brain.
“And he remembered people, too,” Diehl continued. “You could meet Wilford one time and then 10 years later meet him again and he knew who you were.”
Donny and Marie Osmond
Both Donny and Marie Osmond, who together had an 11-year Las Vegas residency after rising to fame during their childhoods, were born in Ogden.
In a six-minute rap that goes over his six-decade career, Osmond starts: “It started back in Utah, I was 4 years old. Started singing with my brothers and the sound was like gold.”
Both Donny and Marie still live in Utah, although Donny recently announced he is extending his solo Las Vegas residency at Harrah’s through May 2024, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Marie also continues to perform extensively, and is performing at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City on Dec. 2.
Mike Lookinland, a child actor who rose to fame as Bobby Brady in “The Brady Bunch,” was born in Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete County. Lookinland left Hollywood at 17 and returned to his Utah roots. Today, he runs a concrete countertop business called Just Add Water in Midvale.
“I wanted to get out of L.A., get away from agents and managers and Hollywood and just be a kid in the mountains,” he previously told the Deseret News. “I went to the University of Utah and met my wife while we were both attending the U., and put down roots and haven’t even thought about going anywhere else. That’s how much we like it here.”