If you were an impressionable youth and the late '90s and early '00s, you probably tuned into MTV in it's still-showing-music days to catch your favorite music videos... particularly on its flagship show, TRL. Yes, TRL (or Total Request Live! for those of you born before 1998) was required viewing if you wanted to catch any of your pop music faves. And, amongst the slew of current has-beens and currently-broken-ups, there were pearls of genuine talent in the mix: Including Christina Aguilera, who was pretty much a TRL regular.
But, do her TRL appearances hold up today? As an overall answer, I'm going to go with "no," simply because we're a generation unfamiliar with the kind of fanfare that goes with waiting for your favorite music video to come on television, or trying to catch a glimpse of your favorite celeb on a talk show. The Internet equals instant access to everything ever, so we can't really relate to this reality anymore. That said, though, that doesn't mean Aguilera's TRL appearances aren't important — they are, and luckily, they're all available to be revisited thanks to the aforementioned Internet.
So, indulge yourself with a bite of nostalgia, and enjoy these brief reviews of some of Aguilera's appearances... you know, aside from TRL Presents: Christina Stripped in New York City, which is a masterpiece on it's own.
1999: 98 Degrees Interview
Look how dated this is — it's BEFORE her debut album and it's with that band Nick Lachey was in, so you know it's retro. Still, Aguilera is really cute and young, far from embracing her inner diva.
1999: "Genie In A Bottle"
This is an an intriguing appearance, and a decent performance. Although our girl's voice isn't COMPLETELY developed yet, it's still strong, and she looks pretty good. Like an foreshadowing omen, Aguilera is sporting a Back to Basic-style beauty look, and her outfit isn't even TERRIBLE here... it's a little off by modern times, yes, but she hasn't entered chaps territory yet. (The bonus, though? The fans dancing awkwardly in the background.)
1999: TRL Photoshoot of Everyone Who Was ANYONE In '99
*NSYNC are there, which should get your heart racing on its own. But, this is great because we get to see her hug Britney Spears (ENEMIES BECOME FRIENDS)! (Points deducted for Fred Durst being creepy, though.)
1999: Introducing Spears' "(You Drive Me) Crazy" Video
It's eight seconds long, and we just saw her HUG Spears, so I'm underwhelmed.
2000: "What A Girl Wants" Interview
Aguilera is wearing a RHINESTONE STICK-ON LOWER BACK TATTOO, and that's all I really care about. She also talks to one of her fans who did some kind of choreographed lip sync to "What a Girl Wants," a video which isn't as humiliating as I want it to be, and would therefore never go viral in modern times. Points for the rhinestones, I could pass on everything else.
2002: Christina Aguilera And Good Charlotte
Benji Madden apparently had some sort of crush on her and she called him up? It's sort of adorable, but I'm upset that I was reminded Good Charlotte exists.
2006: Christina Aguilera Gets A TRL Celebration
It's mostly just her songs interspersed with interviews, but I think the one take away from this is that she's wearing a similar outfit to her 1999 "Genie in a Bottle" appearance.