Chris Medina - Listen to His Pre-Idol Music - Juliana Ramos

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Chris Medina, the final audition from last night’s Milwaukee Idol auditions is getting all the buzz this morning. It’s not his vocals, which are solid in an alt-rock white-bread way, but his sad back story. In 2009, Juliana Ramos, the finance he was about to marry in two months, was severely brain damaged in a car accident.

The producers exploited the story within an inch of its life, even wheeling the wheel-chair bound woman into the audition room to meet the judges. I’ll give the panel props for treating her with compassion. But the producers milking the situation for ratings? Not so much.

I’m going to leave it at that, because I said my piece in my recap last night.

For those of you who are a fan of Chris’s voice, check out some pre-Idol videos. “What Has Become of Me” is a song Chris wrote while his Julie was recovering in the hospital. The other is an introduction by Chris’s band, The Able Body. The band is obviously all ready for the coming media blitz, setting up and maintaining a website for Chris and his music.

If you would like to donate to help defray Julie Ramos’ medical costs, click this link.

Videos after the JUMP…

What Has Become of Me

Band Intro

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  • Studio57

    Aww- the lead singer of The Script tweeted:

    thescript
    Chris Medina: Not only R U a major talent but U R 1 in a billion! Stay Strong,Never waver,This world needs more MEN like U. Peace+Love, Mark

    More than anything I hope this kid can find the help and care that his loved one needs.

  • Mary102

    Backstory not withstanding, I’ll just focus on the guy and his performing. So, he seems very much like another WGWG type (with or without the guitar). Do we really need another winner like that? (which means he’ll probably win, lol, no matter how hard Nigel and co try to push a 15 yr old to a win)

  • gangreen29

    More than anything I hope this kid can find the help and care that his loved one needs.

    Yes, I agree. Thank you Mj for putting up the link to donate.

  • IdolThoughts

    Frankly, I’m tiring of the opinion that Idol “exploits” people’s stories. Where is the distinction between telling someone’s story and exploiting it? I could definitely make that distinction if after this episode it is consistently brought up with soft lighting, sad music etc., but I don’t feel that initially telling the story and letting America feel and see all aspects of it is exploitation at all. It’s a very moving story. She is his inspiration and deserved to have a moment. And, as Chris said…it made her day. It’s TV, it will always lend itself to sensationalism. We are Idol vets and I think we are kind of armed and ready to shoot down these human interest pieces as exploitation because of their predictability. When I watch it with someone who isn’t a faithful Idol follower, I always envy their fresh perspective! Last night, I let my previous Idol baggage go and really embraced Chris’ story. Let me tell you…it was nice. I LOVE Steven Tyler.

  • s0x_prisoner

    ^IdolThoughts, I agree wholeheartedly with you!!

  • jumpstart

    Seems like a super nice guy and I wish only the best for him and his fiancee. However, I am not overly impressed with his voice.

  • Tess

    The other is an introduction by Chris’s band, The Able Body. The band is obviously all ready for the coming media blitz, setting up and maintaining a website for Chris and his music.

    Good for them…I’ve loved it in past seasons when I could go to you tube and find some pre-idol material to glom onto…made the season long journey a lot more fun and gave a good taste of what a particular contestant had to offer, their diversity, and their skill levels.

    I really wish more AI viewers would use their online skills to find out about contestants’ talent levels so that 2 minute kareoke covers wouldn’t be the full determining factor in who wins the show. We have progressed a very long way since Season 1…and I bet even AI, itself, would like it if their was more info available about every contestant. They have upped the AI online presence, tried to have more interviews, shown the idolettes outside of the confines of the show, etc. They, too, want someone to win who has all the tools…and sometimes these tools aren’t fully developed on the show itself. I think most people realize we don’t live in a vacuum.

  • MaryS-NJ

    See, I think Chris has a nice easy-on-the-ears sound and voice and seems to be a decent songwriter. I respect that he’s a faithful fiancee who is caring for the woman he loves, but the problem for me is that Idol can’t do anything with someone’s real-life trials out making it look exploitative and maudlin.

    If I had to guess, they will overdo Chris’s back story intentionally the way they did unintentionally with Danny Gokey to ensure that a popular WGWG contestant has just enough backlash that he isn’t the winner amongst the parade of OMG!15!! contestants they are pimping.

  • CanadianFan

    I think it was Danny and his extended family who overdid the backstory. I don’t think that will happen with Chris. Too bad Chris couldn’t audition last year, the year of the singer/songwriter.

  • Studio57

    Danny Gokey
    People hated me 4 sharing my story on idol & now Im already seeing their starting 2 bash Chris Medina for his. His story will help many!!
    17 minutes ago via web

    oy vey

  • BootStar

    Where is the distinction between telling someone’s story and exploiting it?

    Yes, but WHOSE story is it to tell?

    Chris may have been hunky-dory with the way “his” story has played out on Idol and TMZ, but nobody has convinced me that this poor young woman was in any position to offer her INFORMED CONSENT. Even if she was okay with being wheeled in to meet the panel, do we really know that she understood that she would become part of the public domain by being put on display for all the world to see? Sorry, I’m with MJ on this one.

  • steph6449

    This was the first part of Danny’s tweet about Chris.

    dannygokey Danny Gokey
    Never b ashamed 2 share ur story-Ur trials n life is what makes u who u are & u will help other people n life get through their darkest hour

  • lorismile

    These “stories” are exactly why I’m not a regular Idol watcher – S8 being the exception. It’s not about the talent of the contestants – it’s about who can pull at the heartstrings.

    I’m sure Chris is a very nice man who deserves a break and I’m glad he’s getting one.

    But, I thought American Idol was a singing competition?? Nobody’s talking about his voice.

  • BootStar

    Danny Gokey
    People hated me 4 sharing my story on idol & now Im already seeing their starting 2 bash Chris Medina for his. His story will help many!!
    17 minutes ago via web

    Oh, Danny, just STFU. And I was finally starting to not dislike you too.

    Goddammit, this is really starting to piss me off. This is a brain-damaged, vulnerable young woman we’re talking about. Just because this guy is engaged to her doesn’t give him the right to use her as a poster child for … what exactly? Is his real goal to make sure all Americans have access to decent, affordable healthcare? Is performing on American Idol going to make that happen?

  • steph6449

    Bootstar, not all “help” is tangible / financial, although there could be that result also.

    While not everyone will feel that way, Danny has heard from countless people who have drawn some emotional strength from his story and his music. Also because he is a public figure who is fairly open about his faith. They come up to him every time he does concerts, buy his music, write him letters, etc.

    He focuses on doing what he wants to do, and on those who relate to that in a positive way. I think that is sensible advice for anyone trying to have a public career in entertainment, politics, or whatever. They will have supporters and those who dislike everything about them. It’s the supporters who will help them succeed.

  • Studio57

    Bootstar you might not want to see Danny’s timeline where his Christian fans are blaming heathens who don’t have God in their lives for being jelluz.

    Having said that- i can’t begrudge this kid for going out and trying to help his loved one ( if that’s what he is doing). He has stuck by her two years before this- he sounds like a really straight up dude so far.

  • BootStar

    While not everyone will feel that way, Danny has heard from countless people who have drawn some emotional strength from his story and his music. They come up to him every time he does concerts, buy his music, write him letters, etc.

    Frankly, I don’t give a sh*t who has or hasn’t “drawn some emotional strength” from Danny’s “story” or his deceased wife’s role in it. This isn’t about Danny OR Chris Medina, who, in case we’ve forgotten, is not married to this young woman. HER story is being exploited here, not just Chris’s.

    And I’m sure Nigel Lythgoe is thrilled that the show has its first offiicial “controversy” on his hands to stoke media interest. Isn’t that wonderful!

  • Niall

    It’s a beautiful story of devotion, but without it he wouldn’t be anywhere near the Top 40 of American Idol. His voice is barely passable and he doesn’t have much charisma. Therein lies my problem. There are many people out there struggling with a disabled loved one. Being a loyal and strong person shouldn’t give you a free pass to the voting rounds but in his case it will.

    If people want to help the disabled, start donating to charities that assist those with Traumatic Brain Injury. Donating to Juliana is fine and lovely, but there are many Juliana’s out there who don’t have relatives who can get on American Idol, and nobody is offering to help pay off their bills.

    (Danny shut up. You know damn good and well you wouldn’t have made the Top 3 without your sob story and you certainly wouldn’t have a record deal. Go to Sophia’s grave and thank her).

  • steph6449

    I can’t evaluate the Chris M story, or his moral character or whether the fiancee was being exploited/etc. But I did read from something at this site last night, that her mother was talking about last night going to be a “great night” or something to that effect.

    So it appears her close family, who are in a position to know best presumably, were happy about what they expected to be shown on air.

    I dunno. Some obviously will see this as “exploitation.” Other people who have had difficult situations, whether similar in nature or not, may appreciate and relate to it.

    Any participants in the show need to know who they are IMO, and that will serve them in good stead however it plays out during their run on the show. And beyond, as in Danny’s case; he is still out there working hard and pursuing his dreams as he sees best to do.

    If Chris M. wanted his fiancee’s story to be shown and believes that is a good thing, and he stands by that and then focuses on what he needs to do as a competitor in the show, he should come through ok despite the drama.

    However, IMO I just didn’t find him to be all that interesting as a singer so on that basis I’m not sure how much longer we will see him on the show in any event :?
    .

    ETA: I will have to differ regarding whether Danny would have done well on the show without the bio. I followed and voted for him without any knowledge of his bio, and more than a few others did similarly, or don’t take bios into account when voting for someone on AI. Many just like his singing, realizing like any performer that will not be a universal taste. And I hardly think RCA Nashville signed him purely on his bio to do album #1, much less album #2. His concerts are music shows, not life story shows, and he regularly draws nice crowds wherever he appears.

    Being an entertainer is a whole package though, as they sometimes say on the show to some debate. It can’t hurt a performer if enough people like their personality / find them memorable personally as well as their voice/talent, to stick with them. Performers who are bland and boring don’t usually get that far in the long run.

  • IdolThoughts

    Judging by the way she was waving his golden ticket around I’d say she was okay with being there and understood what was going on. She also spoke and one point to tell Chris “I knew it”. Also, Chris and her mother are there. After witnessing his devotion to her, I sincerely doubt that he would place her in a compromising position. And to further back my point…her MOTHER was there. What proof does anyone else have to the contrary…other than general cynicism?

  • Studio57

    The girls mother has this to say about Chris:

    “There is a man in our lives that has risen from a crisis to be a hero. You know that already because I have said it a hundred times in a hundred ways through this blog. Our very own Chris Medina has spent days and nights, losing blood, sweat and oh yes A LOT of tears to beg his fiancée back to health. And through it all he has become deeper, more centered, and an even more soulful individual. This has been witnessed by all of us from his mannerisms to his music. If you didn’t love him before, you do now. If you DID love him, you now adore him.”.

    From Yahoo: http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/realityrocks/419941/hard-luck-idol-contestant-chris-medina-has-web-buzzing/

    If he has mom’s seal of approval, good enough for me :)

  • tls62

    Danny Gokey’s latest tweet:

    If you don’t like me remember it’s mind over matter; I don’t mind and you don’t matter.

    Maybe it’s time he just STFU. Crap like this is why I can’t stand this guy.

  • lorismile

    Maybe it’s time he just STFU. Crap like this is why I can’t stand this guy.

    Funny – Danny trying to make this about him when it should be about Chris. No that I’m surprised.

  • steph6449

    Bootstar you might not want to see Danny’s timeline where his Christian fans are blaming heathens who don’t have God in their lives for being jelluz.

    I read Danny’s timeline, and saw maybe one tweet that would fit that description. “Christian fans” is a pretty broad category, and not monolithic in outlook.
    .

    Thinking about it, just one example that I personally saw going back to the AI tour. I sat just behind a family with a few kids. That was when Danny did My Wish as his last song on tour after his little “inspirational” speech. One of the themes of the speech was not to let snipers or tough situations hold you back from pursuing your dreams. The mom in the family reached across a seat and touched her teenage son on the shoulder, and they both nodded and had quite a nice little mom & son moment when they heard that part of Danny’s talk. Those are the people Danny is interested in hearing from, IMO, along with the people more like me who just like his voice :)

    Assuming Chris is not up to some nefarious agenda, he would do well to see how Danny handled himself throughout everything he went through.

    I’ve seen various other artists / public figures also speaking about the fact that they get attacked a lot, but see it as their best focus to keep their eyes on their own goals and keep pushing through. They all have people h..’in on them.

  • pineappletree

    lol oh Danny must really like putting his foot in his mouth. These tweets are why a lot of people do not like him. The last one..oh boy.

  • BootStar

    After witnessing his devotion to her, I sincerely doubt that he would place her in a compromising position. And to further back my point…her MOTHER was there. What proof does anyone else have to the contrary…other than general cynicism?

    You call it cynicism, I call it realism.

    I’m not saying that Chris OR her mother intentionally put her in a compromising position. But you can bet your last Coke or Ford Fiesta that IDOL is thrilled by the hullabaloo. And who knows why she was waving that golden ticket so gleefully? Maybe she was just happy to see her loved ones happy. Doesn’t mean she can comprehend that 24 million people would be seeing her private life paraded across the airwaves. Honestly, would you want that done to you?

    How about Idol just tell the guy’s story briefly and then CONTRIBUTE $100,000 towards his fiancee’s care? A pittance for them, and it would have been win-win for everybody involved, unless of course they wanted a good sob story to further their ratings.

  • steph6449

    lol oh Danny must really like putting his foot in his mouth. These tweets are why a lot of people do not like him. The last one..oh boy.

    And exactly why a lot of people do like him :)

  • lorismile

    His voice is barely passable and he doesn’t have much charisma. Therein lies my problem. There are many people out there struggling with a disabled loved one. Being a loyal and strong person shouldn’t give you a free pass to the voting rounds but in his case it will.

    Exactly.

  • lorismile

    unless of course they wanted a good sob story to further their ratings.

    Yah think?? They couldn’t create buzz last year with talent so they’re going another route generate it.

  • pineappletree

    steph6449:
    01/27/2011 at 1:54 pm

    lol oh Danny must really like putting his foot in his mouth. These tweets are why a lot of people do not like him. The last one..oh boy.

    And exactly why a lot of people do like him :)

    i just want him to stop before he gets in trouble. He can be like a car wreck that you can’t help but stare..lol

  • Studio57

    BlueEternal Amy
    @ @dannygokey Those that hate & bash others obviously don’t know Jesus Christ as their Savior! We need to pray for them!

    carold503 Carol Davidson
    @ @dannygokey So many people today are so angry, mean spirited and selfish. They must have no God in their life!

    Steph- one of the ones I was talking about was being retweeted- the OP must have deleted it because it had at least two or three RTs.

    I saw more than just these two. And my bad on not saying SOME christian fans. I usually don’t generalize like that.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    His voice is barely passable and he doesn’t have much charisma. Therein lies my problem. There are many people out there struggling with a disabled loved one. Being a loyal and strong person shouldn’t give you a free pass to the voting rounds but in his case it will.

    I agree. Ultimately, any advancement should be mainly about a contestant’s talent and charisma.

  • CanadianFan

    I think Chris Medina performed a beautiful version of the Script song. I am a huge Script fan.

  • steph6449

    Completely appreciate that there is a diversity of views, everyone’s prerogative to have them.

    But Danny is getting a lot of positive response to those tweets speaking up for himself and giving support to Chris M.

    Not always from people you might see as obvious Danny fans, lol. One whose twitter name starts with @GlamRockGod, who among other things tweeted this to Danny:

    LOL Go Gokey Go Gokey
    @dannygokey there for the grace of God go all of us. Good luck in all you do Danny.

    Chris Daughtry’s wife also tweeted agreeing with Danny about it.

  • gangreen29

    His voice is barely passable and he doesn’t have much charisma. Therein lies my problem.

    See, I don’t think his voice is barely passable. He isn’t my kind of contestant, but I think he sings well, and just like some people might want to advance him farther than his talents deserve because of his story some people seem to be doing the opposite and discrediting his talent because of his story.

    These “stories” are exactly why I’m not a regular Idol watcher – S8 being the exception. It’s not about the talent of the contestants – it’s about who can pull at the heartstrings.

    No one has ever won for pulling on someone’s heart strings though.

  • Chicagolaw

    He seems like a wonderful person, I get that. But AI should be about the music (the voice, performance, etc). Period. What makes a great TV show isn’t necessarily what makes a great future in the music industry; or what makes a great radio single.

    This guy’s story (not his voice) has been all over the news today. I mean all over. He is a lock for top 10, probably top 5.

  • lorismile

    No one has ever won for pulling on someone’s heart strings though.

    True but they make it a lot further than someone who’s probably much more talented.

  • gangreen29

    What makes a great TV show isn’t necessarily what makes a great future in the music industry; or what makes a great radio single.

    But it is a tv show first and foremost.

  • gangreen29

    True but they make it a lot further than someone who’s probably much more talented.

    Lorismile, I think season 8 being the only season you watched regularly might make that seem more true to you than it really has been over the years. Season 8 is the most that has ever happened in my opinion.

  • Keel

    If you don’t like me remember it’s mind over matter; I don’t mind and you don’t matter.

    I had decided a long time ago that the issues I had with Danny Gokey back in S8 had a lot to more to do with his being a bit clueless and naive, rather than his truly being an active participant in his pimpage/wifely exploitation. Based on this tweet, I’m kinda leaning more to the conclusion that Danny’s just generally clueless. Period.

  • Studio57

    Is Gokeys quote really an actual quote or did he totally mix up The Dr. Seuss one?


    Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

  • Chicagolaw

    Oh, I understand that AI is a TV show first and foremost. But, Nigel and company have spoken A LOT about how it is imperative for the winner to have success after Idol. They have talked up a lot of changes. Yet, what last night showed me is that, for better or worse, nothing about this show has changed. I watched Chris’s audition here on MJ’s this morning—he isn’t that great, and he certainly isn’t the type of contestant Nigel has been championing for the last several months. It’s just funny to me, because the guy with the biggest buzz right now is exactly the type of contestant Nigel didn’t want. And they have him now–probably all the way to top 5, at least.

  • Niall

    The girls mother has this to say about Chris

    That woman has no idea what is about to hit her, if it hasn’t already. Swarms of OTT idols fans, many of them repeat offenders, worming their way into her life via their “concern” and $$$, and then looking for access to Chris.

    Let’s be real about Chris Medina. Based strictly on his audition, he wouldn’t generate any buzz. With the inclusion of a tragic backstory he’s probably a frontrunner (though I don’t believe he’ll win). I think he’s a geniunely good guy but AI is about to ride him and Juliana all year long for ratings.

  • gangreen29

    Oh, I understand that AI is a TV show first and foremost. But, Nigel and company have spoken A LOT about how it is imperative for the winner to have success after Idol. They have talked up a lot of changes. Yet, what last night showed me is that, for better or worse, nothing about this show has changed. I watched Chris’s audition here on MJ’s this morning—he isn’t that great, and he certainly isn’t the type of contestant Nigel has been championing for the last several months. It’s just funny to me, because the guy with the biggest buzz right now is exactly the type of contestant Nigel didn’t want. And they have him now–probably all the way to top 5, at least.

    See, I think Chris is the perfect type of contestant to advance Nigel’s agenda. Chris will keep a certain segment of the audience happy, but he is in no way a threat to win. Sob story contestants just don’t win idol. If he made the top 5, you would start to see a lot of people voting for the other contestants just as backlash against him.

    Also, the contestant with most buzz at auditions has never won. Not even Carrie was the most buzzed at auditions.

  • Pixie Baker

    I have not watched the show as yet (chose to forgo the auditions this year) for this very reason. Exploitations by Idol really turn me off. Chris and Danny are are being subjected to some really harsh comments but they are fully aware of what was to happen….they were and are willing participants in the exploitation.. After listening to Chris in the video and watching Danny in Season 8,…..IMO, neither one is a strong singer….so the back story does get them further in the competition.

  • Studio57

    Paul Potts from BGT was the only reality show contestant I can think of that won with a great back story and was a viral hit. Anyone else?

    Oh crap- there was the chicken farmer dude from AGT too.

    Okay onto a lighter note- anyone wanna place bets on his fans calling themselves the FunkyColdMedinas?

  • gangreen29

    Okay onto a lighter note- anyone wanna place bets on his fans calling themselves the FunkyColdMedinas?

    Oooohh, good call on that one lol!

  • abbysee

    Awww MJ, your a frakking sweetie, thanks for including the link to donate. I have long since learned to not vote back story but talent, this doesn’t bother me in the frame of the show, so I am not outraged on either end. I hope she gets the best medical treatment money can buy, and that something good happens for him simply for his devotion to her.

  • IdolThoughts

    BootStar: It’s not realism…it’s an opinion.

    Would I want that done to me? Why not? I would want to be present when the most important person of my life achieved some measure of success that didn’t involve caring for me, doting on me, etc. She got to be present instead of inside of her house. Why should she stay holed up in her house? Just because she has a trach hole in her neck, can’t smile and is blatantly handicapped? I wouldn’t assume that this is the case. Quite the opposite. She looks like a strong young lady with an amazing support system. Glad she got to share in his moment. Hope she receives many donations and more importantly, so glad she was able to touch so many hearts. How is she different than any other spouse, girlfriend, family member of a potential Idoler?

  • http://emuisemo.pbworks.com eilonwy

    Is his real goal to make sure all Americans have access to decent, affordable healthcare? Is performing on American Idol going to make that happen?

    How about the goal of getting every adult to write a living will that includes, along with medical-care preferences, parameters for how much one is willing to have one’s condition publicized and under what circumstances?

    I’m not kidding. I know my personal preference (hint: has a lot of letters in common with “piracy”) is not universal and I’ll go to the mat for people’s right to handle their own lives in their own way. Recording one’s wishes removes the ambiguity about whether the exposure is okay with the person being exposed.

    Naturellement, it’s still up to the viewer whether private life weighs in one’s voting decisions and in what direction.

  • BootStar

    BootStar: It’s not realism…it’s an opinion.

    Of course it’s an opinion. My opinion! I’ve been around the block a time or two and I’ve seen all kinds of people exploited. I’m not sure how her story is any different.

    How is she different than any other spouse, girlfriend, family member of a potential Idoler?

    Which other spouse, girlfriend, family member or potential Idoler this season got to come in to get fawned over by the judges? They were patronizing her because of her disability. I never said she should “stay holed up in her house,” just that Idol shouldn’t exploit her tragic story for THEIR ratings. This was not some attempt at altruism on their part.

  • IdolThoughts

    I’ve seen other family members get asked to come back and meet the judges. I don’t fault them for “patronizing” her. They were really, really nice and warm. What should they have done? Waved to her from their seats? They don’t know the extend of her disability. She survived a major trauma and came all the way down to wait with him. She definitely deserved to meet them and like Chris said, “it made her day”. I don’t think it was Idol’s goal to be altruistic…but I do think that everyone acted appropriately and Chris’ story was portrayed with class. I appreciate that you’ve been around the block but again, I see not just yours, but the whole angle that its an exploitation is textbook cynicism. And if that makes me naive then thank the Lord…I’d rather live my life with hope and grace than constant doubt and speculation. It’s American Idol for Pete’s sake! Not Dateline!

  • songsungblue

    Can I just say I can’t stand Gokey and groan every time I see / hear him? Honestly, he is just the most clueless being ever. And I really dislike being thumped on the head with anyone’s religion. It’s obnoxious. I’m not surprised that Daughtry’s wife jumped on the bandwagon. She’s born again, too. STFU all of youse! ;)

    That said, at least Chris Medina hasn’t made a heart-shape with his hands. Heh. I agree, AI could do themselves a world of good by actually donating to that girl’s care. I think her recovery is going to be very long.

    Don’t like his singing. Don’t like his voice. Kind of reminds me of a less talented Daughtry, and I don’t like Daughtry. He’ll stick around though. Gokey 2.0. Sigh.

  • http://myspace.com/girlgeek mj

    I appreciate that you’ve been around the block but again, I see not just yours, but the whole angle that its an exploitation is textbook cynicism.

    You aren’t the first person to throw around the “C” word. It’s not quite that simple, and really calling people who disagree with you “cynical” completely misses the point, I think.

    I wonder what the reaction would be if the Idol was a young woman taking care of a boyfriend.

    Another blogger, who was also throwing around that ‘C’ word coughlyndseyparkercough said and I’m paraphrasing, that most young men wouldn’t stick by a girl friend like that. It might be true, that men generally have less stick-to-itiveness than women, but I don’t think he deserves extra points because he’s a guy.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I feel uncomfortable with how Chris’ backstory was handled and feel for his injured fiancee. I hope that there is some money being contributed towards medical expenses by Idol. I have to say if that the viewers are constantly reminded about Chris backstory from now on, it will become distasteful very quickly and I don’t think that it will help him. I know that I will be turned off.

  • songsungblue

    So much word, MJ. I’m actually kind of squicked by the idea that he deserves extra-special credit. The bottom line is that I don’t think the guy SINGS that well. It’s a mystery to me when people started to talk about a contestant ‘deserving to win’ because of all they’d been through, etc, etc. It’s not Miss America, y’all. Why do they have to be fabulous human beings, overcoming great trials? There’s some evidence that some of the world’s most talented performers have been AWFUL people. I don’t have to have them over for dinner or anything, and it’s nice if they’re nice but is that how we’re judging a singing contest? lulz.

  • CanadianFan

    And yet, when all is said and done, Chris can really sing a sensitive and beautiful version of that Script song.

  • progression

    See, I think Chris is the perfect type of contestant to advance Nigel’s agenda. Chris will keep a certain segment of the audience happy, but he is in no way a threat to win. Sob story contestants just don’t win idol. If he made the top 5, you would start to see a lot of people voting for the other contestants just as backlash against him.

    Completely agree. So far this on Nigel IMO. Chris was probably talked into this and had no idea how it would be presented, or how it would be received by the long time AI fans who have been around this block before and know how AI uses these stories for it’s own purposes. So personally I’m going to wait to see how Chris handles himself once he sees how this game is played – does he milk it for all it’s worth like Gokey or does he regroup and do what he can to make his AI journey about himself as an artist.

  • Tess

    It’s a mystery to me when people started to talk about a contestant ‘deserving to win’ because of all they’d been through, etc, etc.

    I don’t remember the above being quoted on AI last night. Did I miss the great pronouncement by the producers…or did the judges say that Chris deserved to win…was it Ryan. How about the camera man or the sound tech. In fact I can’t even recall a legitimate media article that has pronounced Chris the heir apparent to the throne.

    Just because some Aunt Bea out in lala land may let her emotions rule her twitter fingers does not make her statement a fact that everyone is quoting from coast to coast. Hyperbole is not just spouted by fans…but someone who feels that they are being manipulated by TPTB are just as verbal, verbose, and non-truthful as Aunt Bea.

  • Tess

    Which other spouse, girlfriend, family member or potential Idoler this season got to come in to get fawned over by the judges?

    Didn’t someone bring in their deaf daughter after her “sad” tale was exploited all over national TV?

  • Miss Blue

    Wow. I sure don’t understand all the controversy over this.

    I liked the guy’s voice, quite a bit. He was certainly good enough to get a ticket to Hollywood, based on what these judges have been putting through. Second, most people with a disability, even a serious one, prefer to “act” as normal as anyone else – go places, experience life, etc. For the life of me, I can’t imagine this young woman not wanting to be there with her fiancee. What does she have to be embarrassed about? Nothing.

    As far as a back story getting someone farther than other’s more talented – oh please. We haven’t seen crappy singers make top ten, top five, top three – Jasmine flower-on-her-head Trias, anyone? – every single season of this show, and it had nothing to do with “back story”, with the possible exception of Gokey. And even that is a stretch, since he’s been doing pretty well since Idol. (And I can’t stand the guy). How about Sanjaya? Trias? Megan Joy? Horrible singers who I can’t believe even got the golden ticket, much less were on the show, the tour, etc.

    Frankly, I think Chris Medina sings a hell of a lot better than Gokey, so top five wouldn’t bother me a bit. Based on his singing.

  • songsungblue

    It’s a mystery to me when people started to talk about a contestant ‘deserving to win’ because of all they’d been through, etc, etc.

    I don’t remember the above being quoted on AI last night. Did I miss the great pronouncement by the producers…or did the judges say that Chris deserved to win…was it Ryan. How about the camera man or the sound tech. In fact I can’t even recall a legitimate media article that has pronounced Chris the heir apparent to the throne.

    Well, by people I mean, people watching the show. Not the producers. And I’m not just talking about Chris. I’ve seen tons of posts about whether someone is the right ‘kind of person’ to be the American Idol or ‘deserving’ – as if it was some sort of medal of Congressional Honor, lol. Just speaking for myself, if they can sing, I don’t care if they serve kitten stew. But that’s me. :)

  • Studio57

    ….and while we all weighed in on Chris Medina today, his youtube video racked up 231,000 views. #36 most viewed, #12 top favorited video. He’s on the front page of foxnews and yahoo, and there are over 300 google news articles about him.

  • PattyP

    And while everyone debated whether this was exploitation or realism or cynicism, etc, the foundation account for this young woman, which hoped to raise $16,000 for the next 40 hours of hyperbaric therapy, has now raised more than $18,000 … It was just barely over $16,000 when I donated to it about an hour ago, if that tells you anything. I read her mom’s multiple posts (from more than a year ago until now) on her Facebook page, and if you read that, you will see that Juliana does communicate with them and is getting better and was excited about watching the show last night. She can write, her speech is improving, she is getting better, albeit extremely slowly. It seems to me that she has very supportive family and friends and therapists all around her, and if they were okay with what happened on the show, I’m not going to argue with it; they are in a position to know what she would agree to do, and I am not. They are pushing her to get better, and doing everything in their power to accomplish that, including getting her story out there. And it is clearly paying off, quite literally.

  • Joyed

    I was out last night and missed the show and purposely delayed watching Chris Medina’s video because I was afraid I would feel ill watching it. I was one of those who was completely turned off by Gokey’s package – I think his pain was just too fresh, raw and visceral for me to enjoy watching his audition. (For Gokey fans, I have gotten past my initial feelings)

    Also, I had listened to Chris’ song and did not think the vocals were good at all.

    However, I finally watched his audition this evening. I have to say – I liked his voice and was okay with his packaging.

    I used to work with mentally and physically disabled children, and Juliana reminded me of this boy I worked with who had cerebral palsy. He was also in a wheelchair, had limited speech and limited use of his arms. I saw lots of comments about how her facial expressions made her seem afraid to be there. Having worked with those with brain damage, I would caution people not to judge facial expressions by what they normally see on people’s faces. Often times, they may not have the same reactions for controlling their face or expression and therefore it isn’t comparable to someone able-bodied. Her reactions actually reminded me of the boy I worked with’s face when he was taking in a situation.

    That said, I don’t want the focus of Chris to be his struggles, I want them to make sure it is all about his performance going forward.

    Sorry for the super long speech – it is just that I assumed I would feel like she was exploited and was surprised when it actually reminded me of working with some great kids.

  • IdolThoughts

    You aren’t the first person to throw around the “C” word. It’s not quite that simple, and really calling people who disagree with you “cynical” completely misses the point, I think.

    I wonder what the reaction would be if the Idol was a young woman taking care of a boyfriend.

    Another blogger, who was also throwing around that ‘C’ word coughlyndseyparkercough said and I’m paraphrasing, that most young men wouldn’t stick by a girl friend like that. It might be true, that men generally have less stick-to-itiveness than women, but I don’t think he deserves extra points because he’s a guy.

    I think the general opinion that EVERY “sob story” is an exploitation is rooted in cynicism. And I may be wrong about that. I’m not adverse to someone with a different opinion, but I think our approach to this subject completely shapes how we receive it. Some are touched and some are offended, irritated etc. We all saw the same thing. My initial post was simply stated that I was happy to let go of my own cynicism and watch with a fresh perspective. It definitely made it more enjoyable. That’s all.
    I agree with you that he shouldn’t get extra points for being a dude, but he should get extra points. He’s a pretty remarkable young person. I don’t think it matters if he was a boy or a girl. Especially if I think about it from my own perspective. Either way, you’re in your mid twenties and you’ve chosen a partner that you might never marry, have sex with, have kids with etc. Male or female, that’s some heavy shiz.

  • Studio57

    I just went and looked on Juliana’s facebook page from the link MJ gave up top. People are seriously underestimating her cognitive capabilities. That girl completely understands her surroundings and what people are saying, her body is just very slow to react to it. The one video I watched (juliana’s Progress III) will demonstrate that.

  • sanduskyday

    American Idol loves a good sob story. We see it every year. I seem to remember a certain contestant with a dying brother. The producers used this to the point that fans rallied to get the brother flown to the show. I do not recall any controversy or criticism being thrown David Cook’s way at that time, not that he deserved any. There was some thrown at the show, but not a lot. I may be wrong, but I see both situations as similar.

  • http://emuisemo.pbworks.com eilonwy

    We see it every year. I seem to remember a certain contestant with a dying brother. The producers used this to the point that fans rallied to get the brother flown to the show. I do not recall any controversy or criticism being thrown David Cook’s way at that time, not that he deserved any.

    I do recall criticism of Cook, but it was probably muted by his refusal to play along with the producers’ efforts to exploit that story. There was one week in which Seacrest explicitly tried to pin him down on camera to talk about his brother, and he deflected the question completely. The story did not come up during auditions and was not part of any of Cook’s video packages early in the show (I can’t positively swear it wasn’t mentioned during the Top 3 home visit, but his brother didn’t live in Kansas City and so wouldn’t have been filmed for that).

    His brother’s trip to see Cook perform was not funded by fans, but by the brother’s friends and by a local radio station, as this article confirms.

  • Keel

    There was one week in which Seacrest explicitly tried to pin him down on camera to talk about his brother, and he deflected the question completely.

    They did it more than once. I also recall one of those behind-the-scenes videos they posted on the AI official site and they asked Cook a question about how he handled problems in his personal life (or something obviously fishing for a quote relating to his brother) and he completely sidestepped it by saying every other contestant on the show had problems in their personal life and that he handled his the same way everyone else did — you deal with it when you can and you push it aside when you have to get on stage to perform.

  • steph6449

    I was out last night and missed the show and purposely delayed watching Chris Medina’s video because I was afraid I would feel ill watching it. I was one of those who was completely turned off by Gokey’s package – I think his pain was just too fresh, raw and visceral for me to enjoy watching his audition. (For Gokey fans, I have gotten past my initial feelings)

    I understand that. I never saw the bio package on Danny’s audition, just part of the performance when it aired. (I tend to watch the audition rounds with a mute button / channel flipper close to hand to avoid the more terrifying moments :shock: lol.)
    When I eventually did see the full segment, it was after that year’s season had ended and I saw it on YT. It was hard to watch and I’ve avoided watching it since. It was too raw for me.

  • forall

    he completely sidestepped it by saying every other contestant on the show had problems in their personal life and that he handled his the same way everyone else did — you deal with it when you can and you push it aside when you have to get on stage to perform.

    That’s when he earned my respect. For that matter, I like Lee also. He also has his own sob story but he never spin it.. The only back story AI had used for him is A PAINT SALEMAN…

  • lorismile

    and while we all weighed in on Chris Medina today, his youtube video racked up 231,000 views. #36 most viewed, #12 top favorited video. He’s on the front page of foxnews and yahoo, and there are over 300 google news articles about him.

    And probably none of the views or articles are based on his singing.

  • Indigobunting

    Wow. Long day for me but catching up now.

    Kudos to Danny for his tweets. That is one thing his fans love about him- he could have predicted that tweeting his encouragement to Chris Medina would garner criticism, but that is what is great about Danny- he is courageous enough to say what he believes and doesn’t care what is thrown his way. Every teenage kid who is afraid to be themselves because someone might not like them should read those tweets (yes, when someone doesn’t like you, they really ‘don’t matter’ in the scenario of what you want to accomplish in life, so you should stay true to who you are and not worry what others say).

    I don’t think Danny is “making anything about himself”. Online comments and media immediately connected the two, so why shouldn’t he answer? I think he was supportive, and telling Chris supporters about the hate he received will give them strength, all they have to do is look at Danny and see how he has prospered in spite of it and is all the stronger for dealing with it.

    Why do people think the girl is being “exploited” and does not have informed consent? Is the guy who stuck by her so evil he would do that? I think her family and loved one know better than the public what she wants. Just because she is brain damaged doesn’t mean she can’t communicate- my 19 yr old niece has the mind of a 2 yr old and can’t talk but we sure know what she wants.

    I’m not a fan of Chris, he has a nice voice. I don’t think he or Idol exploited anyone.

  • Studio57

    And probably none of the views or articles are based on his singing.

    You would be correct, and her facebook page is the same way- it’s just people touched by a very sad story. Alot of people giving money, offering kind words,very few saying they are going to vote until their fingers fall off.

  • steph6449

    And probably none of the views or articles are based on his singing.

    Which is why I’m not at all sure whether despite the short-term attention now, he will get all that far unless he turns in more striking performances on the show. He was just very ~medium for me as a vocalist.

    Alot of people giving money, offering kind words,very few saying they are going to vote until their fingers fall off.

    In all fairness though, there is nothing to vote for now so people probably couldn’t say that anyway. They could rave about his performance last night if they wished, but to me it just isn’t particularly “ravable.” (yeah, I know that is not a word. Lol.)

  • JNM

    Not a fan. I don’t think he has that great a voice, and he’s way too much like the last two winners. Wouldn’t be getting the raves without the gf backstory.

  • JosieX

    I love it that Danny came out in support of Chris. I don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other about Chris’ talent at this point, he sounded nice, but we’ll have to see how it goes. I thought that Julia seemed aware of what was going on and it appears that there is evidence to support that view. I found their story very touching. The show will only be successful to the extent that the producers can get the audience interested in the contestants enough to care how well they do on the show. The producers assumed that people would care about what happened to Julia and how Chris has responded to that. I would say they were right. This is his life, and he appears to be an impressive and likable person. There has to be a combination of likability with talent and ability to perform, and the whole story of how Chris will do with all these elements remains to be told.

    But however this turns out for him, I feel so happy for him that he has Danny as someone to look to as a guide for how to navigate this thing. Danny focuses his attention on his goals in life with music and with helping people, and he remains very warm and caring toward people and excited about all the things he wants to do. He has proven naysayers wrong so many times now it’s actually pretty funny. I’ve been watching him closely now for…I guess it’s been almost two years now. The sense of peace that he carries with him and his positive outlook on life are really amazing. I love Danny and I think he is a wonderful person, in addition to being someone who I love to listen to sing. I also love hearing what he has to say because he has a lot of great perspectives to offer to anyone who cares to listen. If not, that’s ok, he really doesn’t have the time or inclination to worry about that. He is not going to STFU and that’s a great thing. He’s doing great and I love seeing him do what he wants to do. Makes me very, very happy.

  • chicksineggz

    Regardless of whether Chris’s girlfriend was happy about being on the show like that, I still think it was wrong to exploit the backstory. I’m speaking as a viewer. I don’t care about what his family thinks about this. (sorry, I know that sounds terrible) I found it uncomfortable to watch. I watch American Idol for the singing, and I don’t want to be exposed to things like the fact that contestants’ relatives have cancer or died or are struggling.

    But I know it’s American Idol, and it’s going to happen every year. So, whatever.

    I think Chris’s voice is alright. I don’t know, I need to hear more to form a better opinion. I don’t have anything against Chris though. Gokey, well, that’s another story.

  • oza902

    I think Chris did an amazing job with Break Even and I really like the song MJ posted. Based on his talent, he deserved to go to Hollywood and I hope he continues to perform well.

    I’m also glad Julianna joined him at his audition. She is his family and she deserves to share that moment with Chris. I think it was extremely brave of Julianna and Chris to share their story on television. I don’t think they thought Idol would have given them the “pimp” spot if you will. It was just a background interview and Chris didn’t throw it at the judges before he sang his song. He was asked about himself and he answered. I don’t know why people think contestants should just shut up and sing. We don’t watch Idol solely because of the singing. We want to connect with the contestants. We want to see how ordinary or how extraordinary these people are… if we wanted to see generic robots, we’d be discussing Top Model instead of AI.

  • CSFan

    I hated how set up it appeared. The ring around his neck that the judges just happened to ask about, and then the lyrics of the song he chose (I hope we aren’t in for Gokey 2.0 where he picks a song almost every week that is guaranteed to remind people of his tragic backstory).

    The more I watch AI and see people like Medina and Gokey, who are more than willing to trade on their personal pain for sympathy and votes, the more I respect David Cook. I don’t particularly like Cook or his music but I respect his refusal to feed into our country’s voyeuristic and morbid fascinations.

  • Indigobunting

    I hope we aren’t in for Gokey 2.0 where he picks a song almost every week that is guaranteed to remind people of his tragic backstory

    It is funny how people remember/have such impressions that are far from the reality.

    Hero
    PYT
    What Hurts the Most
    Jesus Take the Wheel
    Stand By Me
    September
    Get Ready
    Endless Love
    Renegade
    Dream On
    Come Rain or Come Shine
    Dance Little Sister
    You Are So Beautiful

    Only What Hurts the Most is about a loss or tragedy. And that was a very popular song, a good choice and a great performance to sing on “Hits Nights”. Plus country, which he likes.

    Everything else on the list is fun, inspirational or a pure love song (with no tragedy involved). Just like every other contestant sang.

    Danny or AI never mentioned his wife after the top 36 (which BTW, many people don’t even watch until the top 13 or 10).

    I don’t know how far Chris Medina will go. I have a feeling it won’t be as far as Danny; there are many people that so far seem to stand out more. But I hope this guy won’t receive all the hate Danny did, and I’m glad he has someone else to look at for a model on how to handle it with class. I wouldn’t be surprised if Danny even reaches out to Chris if needed, he likes to help/encourage people like that.

  • sallysimmons

    Which other spouse, girlfriend, family member or potential Idoler this season got to come in to get fawned over by the judges? They were patronizing her because of her disability. I never said she should “stay holed up in her house,” just that Idol shouldn’t exploit her tragic story for THEIR ratings. This was not some attempt at altruism on their part.

    Well, I’m just watching clips here and there and I just saw some chick’s whole family pulled in. It’s nonsense to say this girl should be cossetted because she has a brain injury. The family wouldn’t have brought her in had she not wanted it. They know her better than you.

  • sallysimmons

    I liked this guy – he was like Danny without the skeeve factor

  • ptslittlecomment

    As to the list above, I remember as the version of Endless Love (which may conjure up the image of Eternal Love and which featured the use of a harp) Danny looked to the heavens as if acknowleding someone. There were also numerous heart gestures before or after performances which purposely or not, Danny had to know were being connected to his wife.
    Hopefully Medina – if he lasts – will learn to rely more on his talent than plucking eart strings.