Here’s the official press release announcing the original song from Chris Medina. “What Are Words” written by Rodney Jerkins, will be available for download immediately after tonight’s American Idol.

A video shot last weekend will debut on AOL.com at 2 pm tomorrow.  And of course, as we reported last night, Chris will sing the song LIVE on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno Friday, February 25.

Read the press release below, including quotes from Chris and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins.

SANTA MONICA, CA – February 24, 2011 – Beginning tonight, fans across America will be given the opportunity to show their support for Chris Medina, who left “American Idol” last night. An original song based on his emotional story, “What Are Words,” (19 Recordings/Interscope) written and produced only a few days ago especially for Medina to perform by acclaimed hitmaking songwriter-producer Rodney Jerkins (Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige), will debuts tonight, and is available digitally immediately after the show. A video, shot this past weekend, will premiere at 2 p.m. (ET), Friday, on aol.com.

A 26-year-old barista from Illinois, Medina captured the hearts of viewers for more than simply his vocal talent. His story of becoming the primary caregiver to his fiancée, Juliana Ramos, who was severely injured in a car accident just months before they were scheduled to wed, won him fans around the country. One of those touched by the story was Jerkins, who was so inspired that he penned “What Are Words” for Medina to record earlier this week.

“To go from a mass audition in Milwaukee to the ‘American Idol’ stage in Hollywood and then to record an original song by and for Rodney Jerkins has been an amazing journey not just for me but for Juliana,” said Medina. “To be able to work in the studio with someone of his stature was a dream come true.”

Added Jerkins: “When I heard the story of Chris and Juliana, the words and music just flowed. Sometimes a song is more than a song and that’s really true with ‘What Are Words.’”

Tagged with:
 
  • http://www.dancin.ca dancin

    lol this news makes jlo’s breakdown seem even more MADE UP than i already thought it was

    video shot last weekend.. song made for him GMAB!!!

    i wonder what ever happened to the song that ellen n kara were suppose to have made for Angela Martin when she didnt get in the top 20 last year

    lol @ this show IMHO

  • ParticleHustler

    I think after the Danny Gokey thing, there was no way they would allow someone with this kind of backstory on the show again. It’s just so unfair. And plus, this guy is honestly not that talented. I think they knew early on that they would let him go and set this whole thing up to help him out. I don’t think he knew. But once he was eliminated, they told him their plans and he would have been a fool not to accept the charity/help. Everything about this show is calculated. JLo is a pretty poor actress, too – the “cliffhanger” last night was laughable.

  • madison

    I don’t think they set this up to help him out, I think they set it up to keep cashing in on Medina’s story. This show is shameless.

  • Mel1

    Who paid for this? 19? This is so bizarre. This is going to set a precedent. It seems anyone who gets cut should be able to get out there and put out a single for immediate release.

  • tinawina

    Ugh. He’s not that good.

  • koshka

    LOL LOL LOL LOL

    No wonder he wasn’t that upset.

  • bridgette12

    I can’t believe anyone is surprised by this. Idol wanted him on the show because of his sob story, not because he has a great voice. They pimped him and unfortunately his finacee sad story. Now he get’s to benefit from all that pimping and go on Leno and sing a new song written just for him. The show benefits from the extra media attention this kid and his sob story will bring. It’s a win/win for both sides. Yes, this show is shameless, but it seem this year, they took it to another level.

  • koshka

    Bridgette12.. surprised, no… laughing hysterically, yes.

    Nothing AI does anymore surprises me.

  • claudette

    He didn’t deserve top 24, but I find this really touching. It’s bizarre, but man….I can’t imagine trying to take care of someone who has so many needs and medical care. I really hope he gets a lot of help. This isn’t some random “sob story”. But yeah this starts a weird precedent.

  • Mel1

    I’m really at odds with this. They pimp him to death, so one would assume he would make the top 24, at minimum. Then they cut him before top 24. Does that make sense? I smell halibut, tuna, sardines…

  • BootStar

    He got a video too? But he wasn’t good enough to advance to the top 24? What am I missing here????

    And the video was shot last weekend but the song just “written and produced only a few days ago “? Alrighty then!

    I can’t wait to hear how much money this nets him. How about 19 just write him a check for a $100,000 and be done with it? This is not about charity, it’s about enhancing their corporate image.

  • BeachBum

    I assume there is a business relationship between Universal and NBC? If so, don’t you think some of the later contestants will be doing something similar. Get voted off, sing a pre-recorded song on Leno and milk your current, yet temporary fame for all it’s worth??

  • Kirsten

    This is going to set a precedence. It seems anyone who gets cut should be able to get out there and put out a single for immediate release.

    And so they can. Provided they do it with 19Alphabet. Everybody else must keep quiet until August.

    There is nothing fundamentally new here at all. If 19Alphabet wants to promote you they will. Regardless of whether you came in 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th or whatever (look at that Alex dude last year). I see no reason to get outraged about an auditioner getting some 19 sponsored music if one is not equally angry that any other person who doesn’t win gets to release some 19 related music. And Leno wouldn’t have him on the show if he didn’t think that he would bring viewers.

    The show used Chris and made some mega-bucks off of him and his story. I don’t have a problem with him maknig some money from it too. They’ve known for months they were going to can his butt from the show on the green mile (they may not have filmed it until last week, but I don’t believe they didn’t make the decision back in November), so they’ve had plenty of time to set this up.

    Whatever, it is all good for the show. It builds excitement. If the guy they booted gets a hit song, imagine how good the people that stay are? That said, if they bring him back for the wild card round. I will burn down my condo on the knoll, build a mansion to replace it and rant for the rest of the season until he gets the boot because no way would it be fair for him to get such a big push and return triumphantly to the show. If Survivor viewers hate it when Survivors come back in the show, they will have nothing on how angry I will be if Chris comes back to Idol. It was the right decision to cut him.

  • songsungblue

    It’s like the nightmare that is Danny Gokey will. not. end.

    **beats head against wall**

  • Mel1

    I thought it was really strange J-Lo said Deandre was ready to become a recording artist. Then why dump him? Maybe they had something in mind for him too?

  • http://emuisemo.pbworks.com eilonwy

    I assume there is a business relationship between Universal and NBC?

    If so, not an obvious one. While the corporate parent of NBC television is NBCUniversal, the “Universal” part refers to TV and movie studios. Universal Music Group is owned by Vivendi, which also owns a couple non-US telecoms and video game giant Activision/Blizzard (which has discontinued Guitar Hero, so no tie-ins possible there).

    The controlling interest in NBCUniversal is held by Comcast, which bought it from GE a while back. Comcast is not among Vivendi’s telecom interests.

  • Chicagolaw

    So, is Ryan going to make some kind of announcement about this tonight after the show? Certainly they will want to let the audience know. It almost feels like one of their charity singles. I will probably buy it, I guess, just to help the guy out.

  • TwigLA

    Good for him and I don’t think Jennifer crying was fake at all.

  • Marie Ruffin

    Hmmm…this is really strange. Medina is making a Tonight Show appearance. This almost seems set up….why him? and not Deandre or some other cancelled singer? this pity party is too over the top.

  • bmms

    This is not about charity, it’s about enhancing their corporate image.

    This!

  • bmms

    and I don’t think Jennifer crying was fake at all.

    Probably not but it was WAY too much from JLo! Even for me and I love Jenny from the block.

  • Marie Ruffin

    Well for sure, the contract has been changed from before. Before the contestants had to wait until the show was over before they could enter into a contract with ANYBODY. So now, this means the contract is changed. That anybody who was in the top 24 (or 40) can be signed by Universal. This may be a smart move — maybe?

    Well I’ve been writing that I think Jlo is working too hard….if you recall Paula used to have her meltdowns and loopiness…but I said it was sleep deprivation and she had a lot going on. And I think it’s getting to Jlo too. But Jlo has babies and a husband, plus she’s shooting videos….this may be too much for her.

  • emmuzka

    Okay, so he got a song written for him, it was recorded and produced, a video was shot, and talk show appearances were written in. My question is, with what time? I would really like to see the timeline for this.

    Do they really want to pretend that this was all made to happen only after the judges decided to boot him off? I’ll bet that the producers had decided on the boot right after the Hollywood last year, and they were even probably told Chris beforehand that he would get cut, and what all extra nice his boot would entail.

  • emmuzka

    It almost feels like one of their charity singles.

    OMG, just a few days ago I made the joke about Chris’ boot becoming a mini Idol-gives-back O_o!

  • blissful

    It’s all business. They saw $$ in his backstory and they pimped him early so they could have this opportunity. 100% sure Ryan will mention it tonight.

    If they could find a way to take a cut and not look like total sleaze bags, TBTB would set up a toll free donation line for his fiancee.

    I don’t have a clue about Chris’ motives, but if we find out he breaks off the engagement or whatever…yuck.

  • Elliegrll

    I was fine with the song, because he and he needs a lot of money, but the video is just seems tacky. Now it just looks like 19 and Universal are trying to exploit the situation.

  • HR

    JLo has plenty of employees on her payroll helping her and I don’t think this job is that difficult. The hardest part is being in the public eye with loss of privacy. The contestants might struggle with that but she is used to it.

    Universal did not partner with Idol to sit back, let Idol reap the profits and get stuck with someone who might not be able to sell enough music to refund their investment. I don’t have a problem with them milking profits during the competition to recoup the investment they’ll place in one or more after the show. Idol certanly hasn’t held back in finding ways to profit from the contestants while they are still competing.

  • koshka

    OMG, just a few days ago I made the joke about Chris’ boot becoming a mini Idol-gives-back O_o!

    I remember that. Anything else in your crystal ball you’d like to share? ;)

  • bmms

    I was fine with the song, because he and he needs a lot of money, but the video is just seems tacky. Now it just looks like 19 and Universal are trying to exploit the situation.

    The entire thing is tacky! Lol. Plus, they don’t seem to be ‘trying’ to exploit, they are.

  • bmms

    It’s like the nightmare that is Danny Gokey will. not. end.

    **beats head against wall**

    Lol!

  • lollypop12

    Dude’s getting more popularity than the show. Bad idea!

  • Tony

    Wait. WHAT?

  • Indigobunting

    It’s like the nightmare that is Danny Gokey will. not. end.

    **beats head against wall**

    I hope you have good medical insurance :lol:

    You are going to have a concussion as you watch Danny come out with a second album, sing on AI10, have a small movie role in April. And he hasn’t even announced his tour plans yet.

    Plenty of sob stories – I just laugh when people are irritated when Idol highlights them- this has been and is half of what reality TV AI is about; human interest.

    But Idol is smart enough to not let people get too far who have marginal talent. Maybe they learned their lesson after Sanjaya.

    Chris seems like a wonderful guy; admirable human being but his talent was mediocre from what I saw.

  • Lucy1234

    I think after the Danny Gokey thing

    Not sure what Danny Gokey thing you are talking about. Oh Wait, are you talking about the constant abuse he received? There is a HUGE difference between Chris and Danny IMO in that Danny could and can really sing – Chris not so much. Danny deserved to go far on AI – Chris was just an average singer IMO. Further, since leaving Idol, Danny has proven that he is a fantastic live performer and his sales have been solid for someone outside the top 2. I realize there are those still in denial reference Mr. Gokey’s talents, but the reality is, Danny deserved his 3d place finish on AI and I suspect he’ll be around for a while longer since he is working on his 2d album.

  • songsungblue

    LOL! I’m not at all ‘in denial’ about Danny’s talents – I frankly don’t think he has any. On the other hand, while Hokey Gokey is certainly godawful, Medina is even worse. Ugh. I mean, I wish the guy luck with his life and all – but he has the performing charisma of a cast-off from Luxembourg’s Got Talent.

    What are they going to come up with next year? Conjoined twin singers? It boggles the mind.

  • tripp_ncwy

    This is going to set a precedent. It seems anyone who gets cut should be able to get out there and put out a single for immediate release.

    I don’t have a problem with it. Just look at how Glee dominates single sales after a show. It’s an incentive to the contestants to put forth their best efforts and you may get an original song released.

  • sma11ie

    Soo… will they be pushing this to radio, or is this just a one-time effort to cash in on Medina’s current buzz through iTunes?

  • musicality

    Idol is really losing it. It’s becoming nothing more than one great big commercial. Between JLo pimping her CD and now this. It’s going to create a big back lash. The market is going to be oversaturated with idol stuff. It’s like Glee. When the show first came on they took over iTunes now they want to do it with every contestant that darkens Idol’s door? Does Fox want to own iTunes? People are going to get tired of it.

  • http://emuisemo.pbworks.com eilonwy

    I don’t think it’s the “show”….it’s Universal Music. So, it would appear as I mentioned before, that they’ve changed the contract. It’s not as restrictive and the contestants don’t have to wait until after the show to sign.

    Do we know that Medina’s been signed by Interscope for any project beyond this one single?

    All one would have to change in the contract is to make 19R/Interscope the releasing label for any music during the non-compete period (including, say, iTunes releases of studio versions of Idol performances). With Interscope being much more involved in the show than the Sony labels were, that modification wouldn’t surprise me. Under that scenario, contestants still wouldn’t be able to sign with a label until the usual post-show waiting period had elapsed.

  • sagi

    Don’t shoot me, but I think it is kind of admirable of the show to hear Chris’ story and be touched to help him out. I think they knew he did not have what it took to be a solid contestant, but by giving him and his story camera time and get it out there, and giving him a single for people to buy, it may really help out with medical/caretaking expenses, which have to be unimaginable. Yes, it may have been taking advantage of the viewing audience to some extent, I think their hearts were in the right place. It really is a touching story if you can get past the show. Just my opinion after some thoughtful reflection on the subject

  • karenc

    I don’t see a problem. And I think that this story reached beyond the AI audience. People I know that never watched Idol before had heard about this story, and I know someone who never watched happened to catch when Chris did his audition and started watching because of it. So, you’re right, this helps both the show and Chris and his family. Really, it’s a good break for him too, if the single does well. I kind of wonder if this is better for him with his situation than actually being a finalist on Idol.

    I did like Chris at his first audition, but I agree he didn’t do as well in HW from what we’ve seen. I understand somepeople like him and some don’t. But if someone doesn’t like him, they don’t have to buy the single.

    The weird part is knowing that he supposedly just found out about a week ago and that they put this together so fast. I know the producers knew about this before, though. And I almost was wondering even before this if Jlo’s breakdown was acted because she seemed fine when she was talking to him, or if this was decided afterwards.

  • GreenHippo

    i wonder what ever happened to the song that ellen n kara were suppose to have made for Angela Martin when she didnt get in the top 20 last year

    I am wondering about that too, Does anyone know?? Or where could we inquire?

  • yaddabing

    Well, look at the bright side. If they’re doing all of this for a top 24-reject, imagine what they’ll do for the winner.

  • LoveDaRocker

    I will succinctly point out what needs to be said in light of so much outrage.
    Most people, and obviously the show, did not believe Chris had the goods to be the next american idol, so they cut him.

    The show is giving the guy a break by entering into a potentially money losing proposition and giving the guy a single and a video. Chris can only win in this. The show may win, but may loose too.

    I don’t see the problem, and in fact, I commend the show for putting their money where their mouth is and trying to fulfill some kid’s dream.

  • bridgette12

    songsungblue:
    02/24/2011 at 5:06 pm
    What are they going to come up with next year? Conjoined twin singers? It boggles the mind.

    LOL! Don’t worry they will top themselves. They will find a guy who had two wives pass away and the second one died giving birth to his twin boys, who desperately need a operation to save their life and that’s why he came on Idol. The sky’s limit when it comes to Idols need to outdo themselves each year with these sob stories.

  • fanaround

    If their plan is to do this for all or a lot of the contestants, then Chris is lucky to have gotten booted now, and not as one of the 12 who leave after the semis. The interest is high. I think they will pick and choose for whom they do this.

  • St.Lucia

    Then what the hell is the importance of American Idol?

    Look I can not make the Top 24 and watch me get a record deal anyway!

    I mean we can argue I suppose that American Idol hasn’t exactly produced a superstar the way ANTM hasn’t produced a supermodel either so the show is entertainment value only. However, that HAS to feel like somewhat a slap in the face to all the other contestants still in the show.

    The way this was handled and the timing of this is so wrong.

  • http://mjsbigblog.com/luvadamlamberts-american-idol-tour-2009-washington-dc-re-cap.htm luvadamlambert

    That was fast!

  • LoveDaRocker

    I mean we can argue I suppose that American Idol hasn’t exactly produced a superstar the way ANTM hasn’t produced a supermodel

    Kelly, Carrie, Daughtry, and J-Hud are superstars.
    Many others are making a living out of the show too.
    The show is for entertainment, but the comparison with ANTM is ridic.

  • St.Lucia

    Kelly, Carrie, Daughtry, and J-Hud are superstars.
    Many others are making a living out of the show too.
    The show is for entertainment, but the comparison with ANTM is ridic.

    Let me rephrase that…winning American Idol doesn’t mean anything. Not really. There have been two “successful” winners….Carrie and Kelly, and others who have become quite successful otherwise…but weren’t winners. My comparison to ANTM(while ridiculous) is that that these shows aren’t putting a big ending prize on “Winning” anymore.

    That was my point. I find it kind of insulting to make such a big deal of being the next superstar the way American Idol a lot of times does, or even making it to the Top 24, Top 12 for a shot, when the prize isn’t even worthwhile anymore. If we like you….we’ll give you a shot…competition aside.

  • gangreen29

    Let me rephrase that…winning American Idol doesn’t mean anything. Not really. There have been two “successful” winners….Carrie and Kelly, and others who have become quite successful otherwise…but weren’t winners.

    Ruben, Fantasia, Jordin, and David C all have platinum albums. In my book that is successful.

  • wjmtv

    gangreen29:

    Ruben, Fantasia, Jordin, and David C all have platinum albums. In my book that is successful.

    I’ll go even further. Are they paying the bills with their music? That’s success to me.

  • chessguy99

    This is interesting. The Green Mile footage was shot last Wednesday. Now in just eight days we have a complete new single and a video. Who else sees that Medina’s story arc was in motion for this from the start. That they never intended for him to be in the Top 24.

  • girlygirl

    There are a whole bunh of former Idols who are paying their bills through their music. Otherwise they would have had to go find a “regular” job by now.

    I don’t like the whole exploitative feel of this Chris Medina single/video. He didn’t make the Top 24, so why is he being rewarded? I don’t blame him for agreeing to this, because who wouldn’t, right? And if he can make some money to help pay his fiancee’s medical bills, well, again, why wouldn’t he take this opportunity. But if it wasn’t for his sob story, he wouldn’t be getting any a single/video/Leno appearance, and it really isn’t fair to the more successful people who wee on Idol who haven’t gotten anywhere near this type of promotion.

    But then, who ever said the music biz, or Idol (or life in general) was fair, right?

  • girlygirl

    I’m betting that this won’t work out as AI/19 wants it too, BTW. The single will likely sell a few thousand copies right after it drops and after the Leno appearance, and then go away — because few people outside the AI bubble has a clue who this guy is.

    ETA – Unless somehow the song turns out to be fantastic, resulting in radio stations wanting to play it and the video getting heavy rotation on VH1/MTV for weeks. Then, it might work out. But that seems like an extreme longshot to me (esp. since Chris M, in my opinion, is a mediocre singer)

  • ptslittlecomment

    According to Chris Medina’s official facebook page he will be on CNN’s Showbiz Tonight tonight. A post also says his song is not ready for download today, but AI continues to say it is, correct?

  • LoveDaRocker

    I would agree that AI does over-hype how big of a star they can produce. That said, at least during their winning year, winners, and some of the other finalists, are superstars: they go on an arena tour, the make a good deal of money, and they are given resources to make an album other artists can only dream of.
    What happens next is all on them, and they know this.

  • tripp_ncwy

    What would be the fallout if Chris’ single ends up selling more 1st week and total sales than S9 top 2?

  • St.Lucia

    This is interesting. The Green Mile footage was shot last Wednesday. Now in just eight days we have a complete new single and a video. Who else sees that Medina’s story arc was in motion for this from the start. That they never intended for him to be in the Top 24.

    I agree completely.

    Ruben, Fantasia, Jordin, and David C all have platinum albums. In my book that is successful.

    You are right, they are. I would consider them successful….but they were at least ON THE SHOW. I understand that what we deem as winners can vary, but I still feel like Chris getting this now, feels like an insult to the rest of the remaining contestants on the show. Oh look, Chris gets a video and a song out and he didn’t even NEED the show…he gets it anyway! (Just for the record, I don’t feel the show really starts until we get into the Top 24….so some may feel he’s on the show) I felt that focused shifted a while back from not needing to win to be considered successful(I worded my previous comment badly), and getting sometimes far into the competition could that for you, but now it’s like who even needs American Idol? A good sob story, mediocre vocals in my opinion, and some feign interest might get you success too.

  • Trina

    In my area Showbiz Tonight was on already. Chris was in the studio and IMO very gracious. He didn’t know about JLo breaking down until he watched the show. They pimped the single and Leno, Chris said he’s honored to be working with someone of Darkchilds calabre. The host said he touched so many hearts..

  • readon

    AI is trying to pull off a SuBo. Of course, SuBo sings better than Chris, but Chris has a hell of a backstory.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    lol this news makes jlo’s breakdown seem even more MADE UP than i already thought it was

    I’m starting to be a bit suspicious of this as well. It all just seems so contrived.

  • JosieX

    I see no compelling reason as to why American Idol should make decisions as if it operates in some alternate reality where the marketplace doesn’t get to decide who will be a success and who won’t. That is determined by a number of factors, including quality of voice. Being popular with viewers is certainly a huge factor. Sometimes that correlates with talent (as with Danny Gokey), sometimes not so much. That’s how the business operates (Are the biggest sellers the best singers? Lol!). Therefore, that’s how American Idol operates. Makes sense to me. Chris has captured America’s interest, that’s worth money. Hopefully he will get to keep some of it.

  • girlygirl

    I don’t think many people outside the AI bubble have a clue who Chris Medina is.

  • JosieX

    Well, the AI audience is pretty big. And the Leno audience is decent sized too. If people care, that’s low hanging fruit. $$$

  • http://emuisemo.pbworks.com eilonwy

    I don’t think many people outside the AI bubble have a clue who Chris Medina is.

    It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of sales Medina can manage with the planned PR push. I do know that my local CHR station — which generally doesn’t play Idol winners — was discussing his elimination during the morning show, as well as how they’d accidentally “spoiled” it during an interview with Jennifer Lopez earlier in the week. If the dude is appearing on Leno, there’s some presumption that his story will be appealing to a broader audience than Idol.

    I’m absolutely not predicting… but very curious how this is going to play out.

  • Cuanto lo Siento