Chris Medina – What Are Words – The Tonight Show

American Idol 10 Top 40 contestant, Chris Medina, performed his single “What Are Words” on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Watch him perform the tune with Rickey Minor and the band after the jump.

Download What Are Words

Video after the JUMP…

  • ptslittlecomment

    Good job, obviously nervous, but then again, who wouldn’t be under these circumstances. Still do not agree with him parading out the fiancée, but he is making it work for him. And hopefully it is benefitting her.

    Also more self-aware than the Idol contestant I once believed him to be like, so at least he is capable of a humorous and concise interview.

  • jammasta

    I love this guy, I just wish he were a better singer. I liked that interview but the song wasn’t all that great.

  • J9BT

    For not having training on live TV performances, I thought he did a great job! I bought the single – it sounds better than the live performance. It’s up to #55 on ITunes now!

  • jaybee

    Well I will say he is MUCH better in interview than he is as a live singer..I could see him landing a reality show..it would be an easy sell, but we’ll see..

  • Dlynne

    It’s so ironic that Ricky Minor and his band is backing up an Idol contestant.

    I think he did a good job. He didn’t have quite the range necessary for the song but he’s such a nice guy, it’s hard to be critical. I hope he sells a lot of copies of the song.

  • poster

    What a nice, unassuming guy. I’m not really following Idol this season, but this guy seems genuine and sincere. Doesn’t look like the fame is affecting him. I like that. Song was nice, too.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Chris did a nice job in the interview. Seems like a genuine guy. I like this song, but unfortunately, I think that it was beyond Chris’ abilities to sing it well. I hope that a lot of money is donated to Juliana’s recovery fund.

  • LoveDaRocker

    I think that went well.

  • Marie Ruffin

    Good job, obviously nervous, but then again, who wouldn’t be under these circumstances. Still do not agree with him parading out the fiancée, but he is making it work for him. And hopefully it is benefitting her.

    All the money in the world couldn’t buy the exposure he’s gotten. There are singers/celebs who would die to be in his spot, he should feel grateful. I still don’t believe that Rodney J wrote the song on the spot, but it was probably somewhere in his music vault that he brought out.

    Didn’t know he tried out for Idol before…I don’t remember him from past shows.
    About Juliana….9 years dating? When did they start, in their teens? Hmmm….were they ever going to get married? 7 years is the max…if you’re not married after 7 years, it’s over. This is not MO, it’s the counselor’s opinion.
    The song is meh. Easy listening. He didn’t sing it with a lot of passion.

  • lucysfave

    Chris did a very nice interview and I liked his performance, too.

    I see this as a good thing from Idol. Best wishes to Chris and Juliana.

  • larc

    Chris would have never been on Leno but for poor Juliana. Come to think of it, he would likely never have made it as far as he did on Idol without her. There is something basically wrongheaded about him getting performance mileage out of her sad situation. Heaven knows he’s not good enough to do it on his own.

  • Yvonne13

    Chris would have never been on Leno but for poor Juliana. Come to think of it, he would likely never have made it as far as he did on Idol without her. There is something basically wrongheaded about him getting performance mileage out of her sad situation. Heaven knows he’s not good enough to do it on his own.

    You took the words right out of my mouth. His 15 minutes will be up next week anyway. People like to buy when they feel they are doing a good deed, so if the song, which personally I don’t like, is at #55 or higher as I write, it doesn’t surprise me.

  • ItsMyT1me

    I don’t know if this has been posted elsewhere on this site as I’ve been away for awhile, but here is the official video. No, Chris is not the best singer and he knows it but he delivers such a meaningful performance that I cannot be cynical. This is real and I hope to God that none of us ever have to deal with such a crushing, life-changing experience. I also hope the best for Chris and Juliana, wherever they end up in life.
    http://video.aol.com/video-detail/chris-medina-what-are-words/2805383636

  • suziq

    I think he did a great job. I hope the Idol experience brought some joy into their lives. When all is said and done (sob story aside), he seems like a good guy. All the best to Chris and Juliana and their families.

  • http://myspace.com/girlgeek mj

    I don’t know if this has been posted elsewhere on this site

    Like, two posts ago ;).

  • emme

    I like him. The world needs more people like him. I don’t think that he “paraded” his girlfriend out to gain any advantage. I just think that this is his life and he is living it with her. I can see him auditioning for Idol because of her and why shouldn’t she come to see him when he auditions. It is the IDOL producers that pimped her out for ratings. If they get any benefit from this good for them, I’m sure her rehab is very expensive. Go Sell Some Singles!!!

  • nncw

    The problem with blogs is people who know very little about a person feel they can judge or criticize them without impunity – until you have walked in his shoes I would not be so quick to cast aspersions on his motives. What you can say is the song is touching and relevant to his situation and it seems he even realizes the limit to his singing as he was quite humble in the interview regarding his chances of passing through to the next round. I would think that Julianna has to consent to whatever exposure she has had on the show and hopefully it will help her and those who support her to have a better quality of life and cope with the challenges ahead.

  • 10DogMom

    Re 7 years as the max – LOL. Husband and I lived together 13 years before we got married. It happens, ya know.

  • Miss Blue

    I’m not really following Idol this season

    Do yourself a favor and start watching. Quite the talented bunch this year and Nigel has sprung for better material.

    Good on Chris. The guy is milking this for all he’s worth, intentionally. And I would do the same thing. He’s doing it to help his gf, not for personal glory. The ends are most certainly justifying the means on this one.

  • Trina

    LOL wut? I met my husband in high school when I was 15 and he was 16 and we didnt get married till I was 24. We wanted to wait until we were financially secure and finished with college. There is no timestamp on that sort of thing.

  • ptslittlecomment

    In the long run though it looks like the fiancée is really the one taking care of the both. Medina got the media attention because of her, and it is because of her that he got the song deal, the video and the gig on the Tonight Show. She is his meal ticket, not the other way around. If it had been up to his talent he would have just gone back to being a struggling musician, like the other 15 people who were dismissed by the AI judges. The reality of it is that if he ever does want to be a full-time artist his talent is now linked to her and this moment in time. She is how he made his mark. I hope they can both live with that.

  • Summer

    wow, can’t believe what I’m reading.

    1) do not agree with him parading out the fiancée

    Her mom said she was so excited to go to Idol, and meeting Steve Tyler was a highlight of her life. She said they are trying to get her out of the house more, to reintegrate her back into her life.

    2)Hmmm….were they ever going to get married? 7 years is the max…if you’re not married after 7 years, it’s over.

    The car accident happened 2 months prior to their wedding date. They had been dating approx 7 years by then, and it’s been almost 2 years since the accident= 9 years. So they do fall into your arbitrary 7 year range for dating before a wedding.

    3) it looks like the fiancée is really the one taking care of the both. Medina got the media attention because of her, She is his meal ticket, not the other way around.

    Now if he had just met her a month before trying out, yeah, I could see the cynicism , but he was with this girl for almost 9 years before he went on idol, and he had previously tried out before her accident, I don’t see this as a devious plot to use her to get onto idol.
    As for him not taking care of her, and her being the meal ticket, sheesh!!!! He has spent every day being there with her, physically taking care of her, emotionally being there for her, accepting her as the girlfriend he loved despite such devastating changes in her looks and abilities. All that is worth SO MUCH MORE than any amount of money you could throw at her.
    And the publicity he has gotton on Idol has resulted in donations of an accessible van for julie, a new furnace for her parent’s house ( which they needed and couldn’t afford) and many other offers of people offering to help out with her physical care and of donations.

    edit

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Chris was remarkably candid in this interview with the LA Times regarding his future with Juliana:

    THR: Do you still plan to get married?

    Medina: I sure hope so, that’s the goal. I’ve already told myself that it’s okay that she’s in a wheelchair. It doesn’t mean anything to me. It’s okay if she has a hard time speaking. What’s not okay is if in a couple years, she’s not 100% and we can’t could have a conversation with each other, because that’s the essence of a relationship. I don’t mind helping her into her car, but I don’t want to be feeding her or taking her to the bathroom everyday from this day forward. I want her to become somewhat independent. Those are more my own personal issues, and I know that it might be rough for a lot of people to hear, but that’s the truth of the matter. To me, Juliana is still beautiful, but I want to be able to sit down and have a meaningful conversation with my wife… I want to get to a point where I feel less like a caretaker and more like a fiancé. But to say, “We’re not going to get married until you get better” is unfair to her, too. So the only thing I say is: “Babe, if you keep trying, I’ll keep trying.” And that’s the truth.

    THR: Does Juliana have decent health insurance?

    Medina: She’s on my health insurance from (working at) Starbucks. They recognized her as my domestic partner because I had been living with her for eight years. After (the audition episode) aired, I had no idea that it was going to blow up the way it did. People donated equipment, a van, money, offered to pay for hospital bills, a few doctors offered their services for free. It wasn’t like I wanted to be an “American Idol,” I just wanted to help her and had to figure out a way to do it. Because steaming foamy milk is not going to cut it. And I think I did something really good for her and her family. I accomplished it.

  • ptslittlecomment

    As for him not taking care of her, and her being the meal ticket, sheesh!!!!

    Never said he didn’t take care of her. What he is doing is admirable!Great for him!

    I’m only saying that he has achieved this level of fame because of her. She is really the one generating the sales of his song and video. His talent isn’t that strong at this point. I am glad that she, he and her family are getting the donations and money that they need. Fantastic! But she needs to be recognized for the part she played in it as well. Good for her. Good for him. May they be blessed as they continue.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Her mom said she was so excited to go to Idol, and meeting Steve Tyler was a highlight of her life. She said they are trying to get her out of the house more, to reintegrate her back into her life.

    What made me feel uncomfortable about Juliana being shown on AI was her mother’s account of her reaction to seeing herself on television. Juliana became very upset, began hitting herself and didn’t want to see herself. I don’t begrudge any of the help or donations that she’s been given, but I just felt so badly when I heard how she reacted. Chris admitted that he went on Idol to get help for her (and is pleased that it’s “worked”), but given Juliana’s reaction I question whether or not she consented to appearing on the show, or anywhere else on television.

  • steph6449

    What made me feel uncomfortable about Juliana being shown on AI was her mother’s account of her reaction to seeing herself on television. Juliana became very upset, began hitting herself and didn’t want to see herself. I don’t begrudge any of the help or donations that she’s been given, but I just felt so badly when I heard how she reacted.

    I read something about that. Was the mom saying though that overall she regretted doing it? The first quotes I read from the mom were favorable on the whole experience, though in a later one she mentioned that Juliana got upset.

    With those two statements from the mom (probably were more but that’s all I read), I just took it that they are trying to support Juliana in doing more things, being out more with people and it’s a process where it may have ups and downs. She may have gotten upset temporarily, but that might not be reason to regret having done it at all. Growing pains and all that.

  • Summer

    Steph6449-
    Juli’s mom has consistently said that despite not liking the way she looked onTV, Juli has greatly benefitted emotionally from the events stemming from Chris being on Idol.
    ( and seriously, how many of us don’t like the way we look on TV? )
    Here is what Juli’s mom had to say about it:

    With all the increased attention, we have also exposed ourselves to the biting criticism of those who proclaim they know what is best for MY child. They have taken my blogs and reproduced them to attempt to prove their theory but their very limited knowledge of Juliana (or anyone with a brain injury) is the very flaw in their logic.
    Perhaps they should spend their time being grateful of that instead of assuming I should remove all the uncomfortable things from my daughter’s life in order to make THEM feel justified in their discomfort at being exposed to it.

    Those that have been following can attest to all that I would have to “remove” simply because she doesn’t like it: exercise, therapy, counseling, stretching, socializing, visiting the doctor, brushing her hair, swallowing, brushing her teeth, smiling. They tried to conclude that my daughter’s interpretation of her appearance is evidence that she should be sequestered from the most anticipated part of her life, which is FINALLY bringing evidence of joy.
    She also knows that in spite of all her limitations, she WANTS to be a part of this excitement even if she doesn’t like her appearance.

  • Miss Blue

    As far as Juliana getting upset, well, that’s just too bad. She needs complete care, 24/7. I have no issue at all with the family/Chris doing whatever it takes to be sure they can manage her care and provide for her.

    This little Idol gig has brought HER more benefits than anyone else. Chris will soon go back to being an unknown, spending every day of his young life taking complete care of this young woman. But it will be a little bit easier logistically because of what the publicity has garnered for them.

  • Summer

    ptslittlecomment:
    Never said he didn’t take care of her. What he is doing is admirable!Great for him!

    You said that the fiance was taking care of them both, and that she was his meal ticket. Sorry if I misinterpreted your words .

  • Summer

    Juli’s mom wrote about Juli watching Chris on Jay Leno last night- and also couldn’t say enough about how wonderful Chris has been throughout this.

    From her FB page blog:
    Can you really think of any better medicine for depression than having the handsome talented love of your life sing a song about how devoted they are to you? Then to take it a step further and have that same man go on national television to talk about you and then sing that song? I certainly can’t. In fact, all the pills and therapies Juliana has tried up to this point have not amounted to the quality of improvement this single event has had on her emotional state. She listened to Chris’ song, “What Are Words’ and said, clear as can be, “That is the best I have ever heard him sound. He is singing about me, right?” Oh girl, you know it. She watched his video and said she wanted to cry. She asked to go on Facebook…ASKED…so she could comment on his song and video. She is so incredibly proud of him, as we all are but it we are seeing it on Juli and that visibility is overwhelming us all.

    Here is her facebook page for anyone who wants to read the entire posting.
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=166135780978

  • http://myspace.com/girlgeek mj

    Reminder:

    Dial back the anger, defensiveness and commentary on fellow posters please.

    I am editing/deleting comments.

  • Summer

    ptslittlecomment:
    02/26/2011 at 11:44 am
    The reality of it is that if he ever does want to be a full-time artist his talent is now linked to her and this moment in time. She is how he made his mark. I hope they can both live with that.

    Judging from his interview posted above, Juli’s reaction to his being on Idol and Leno, and her mom’s description of how much joy Juli has experienced due to Chris being on Idol, I would say that yes, they both can live with that!

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Perhaps they should spend their time being grateful of that instead of assuming I should remove all the uncomfortable things from my daughter’s life in order to make THEM feel justified in their discomfort at being exposed to it.

    My issue wasn’t my “discomfort” at being “exposed to” Juliana on television, it was feeling uncomfortable at Juliana’s own reaction to seeing herself on television. I realize that this exposure via AI was all aimed at getting help for Juliana and it seemed to have been successful, but IMO, there’s a difference between treatments/activities that are a part of Juliana’s ongoing recovery that she doesn’t like, but are necessary for her to progress vs. having video of her on television for millions to see and her becoming upset at seeing it. JMO.

  • Summer

    fuzzywuzzy:
    there’s a difference between treatments/activities that are a part of Juliana’s ongoing recovery that she doesn’t like, but are necessary for her to progress vs. having video of her on television for millions to see and her becoming upset at seeing it. JMO.

    Well the way I see it is that socialization is a HUGE part of her recovery. According to her mom she was very excited to go to Idol, to meet Steve Tyler, and to be part of the ‘excitement’. She was also very excited to hear that Oprah had talked about her on her show.
    It wasn’t until AFTER she participated in this event, which she knew was being televised, that she saw herself on TV and didn’t like the way she looked.
    No one knew at the time she was going to have that reaction- and it’s a quite normal reaction! Even for people like me and you- although we, not being brain injured, would have other ways of expressing our dislike of seeing ourselves on TV.
    So do you prevent her from attending an event that she wants to attend, and that she gets great pleasure out of experiencing, because of not being able to see into the future?

    It’s not like they had a video of her in her wheelchair, and knew she hated that video of herself, yet released that video to the media against her wishes. That’s not the way it happened, so I see no fault in how these events unfolded.

  • ri

    bottom line: Chris is a stand-up guy and there aren’t enough of those kind of people in the world these days…so you go, Chris. wish all of you the best.

  • Mtlfan

    he did well! I wish some radio stations will pick up this song so it sells more.
    I wish them all the best!

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    It is what it is. Chris Medina seems like a decent guy, but not a very good singer.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    It wasn’t until AFTER she participated in this event, which she knew was being televised, that she saw herself on TV and didn’t like the way she looked.

    I didn’t read anywhere that Juliana knew that she would be televised. However, I imagine that all the people who accompany a contestant have to sign a waiver indicating that any video footage of them can be used by the producers in any way that they want, and that footage can be given/sold to any other media that they want.

    It’s not like they had a video of her in her wheelchair, and knew she hated that video of herself, yet released that video to the media against her wishes. That’s not the way it happened, so I see no fault in how these events unfolded.

    Is that true? Was she aware that the videos taken in her home were going to be broadcast to millions of people? I didn’t read that on her mother’s facebook. I would have assumed that her mother would have mentioned that in her blog to defend her actions. From the blogs that I’ve read by Juliana’s mother, they expected that Juliana would react badly to being shown on television in her present state, so isn’t that the same as knowingly allowing the broadcast of video that Juliana would be unhappy about? Would you please direct me to where her mother indicated that Juliana gave consent that her home videos could be broadcast?

  • Studio57

    I am pretty sure Rodney J. wrote this with Medina in mind because he used his quote from his audition: “what kind of a man ( guy) would I be if I left when she needed me most. As soon as I heard Medina say those words I thought they would be perfect in a song.I wonder if that would be considered a writing credit.

    Am I the ONLY person who bawled my eyes out watching this? I actually have a headache right now, lol.

    Good on Chris Medina for getting the help he needs for his loved one. Wish them well.

  • tessa

    What a beautiful song and he sang it very well. I think this is great for Chris and Juliana.

  • ptslittlecomment

    You said that the fiance was taking care of them both, and that she was his meal ticket. Sorry if I misinterpreted your words .

    I think it all boils down to the different way we see the term “meal-ticket”. I think it is interest in her – not him- that is driving the media attention, as well as any sales prodction of the song. I think she is getting the sales and she deserves that credit. And I also think that means she is earning her share of the load, therefore she is -at least in part – earning the money. While he did the work, auditioning for AI and performing the song, she is pulling her share of the load here too.

    Judging from his interview posted above, Juli’s reaction to his being on Idol and Leno, and her mom’s description of how much joy Juli has experienced due to Chris being on Idol, I would say that yes, they both can live with that!

    Good. I hope so. I also hope that – GOD forbid – if anything happens to their relationship or to his fiancee herself and Medina tries to make it as an artist, he can deal with being known for having the fiancee with a disability rather than his talent.

    ETA: EVERY artist has to get his/her foot in the door somehow. Some come to regret the way they started, some don’t. Yet first impressions never completely die. If they are happy with this – and I don’t see why they aren’t- then Godspeed.

  • Suzanne

    Felt pretty sad watching that clip. The song was really simple writing; Chris sang okay but not great. But the message of the song–so depressing knowing that Julie may never recover. What if Chris wants kids or a life with someone who isn’t severely handicapped?

    I hope a lot of people buy the single and that the proceeds devoted to assist Julie are helpful. But the song? Bummer.

  • IdolThoughts

    If Chris and Juliana can get ANYTHING positive out of their horrible, awful experience…Amen to that. I wish them the very best and I hope that they’re able to make a lot of money and get her the very best care. He did an admirable job on the Tonight Show. I also hope he gets to continue pursuing something that he is passionate about besides Juliana. He is a young man and I’m sure has trouble balancing between his obligations, his passions and just being a young person.

  • LK11

    This little Idol gig has brought HER more benefits than anyone else. Chris will soon go back to being an unknown, spending every day of his young life taking complete care of this young woman. But it will be a little bit easier logistically because of what the publicity has garnered for them.

    They should enjoy their fleeting attention. Good for him for staying by her side through all of this. That is amazing!

  • iluvai

    It’s so amazing for a young man to have this kind of integrity. I think what he is trying to do is amazing. I hope my daughters have devoted partners like him some day.

  • tripp_ncwy

    Chris is really getting other there.

    OfficialMedina
    Man last night was awesome, crazy to be on Leno, then OK! Magazine academy award party last night; Rolling Stone party with @LeeDeWyze 2nite
    7 minutes ago via web

  • revcat

    I was in a serious car accident about one and a half years ago and I could have wound up paralyzed, thank goodness I wasn’t. Anyone can have their life change on a dime and nobody knows how they would handle it. I can’t imagine being as young as Chris and sticking to his commitment to his fiance knowing that they will probably never have the life they once envisioned. If he is getting any enjoyment out of his “15 minutes of fame” he deserves it and apparently she is aware enough to also enjoy it. God bless both of them (and I’m not even religious!). It’s also nice to know that despite their super stardom J-Lo and Steven Tyler are genuinely compassionate people. I love both of them!

  • Daniel B

    Just my opinion, but I think the song is beautiful and meaningful, and I think the guy sings it really well. It also seems quite clear to me that he’s completely sincere and trying to do the right thing for his fiance and family. To me that’s the very definition of what a ‘real man’ does, and worthy of admiration

    I love the song, and I will be picking it up from Itunes.

  • ravengirl

    I am sad for the cynics who think there is exploitation or gimmicks or agendas and that’s it. i make my living as a cynic (a journalist) and I have to say I have not been this moved by a story and by the courage and heart of a man for the love of his woman in ages. I am happy the song seems to be doing well, and I hope it continues to rise on the charts. If there was ever a person who deserved good things to come into his life it is Chris Medina.
    Maybe I feel this way because when I was in my early 20s I, too, was in a bad crash — not as bad as Juliana’s, thank God, but enough that it took me a long time to completely heal. I had a longtime boyfriend, the love of my life. I thought we would be together forever. But he bailed. Looking into my mangled face, my broken body was just too much for him.
    Chris is something special.
    My hope is his new-found fame will afford some voice lessons so he can improve the gift he has, which I admit is not, say, Adam Lambert caliber. I hope he writes songs with heart and courage. I hope Juliana continues to improve, and I hope the cynics among you will open up your hearts again. Life is too short. Remember that.