'American Idol': Was Chris Medina's audition the most touching 'Idol' moment ever, or the most exploitative?

We are used to American Idol pulling our heartstrings during the audition round, and in last night’s stop in Milwaukee (fittingly, the home of Danny Gokey), we got one that probably made you cry like a baby. Contestant Chris Medina has been with his fiancée for eight years, almost three of which they’ve been engaged. In October 2009, two months before their vows, she was in an accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury that left her in a coma for a month-and-a-half. Medina and her mother are now her caregivers. “What kind of guy would I be if I walked out when she needed me the most?” he said, after footage of him helping her walk down stairs and getting her comfortable in her wheelchair played. His fiancée was among those he brought with him to the audition. If he made it to Hollywood, it would give her something to be happy about again, and he would feel like he had already won something, he said. After Medina nailed his rendition of The Script’s “Breakeven,” the judges told him they wanted to meet his fiancée. Medina said “that would make her day,” and she was wheeled in. Watch below. The judges introduced themselves, and Steven Tyler sweetly kissed her on the head and told her that Medina had sung beautifully, which he suspected was because he sings to her all the time. When Medina exited to the cheers of his family, it was his fiancée holding the golden ticket and raising it victoriously. She whispered something to him — “I knew it.” 

What was your reaction to what is obviously a painful, touching story that deserves a happy ending? We have to look at it from two sides: Medina’s and the producers. We have to trust that Medina wasn’t using his fiancée to get producers’ attention, and that she really wanted to be there to support him so he could remember why those lyrics meant something to him. Even if he was subconsciously hoping his difficult story would garner a little favoritism from the producers and judges, can you truly fault him (again, assuming she wanted to be there)? There are thousands and thousands of people auditioning. He knows he has the voice to back it up. And this is his story. If he’s helping to care for her, she’s never NOT on his mind. To him, I’m sure the moment felt nothing but true and genuine. And that’s what makes the Idol producers feel okay about showing it. That, and it’s “good TV.”

As a viewer, did I feel manipulated? Yes. It’s a dangerous game Medina and producers are playing. Some viewers will root harder for him, knowing both his character and what kind of difference winning this competition could make in his (and her) life. Others, who like to think of American Idol as a singing competition and not a TV show, may resent the fact that he didn’t try to make it through the audition round at least on his talent alone — when he has the voice to do it. Instead, we had to hold our breath, praying that he could actually sing after hearing his story. If he makes it to the viewer voting rounds, there will always be the question of why people are dialing his number.

One final thought, which may be one I should keep to myself, but I’m gonna be honest: I have enough drama in my own life right now with an ill father. I don’t know that I can handle getting invested in Medina’s story and worrying about whether he’ll make it through the next round for his fiancée’s sake. It’s stress I don’t need, and I have to fight the urge not to resent him and the producers for it. I just want to tune into Idol and hear people sing, preferably well, so Tyler leans forward in his chair. (It’s that little action, truthfully, that has breathed new life into the show for me. He genuinely appreciates it when someone’s good.) Am I the only who feels like that? Or is anyone else planning on forgoing the rest of the audition shows because you know they’ll always go for the waterworks with that final contestant?


More American Idol:
Annie Barrett’s recap: Now that’s what I call a sob story!
EW’s American Idol Central
Photo Gallery: 15 faces of Steven Tyler

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  • Rick Oltman

    I love the way Steven Tyler got up close, hugged her, and kissed her cheek; very touching indeed.

    • rita

      Rick, I think or maybe I was seeing thing but Stephen T. also said something to her mother. It was touching at best and thankfully he sang well..We shall see but I have to admit regardless of whether it was manipulative and it was on some level it was more touching..

      • calistoga

        My heart goes out to Medina, Juliana, and their families. As with all tragedies, it just doesn’t seem fair. May God bless them. In the meantime, American Idol is (firstly) a contest looking for the best singers we can find and (secondly) it is entertainment.

        I did not appreciate Gokey taking advantage of Idol air time for HIS cause. When we went to see the live Idol concert, we had to hear a pitch for HIS cause again! We are not unsympathetic, but there is something very wrong with the picture Gokey was painting for us, and the producers for allowing it!

        Last week, I was encouraged that Idol wasn’t going to allow so many freaky, delusional, silly, or nasty people to fill up the air time. Am disappointed that producers of the Milwaukee visit allowed it anyway (even though they found some of the BEST singers ever!!). Let’s hope Lythgoe does let this drag on. He has been our shining ray of hope~~~

      • calistoga

        Mandi, you are not alone in your feelings as far as I’m concerned. If nothing else, this incident has shown more people the ‘true colors’ of Steven Tyler, and NOT to judge a book by its cover. Tyler’s knowledge of song & singer is deep, and his love of song & singer is passionate and sincere.
        The rapport he has with his co-judges is a joy to watch.

        Like you, Mandi, many of us are dealing with enough tragic drama in our daily lives. When we’re lucky to invest 2 or 3 hours for TV viewing, we do not want to share in someone else’s tragic drama. The producers had to have encouraged him to have Juliana available for filming. I find that shameful… no better than paparazzi. Of the 100-plus going to Hollywood so far, Medina really does not qualify. I pray, for Juliana’s sake, they don’t drag this out.

      • TorontoTom

        Have to say, I found it touching. Hearing him say, “What kind of guy would I be to just abandon her?” was really moving and a good thing for the masses to hear. Yeah, there’s lots of good singers out there but good human beings are not as plentiful on TV anymore (i.e. Gosselins, Kardashians, Jersey Shore, et al). Chris and his fiancee’s story was inspiring and I’d rather watch that kind of uplifting TV than the Humiliation TV kind of crap on 24/7.

      • heart

        I thought it was amazing. Oh come on, why would you even say exploitative? They have been together for eight years. Maybe he also would like money to help her get better health and care. And may I add, compared to the other singers, he had a better voice…and more natural voice too. I like when Steven said that the reason Chris sings like that is because of her.

      • BARBARA

        It’s Steven not Stephen.

      • maryanne

        is it just me or was he just average at best vocally? i just feel like without the back story, maybe he would of made it through, but he probably wouldnt have been featured. I’m sure he’s probably a great guy, i am not doubting that, i just think that he is clearly a way better guy than a singer. and he should be on oprah, not american idol.

    • SaraS

      I agree; that was the part that made me cry the most. So many people in wheelchairs aren’t touched or embraced like that. What a true act of love. I was just imagining what Simon would’ve done — stood back, smiled, called her “sweetheart” — and for that, I’m so glad Steven Tyler is a judge.

      • Louise

        Well said, Sara!

      • lesliemd

        Love, love, love Steven Tyler – and I really didn’t think I would. He’s surprisingling funny, touching and very interested in what the singers bring to the table. And some of his phrases – please, someone, start the Tyler Collection!

        He was very sweet with the fiancee, and I think the segment was simultansously touching and manipulative. Everyone involved – producers, Chris & family – know what’s involved here. And they all got what they needed and wanted. It’s a two-way tear-jerking road.

      • jared4ever

        I appreciated the way Simon didn’t get sucked into the manipulative “cry for me” moments like that. Simon was all about the talent. I’m loving Steven Tyler so far but i still miss Simon. Especially when they pull stunts like this.

      • Heidi

        Sara you said it perfectly.
        I too wasn’t so sure about Steven but I think he’s fantastic. The three judges have great chemistry!

        As for Chris, he lives with and helps his fiancee every single day. I’m betting she wanted to be there. Something she could do for him. She’s still in there, I loved that it showed her whispering to him, reminding us that what her brain vs her body are doing does not diminish her capacity to understand and be with him in his moment. I just have a feeling he won’t make it to top 12 or 10 though. He was good but others are better. I hope the show does something to make their lives a little easier though. I don’t mind being manipulated a little bit if it helps them in the end.

      • lettergirl

        hell…i was fine until he went up to her. crap…i need a tissue.

      • Joy

        I thought I would miss Simon, but I don’t. I love Steven Tyler, he is very much into the try-outs and I think he’s good for them all. He seems to be a nice man! I thought the segment on Medina was lovely!

      • Terri

        I just watched this online. I didn’t feel manipulated at all. They asked he answered/And then he sang a song I didn’t know accapella and held the notes beautifully. What more could you ask for. I hope he does well, but I won’t be compelled to vote for him because of his story only his voice.

      • Um

        Jared, that’s not true about Simon…he would actually get involved in the “touching moments” of the show.

  • Jen

    Oh my gosh, get over yourself, drama queen! American Idol has this much power to stress you out? If Medina doesn’t get to the next round, well, he still got farther than he did by not being on the show at all! I’m sure he’ll be just fine; clearly he is a man who can adapt to life’s circumstances.

  • Rafterman

    For once let’s not be cynical about everything and just be touched by the moment.

    Chris gets my full respect for sticking by the love of his life – very few of us would do that.

    • Mitch

      Agreed. Can a tv show ever display a situation like this without being accused of being manipulative? That’s lazy journalism. It was a very touching moment.

      • Aly

        I agree with both comments here. With all the depressing information that we are overwhelmed with in the media, we have become so cynical that we even bash the uplifting and happy.
        We don’t have to see this as an exploit of anyone or anything, but more that it’s a reminder that life can change instantly, we can realize that our circumstances are not always that bad, and that sometimes, there are still really good people left in the world.

      • iamjokeyjen

        I second that. Nobody is telling Mandi to watch the show. I could see if his voice was mediocre, but he sang really good. They always ask about whats going on in your life when they get interviewed. Was he supposed to lie? I balled like a baby when he was talking about how he’d never leave his girlfriend. What a real man! Some people could learn from him! God bless him and his girlfriend! I wish them the best in everything!

      • Lola

        Actually, her boss is telling her to watch the show.

      • MaryJaneWatson

        Well considering you hear stories of people getting divorced over someone gaining weight or losing their hair it is quite lovely to hear a real story of love and devotion.

    • Tim

      I disagree Rafterman. I think most of us faced with the same situation would stick by the person we *truly* loved. When you are forced into situations like that, you would be surprised at what you are willing to do.

      • Katja

        This is what I thought. It must be a VERY difficult change to deal with, but I can’t imagine leaving my husband (or fiance, when he was that) just because he was in an accident resulting in brain damage. That is the man I love, and I would stay with him not out of a sense of obligation, but because I love him. Of course, I am not in that situation and hopefully will never have to be, so I can’t say with 100% certainty what I would do.

      • elr

        In situations like this, you would be surprised how it just becomes your life after awhile and you don’t see the sacrifices that others outside your circle see.

      • rgd

        I work with brain-injured adults and I can say I have seen spouses and loved ones bail because they can’t handle it. It is a huge life change. But I truly admire this young man’s love and committment to his fiance. A real role model!

      • T

        Anyone can say they would stay with 100 % certainty but until you are faced with a tragedy its all empty words. We all say things that we think we really & truly mean until that day.. I hope that day never comes for anyone but if it does I pray that those words u spoke are not empty ones. God bless everyone faced with tragedy and is victorious to the end.

    • TV_Pete

      This really was inspiring to me. I don’t know that I would have had the strength to always make the decisions and commitments he made.

      I respect and appreciate people “doing right” by others and feel it is missing from so much of our journalism.

    • whatevs

      People wouldn’t be cynical if we didn’t live in a world like this. I’m not necessarily saying he’s exploiting her, but he certainly could’ve left out this part of his life for the show if he wanted to.

      • Cam

        Why should he leave it out? Is he supposed to be ashamed of her? She probably came with him to the first round of auditions and the producers do regularly show the family don’t you think they would have asked why she was in a wheel chair? Should she have to stay home and not support her fiancee?

      • whatevs

        No, simply because it’s not anyone’s business. There is no way for it to look like he didn’t do this for sympathy.

      • Peter

        They did ask, though.

    • kaydevo

      I agree. Medina sang beautifully and he’s adorable. I feel so badly for his fiance and all who love her. It has to be so hard… Mandi, I understand your pain, having the same experience as you. May the Force be with you.

    • Lisa Simpson

      Just because one is not naive about the motives of TV producers does not make one cynical. TV producers are out to make money, and they will have no qualms on manipulating the audience to do so. That’s not cynicism, just reality.

    • ~JENNY~

      How come no one is crying foul about the young mom last week (can’t remember her name, sorry) who brought her disabled child to the auditions? There was a whole package on them at home and then the tender moment when Jennifer Lopez stopped as she was walking out for the night to say a kind word to the girl who just happened to be standing there holding her child at that most opportune moment?

      I’m not suggesting this young woman was exploiting her child (although, I DO believe the producers had her stand there as Jennifer passed by so that they could capture this exchange).

      What I am pointing out is that everyone (including the writer) seems to be picking on Chris, but not one person mentioned the almost similar situation from last week….

    • Elysia

      I felt sad for them both, though. The way he phrased it, like a duty, made me wonder if he still loved her the same way—and understand if he didn’t. But if I were her, I wouldn’t want my fiancé to stay with me out of duty…

  • Karikata

    It was both touching/heartbreaking and exploitative. When Chris sang the song, the words hit too close to home to his situation “what am I supposed to do when the best part of me was always you”…sob!. It had me tearing up. But then the fiancee was shown. The more the poor girl kept shaking the more I wanted to scream make it stop. It just felt so wrong seeing that girl struggle. Like “lookie here isn’t her life and my tragic” vote for me! I don’t blame the judges for acting that way, what the heck where they supposed to do? I was just awkward.

    • AmotherofachildwhosufferedTBI

      You might feel very different if you had a loved one in her chair!

      • Karikata

        I don’t know if you understood what I said. Let me put it in another way. It’s a really messed up and tragic situation that happen to that young lady and felt like the show was exploiting that. Especially during the audition and not the “package”. Showing her shaking, trying to speak, even holding the DAMN golden ticket. She was being used to the extreme. For what I don’t know. Ratings?Sympathy? I thought that was in bad taste.

  • will

    Tacky. Tacky. Tacky. Danny Gokey all over again. Chris has to be complicit in allowing the producers to use his fiance’s tragedy.

    • Lauren

      I admit, if he makes it to the voting round (though I doubt he will) I will be concerned about people voting for his fiance and not his voice. Same issue I had with Danny Gokey, for whom I never saw the appeal of his singing voice.

    • Allen

      Have you watched the show before? We’re on season 10. What about last night surprised you?

    • P GRRL

      Made me fill out my living will…..found it disturbing…

    • Elizabeth

      It’s only Gokey 2.0 if the producers and Chris keep busting out the “brain damaged girlfriend” card everytime he gets some airtime.

      When they pulled away from Chris and went to the package, I wondered if that was because HE didn’t want to beat the injured girlfriend drum at the time, but in post-production, the taped package was added.

      Either way, good luck to the two of them and I hope that we are subjected to Chris Medina the singer – and that’s just it.

      And yes, it is hard not to be cynical of all this. Between this and Emily on “The Bachelor”, I have to wonder where the entertainment value is in all of this.

      • Kat

        Good point. The day someone in the audience holds aloft a photo of Chris and Juliana from before the accident is the day this becomes Gokey 2.0; for now, it seems okay to me.

    • Heidi

      Will, she’s still there! I’m sure she was asked if she’d like to go in. If she was shy or felt embarrassed she could have said no. She’s still her own person, and she loves her fiance as much as he loves her.

    • John K

      It’s only Danny Gokey-like if you really think this guy has spent the last year and half of his life taking care of a severely brain damaged person, day in and day out, just so that he would have an extra chance to make it through American Idol. All Gokey had to do was show a picture of a deceased person – this guy’s everyday life has been altered in that he’s taking care of someone. That’s a pretty big difference and not something someone does to get onto American Idol.

      • daphne

        yes. thank you. when my new young husband chose to care for me constantly AND miss out on almost everything a couple does, it showed his character and commitment, not “just” what happened to him. and i do care who these people are, in addition to how they sing.

      • DogBoy

        I agree. Gokey could have manufactured the moment with the picture. This guy is living it– walkin the walk — as they say. I blame any exploitation on the Idol show and producers.. they find the stories and then use them aggressively for ratings.

    • PN

      I think they’re trying to do this to see if it can help him win, whereas Danny Gokey only peaked at 3rd place 2 years ago with his own emotional backstory. Very heartfelt, but that move isn’t going to help a second time.

  • Lauren

    Am I the only one who didn’t think his voice was that great? It wasn’t bad but I mean the promos really hyped it up and he definitely wasn’t even the best singer of the last half hour of show. So that was what I resented. I feel like I was told his voice and his story were both “amazing” because, well, that makes a stronger impact. I was moved by his story but his singing was proficient enough. Nothing more.

    • jessica

      Oh my god, THANK YOU! I did not think he was very good at all and I don’t think he’ll make it too far. I was waiting for someone to bring up that he wasn’t very good.

    • jared4ever

      I agree. he just wasn’t that talented. Simon would have mentioned that btw, and wouldnt have been a part of that whole “cry for me” thing.

      • mj

        I think one of the judges said perfect pitch, which we all know is an innate talent. That helped him get where he is. And as one who has had a personal birdseye view of the couple I know they were inseparable before the accident and he didn’t run away after as many would have. His goal was to do an Idol audition but was sidetracked by the accident. Finally he is there and now is be ridiculed and belittled because of what has happened to Julie in the interim. That’s what’s sad . . .

    • Heidi

      I said that, above. I think he’s got talent for sure but the talent this year is insane. He won’t make it to the top 12. I still hope they do something to help his family out, though. Same as the mom living in a shelter with a disabled daughter. She had a great voice and I was choked up at her song, and I loved that Jennifer told the little girl “Your mommy sang so good for you today”. BUT I don’t think we’ll be seeing either in our top 12.

    • Brian

      thought he an Thia we the best two of the night – just my opinion.

  • Leehung

    Wow….This author has some issues. It was a beautiful and touching moment. And for all of you media pundits bashing Steven Tyler for possibly making inappropriate comments to the 15 year old contestants – shame on you! Steven Tyler showed such humanity and compassion to this woman, who it appears has only limited use of one hand. He embraced her and treated her beautifully…And you want to complain about possible future vote skewing? Gimme a break….Why do I even visit this site? Geez!

    • T.C.

      So the author is wrong and you are right and anyone who has a different take on the event is “bashing” those who don’t deserve it. Yeah, and the author is the one with “issues” :-/

    • TV_Pete

      I can understand why the author felt manipulated. I don’t care if they were pulling our heart strings.

      I was touched and inspired and would love to see more inspirational stories. I’ll try to limit my voting based upon how successful an artist will be or how much I will like them.

      American Idol has never been a singing competition. Otherwise, there would be no visuals and no background stories.

    • MamaRose

      He didn’t allow his story to exploited, it is his life and she is part of it, every day in every way and I couldn’t imagine him not having her there because she is a part of his life, not to be hidden away for the world not to see, but to have her experience life as she normally would have had not there been an accident. More power to them both for making the world see and to Steven Tyler for treating her with the dignity and respect she deserves despite her illness. So you were uncomfortable and it made you sad, well life is like that sometimes and do we all go back in the closet and hide or do we deal with what life handed us and live our lives the best we can for the whole world to see?

      • melo1

        Mama Rose, you are spot on my dear.

      • MaggieQuack

        I agree. Should she hide? Every other contestant had family waiting outside the door for them. Just because his fiance is different doesn’t mean she won’t enjoy the moment just as much as the others. Too many others with injuries are just left at home and never get to experience life or help support their loved ones the way they are supported. You got to Keep on Keeping on…

      • @benmuniz

        Yup. I TOTOALLY AGREE. We all try to hide away with our problems and …so sad. He’s a super great inspiration for us all. And the rest who continue with their sad sob stories. Toddles for them. Even though they are taking advantage but hello…it’s life. We all got a make it somehow!
        Cannot wait to see where this show goes this year:)

    • Heidi

      Yes she does have issues – an ill father among them – and she’s feeling overwhelmed. I understand why she feels like she just can’t hear one more sad story right now.
      I personally found the story to be a testament to HER strength as uch as his. The woman survived a horrific accident, woke out of a coma after a month and a half, and is already learning to walk and talk again! She’s still there and we’ll see it more and more. She had no shame about her shaking legs and wasn’t crying about her situation – she told him, very matter of factly “I knew it” and held up the ticket. It was a proud moment for her and she was supporting him when he needed it. I try to look at it that way. Its a hopeful story – I believe she is strong enough to keep progressing! And its so cool she has such a great support system in her mom and fiance. I wish them both the best. And Mandi I wish you and your dad the best too.

  • T2

    I wasn’t sure how I felt DURING the show, but after thinking about it again, I feel manipulated (slightly).
    The guy was a good singer, but he wouldn’t have stood out to me at all without the story of his fiancee.
    (He looked better with less messy hair too, in my teenage daughters’ opinions)

    • Sarah

      I think it was so tacky. I’m not a “Vote for the Worst”er, but they have an interesting point at their website about how manipulative it was.

  • Steph

    This is tough.
    It’s such a tragic yet uplifiting story- and it speaks very well of Medina that he stands by his girl through thick and thin. But I can’t shake the whole Gokey-vibe from it. It overall felt more exploitive than anything- and the producers are to blame.
    Now perhaps Medina, if he makes it to the live shows, will not bring up his fiancee every show, like Gokey did, because that will land him in hot water. Oh, I don’t know, the story is very touching but then I thin kof David Cook- he had a very sick brother, who I believe passed a while ago. Ryan Secreast kept pushing David to talk about his family- but he refused. He stuck to what the show is *suppose* to be about music- and how the contestant’s personality and ability comes together and allows the audience to relate and look up to them.
    So whatever happens, I hope Medina keeps mum about his personal life and not remind viewers every day of his story- because, no matter how touching, he’ll eventually lose votes rather than gain.
    Well I think so.

    • Lola

      One-hundred percent in agreement with you. I knew that some people would see this as Gokey 2.0. Also, I remember how many loved Gokey but then got irked over the repeated reminders of Gokey’s dead wife. I try to keep the issues separate…it’s a singing show. But if the producers keep bringing it up, shame on them. Ultimately it’s to the detriment of the contestant.

      Now don’t misunderstand me. What happened to Medina’s wife is tragic and he is a HERO for sticking by her. But that won’t make me pick up the phone. Fantastic singing will – and I do think there were better people last night. And Steph – you made a GREAT point regarding David Cook. First, I’m still a huge DC fan (full disclosure). But you’re right: he didn’t give into the AI manipulation machine where it would have been very easy for him to do so. It made me respect and love him even more.

    • Donna

      That was EXACTLY my thought – David could have made a big deal out of Adam being in the audience the night he sang “Always Be My Baby” but he did not. It’s one reason why he’s still my favorite Idol of all time.

    • Elizabeth

      Great point about Cook!

    • MamaRose

      That was David Cook’s decision not to discuss his feelings and his brother’s condition on national tv. Mr. Medina has decided to embrace his girlfriend’s condition and to include her in his life. I think that distinction needs to be made, the public can decide to like him or gokey for their singing but not to judge them for their decision not to hide their emotions.

      • MamaRose

        and i didn’t mean to imply that david cook was wrong or didn’t care, but he did it his way and that is ok for him. the important thing is not to judge either way

  • Ben

    That is why the competition is called American “Idol” and not America’s best singer! It takes more into account than just someones raw singing talent, it’s supposed to be about character too and a romodel for the American people and youth, a large demographic of the show. His character qualities are that of a real man, loving and compassionate, strong and noble hearted. He will go far in life, show or not. We are merely blessed to see a glimpse of that.

    • Kat

      I agree! We want to get to know all about a contestant, not just whether or not they can sing. It adds to their character. And this man’s fiance is such a large part of who he is, how could it not be mentioned. Other contestants talk about their families, why can’t he?

    • The English Language


      • Tammy


  • Mr. Holloway

    I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t touched.

    Based on the fact that Chris seems like a generally solid guy (evidenced by the fact that he’s clearly fiercely loyal to and loves his wife), I’m willing to take his word at face value and believe him when he says that his wife wanted to be there to support him. I’m also willing to believe him when he says that THAT is the reason he brought her to the auditions, and not so much because it would help get him noticed.

    The thing that rings the most hollow is the fact that his audition package aired during what’s become the official “Last 10 minutes of the show Sob Story Memorial time slot.” I believe in Chris and his story, but it’s clear the producers have a plan in the way they’ve presented these first three episodes.

    • Catwoman

      I think most of us agree that Idol isn’t just about singing. Americans vote for who they want to see more of. IMO the public is the most powerful in the entertainment industry. We can place someone on a pedestal one day, then tear them down the next. We’ve made “artists” such as Madonna, Britney, Lady Gaga stars because of SOMETHING more than their singing ability. They somehow inspired us; sparked us and really that’s what makes a “idol”…or whatever you wanna call it. AI has had plenty of great singers that have gone on and flopped because they were uninteresting. The producers at AI have many years of experience to look back on and use what works for high ratings and eliminate what doesn’t. So they are providing their audience what they want to see!!

  • Carrie

    Exploitative. My skin crawled watching that segment. Worst Idol moment ever. I feel so awful for his fiancee to be paraded around for some freaking karaoke contest. Less is more people.

    • Kat

      It is his fiance! Not some freak show. She is a person, and I am sure she would be there whether or not she has disablities. Sounds like you were uncomfortable because you are not mature enough to handle that people are different.

      • Colleen

        She meant American Idol is the freak show. I would not want to be paraded around and treated like a child, disability or no disability.

      • am

        I agree with Carrie and Colleen. A It made me very uncomfortable to see the situation treated that way. Was it touching? You bet. Exploitative? Most definitely. And as much as I am loving Steven Tyler this year, and I do believe his heart was in the right spot, the fact is that he is a stranger to Chris’s fiance and his up-close-and-personal moment with her seemed to last forever.

    • Sammy

      I’m going to go out on a limb and say the woman WANTED to be on this show. I doubt Seacrest held them hostage against their will. I think a lot of people have a hard time looking a disability in the eye; it makes them uncomfortable. By no fault of their own, they have a disability that leaves some with strange movements, facial expressions and even hygiene challenges. An ignorant person may be so uncomfortable by it they assume they are putting on. It reminds me of Michael J. Fox, we remember his younger years as a “normal” vibrant young guy…but when we see him now with his twitching people feel so uneasy by it, they compensate by saying he exagerates the effects of his disease with moving and shaking so we feel sorry for him. I guess it makes them feel better to believe that its just an act.

    • Lola

      I turned it off because I was so disgusted by the way they were treating this woman like a child. It wasn’t the disability that made me uncomfortable – it was the way the judges, mostly Jennifer Lopez was cooing at her as she was one her children. I find it interesting though that everyone who buys into this moment feels the need to attack/judge those who felt manipulated.

    • mj

      If you were suddenly disabled would you want your family to hide you?

  • Amanda

    I totally adore this man. How many men can honestly say that they would stand by a woman if something like this happened, but it goes both ways, how many women can say they would stand by their man if something like this happened. He had an amazing voice and an amazing story. Those who vote for him soley on his story are shallow. Fame and fortune will not make this woman walk, or talk, the same again. Their love kept this woman alive obviously. Do I think they should have had him sing first…yes however thats not how it happened. It was a very touching story and I do believe he will make it threw very far in this competition, but soley on his talent not his story.

  • DB

    I thought it was a beautiful story. Is America really that jacked up to think everyone is trying to manipulate a situation. It was very genuine and touching. It did probably help ratings which it needs but its a story I enjoyed hearing and seeing that he’s by her side. Most people wouldn’t stick through that.

    • Lea

      It bothers me that you don’t realize how often we ARE manipulated. TV producers’ main goal is to make money and manipulating a large audience is the easiest way to draw in ratings and get more advertising dollars.

      • reason

        extreme makeover: home edition is the most manipulative of all

      • Robert Gunn

        What makes you think we don’t realize how much we ARE manipulated? Are you the only person with the ability of critical thinking? Yes, the producers showed the footage with the understanding that it would trip people’s emotions. It’s one of the requirements of television producers… show things that will get to the audience and affect them. But don’t think that this is only done by television shows for profits. Every day people having conversations are trying to manipulate each other for various gains. Maybe not clear monetary gains each time, but still for some kind of payoff. If you say you never do this, too, I’ll have to say that you’re either lying, lying to yourself, or completely cut off from any kind of human socializing.

      • Rob

        Everyone has a right to express their viewpoint in this country. Thank you Mr. Gunn for expressing yours.

  • Kathy

    Idol has always been about the back story and “good tv” as well as the talent. I’ll root mor for him than the beautiful but white bread Harvard White House intern!

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