A day after his "American Idol" segment aired, Milwaukee auditioner Chris Medina is still making waves online. As I type this post at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, he's the seventh most-searched item on Google. His wife's car accident is the 19th most-search term.
If you missed the show, the 26-year-old singer had possibly the most heart-wrenching "Idol" story EVER when he told the story of his fiancee's car accident. It left her with a severe skull fracture, a traumatic brain injury and multiple fractures to her face. Chris is now her caregiver.
When Chris got his ticket to Hollywood, the judges had him bring his wife into the room. She arrived shaking in a wheelchair.
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As with every memorable "Idol" audition, the performance generatedmixed reactions. An Entertainment Weekly writer asks if Chris' segment was exploitative.
I'm pretty cynical when it comes to "Idol" back stories, but producers' treatment of Chris and his fiancee didn't bother me too much.
Yes, it was a little unnecessary for the judges to bring Chris' fiancee into the room after he sang. Yes, I'm slightly tired of how the phrase "everything is on the line" seems to always accompany the night's final singer.
That said, people have lives outside the talent they present on stage. We have to acknowledge that. And sometimes, those lives involve tough, unexpected circumstances. When you're dealing with a sick loved one on a daily basis, it becomes part of who you are. Maybe producers would be wrong NOT to include that component of his life.
Then again, that point of view assumes this competition is about both personality and voice. Some people disagree with that premise.
"Idol" viewers have made some stupid decisions in the past, but I don't think we're willing to vote for someone solely based on the sob factor.
Where do you stand?