American Idol: Touching the Heart or Stabbing It? The Chris Medina Story

27 Jan

Did anyone else find this severely messed up? We all know American Idol has this history of heartbreaking stories: rags to riches, parental death to Cancer patient. Hey, it boosts ratings. That was all fine with me until this happened:

Video evidence of American Idol’s lack of heart

(look at 3:10)

There should be a distinction between heartbreaking story and capitalizing on a person’s disability. Ouch.

This happened.

I watched in discomfort as Chris Medina told his story. My feelings about his decision to stay and take care of his fiance aside (and all the sympathy, etc. that comes with it), why was it necessary to bring the girl in? She was shaking and could not respond to J. Lo’s comforting words and Steven Tyler’s awkward as hell kiss. She was exploited and publicly pitied on a major popular reality TV show. Ugh. My heart goes out to her but in a different way than American Idol’s producers intended.

On one hand, we hear the sob story and we feel compassion. Chris is a real person stuck in a difficult situation. Then you stop and think–wait a second–isn’t this a singing competition? You lose sight of the talent again. American Idol is a popularity contest after all. Again, that’s fine but there’s a line. Taking a woman who suffered from a traumatic brain injury to an American Idol audition, where she will later be talked to as if she’s a child by famous people, is just plain cruel and unsettling in my eyes. It’s a definite line-crosser.

That's messed up, American Idol.


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