During his brief time as an American Idol cast member in 2011, Chris Medina attracted attention not only with his strong tenor voice, but also his heartbreaking back-story. Medinaâ€™s fiancÃ©e had been involved in a car accident several months before his audition, suffering a traumatic brain injury as well as severe fractures to her skull and face. He became one of her main caretakers, indefinitely postponing the pairâ€™s engagement in order to help her recover. He also tried out for American Idol at the insistence of his fiancÃ©e, who accompanied him in a wheelchair. Medina passed his initial audition and entered the Idol semifinals, where he was eventually cut from the competition by a teary-eyed Jennifer Lopez. Days later, he was contacted by Rodney Jerkins, the Grammy-winning songwriter behind Destiny's Childâ€™s â€œSay My Nameâ€� and Lady Gagaâ€™s â€œTelephone.â€� Touched by Medina's dedication to his fiancÃ©e, Jerkins wrote a new song for the singer. The resulting â€œWhat Are Wordsâ€� became a hit on iTunes, YouTube, and the Billboard charts in March 2011, making Medina the first person from American Idolâ€™s tenth season to release any post-show material. ~ Andrew LeaheyPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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