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‘What kind of guy would I be if I walked out when she needed me the most?’

by | Feb 24, 2014

 

By Dave Andrusko

chrismedinaAlthough sometimes viewers may forget this, the still hugely popular “American Idol” program is its own kind of reality television.

My wife and I have watched the show through thick (years past) and thin (more recent). Fortunately the show appears to be back on track.

As we watched this past week, I thought of the tenth season of Idol (2011) when a then 26-year-old Chicago native Chris Medina (who had a terrific voice) sang “Breakeven [Falling to Piece],” by the band “The Script.”

As it happened I had missed the episode but was inundated with links the next morning to a YouTube video which showed a contestant from the previous night’s program.

Chris had wowed the judges with his performance but no doubt even more with his compelling story of faithfulness and perseverance.

Medina told judges Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson, and Jennifer Lopez that two going on three years before he had asked Juliana Ramos, his girlfriend of eight years, to marry him. They promised each other they’d be married within two years of their engagement.

But on October 2, 2009, Juliana was in car accident that left her in a coma suffering with what Chris described as a traumatic brain injury.

“Even though the doctors were saying she wasn’t going to make it, I believed 100% that she was going to,” he said. “I just felt there’s no way she’s not going to wake up. I didn’t know what to expect after that, but I certainly knew that she wasn’t going to die. A month and a half later she woke up.”

Chris and Juliana’s mother have taken care of her ever since.

MTV’s Gil Kaufmann put it this way.

“During his audition package, Medina explained of his dedication to Ramos, ‘What kind of guy would I be if I walked out when she needed me the most?’ The judges were clearly inspired by his story and asked to meet Juliana. Steven Tyler seemed particularly moved and gave the wheelchair-bound Juliana a hug and a kiss before telling Chris that he was going through to Hollywood. ‘I just heard your fiancé sing and he’s so good,’ Tyler said to Ramos. ‘You know ’cause he sings to you all the time. I could tell. That’s why he sings so good because he sings to you.'”

The song “Breakeven” is itself filled with powerful lyrics and images. “Well I’m still alive but I’m barely breathing/ I pray to a God that I don’t believe in … when a heart breaks, no, it don’t break even … I’m fallin’ to pieces.”

The irony is that the song “actually chronicles a breakup from the perspective of both the man and woman involved,” as Kaufmann notes, about as far away from this example of dedication as you can get.

But there is another video that Chris produced on the day that was supposed to be their wedding day. He said he wrote the song while Juliana was at Christ Hospital. You watch it and you want to stand up and cheer for him.

Categories: Celebrities