Chicagoan barista Chris Medina's story was one of the most moving from season 10 of American Idol--perhaps even in the history of the show. We first got to know him when he auditioned for the show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he shared his story about how he had stuck by his fiancee, Juliana Ramos, after she suffered a traumatic brain injury as a complication of her injuries from a car accident. "What kind of guy would I be if I walked out when she needed me the most?" Chris said on the third episode of American Idol, his voice trembling with emotion.
After his audition, the judges asked to meet Julie, and when they did, Steven Tyler bent down to give her a kiss and murmured, "Oh, baby, that's why he sings so good--cause he sings to you."
Although we saw his Idol journey end during the final cut before the live show (and who can forget the very emotional response Jennifer Lopez had to having to tell him that he hadn't made it?), things are looking up for Chris and Julie. Chris released his single, "What Are Words," last week as the first venture for American Idol-Universal Music Group partnership 19 Recordings. The song was released on iTunes on February 25; its lyrics, which were inspired by his Idol story and incorporated that same question he asked of himself and the world in his first audition, were by Rodney Jerkins, a hitmaking songwriter who has written songs for artists like Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, and more.
Chris went on On Air with Ryan Seacrest, the Idol host's morning show, earlier this week to talk about his single and the Juliana Recovery Fund created by the Larus Foundation, and was surprised and brought to tears when Ryan informed him that the fund would receive USD 35,000 from direct-response marketing company Guthy-Renker. During the interview, the next guests on the radio show, actor Topher Grace and producer Ryan Kavanaugh from the upcoming movie Take Me Home Tonight, came into the recording studio to tell him that they would match the USD 35,000 donated by Guthy-Renker.
Check out the video below to see the interview with Chris--plus a clip from the one that followed with Topher Grace and Ryan Kavanaugh, where they announced that they would be giving 1 percent of their movie's box office proceeds to the Juliana Recovery Fund!
Want to show your own support for Juliana? Share your messages for the couple and their story on Twitter--just add the hashtag #SupportJuliana to your tweet! You can also follow @OfficalMedina on Twitter and like Chris's Facebook fan page to keep abreast of the story. If you would like to donate, you can check out the Larus Foundation page, Help Juliana Ramos.
For the full interview, go to RyanSeacrest.com.