8 Years After He Tells Idol Judges About Fiancée with Brain Injury, Here’s Where He Is Now


Dreams of stardom don’t always pan out the way people expect them to. In fact, some talent shows bank on it.

Programs such as “America’s Got Talent” and “American Idol” bank on it. Deflating delusions of grandeur always makes for good viewing.

Sometimes, though, these shows display a sensitive side, delving deep into others’ pain. And that’s exactly what happened with Chris Medina in 2010 when he auditioned for “American Idol.”

A recap clip of his audition showed a handsome, long-haired young man getting ready to perform for Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, singer Jennifer Lopez, and producer Randy Jackson. He looked like so many others who had appeared before him, but his story held a hidden pain.

Medina told the judges about his finance Juliana Ramos, who he’d been with for eight years. They’d planned to marry, but months before their marriage, she’d been in a horrible car wreck.

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The Ledger-Enquirer reported that it left her with a skull fracture, facial-bone fractures, and and a traumatic brain injury. After a month and a half in a coma, Ramos woke up, and Medina and Ramos’ mother started sharing the task of caring for her.

“I was about to make vows just two months from the accident,” Medina said. “What kind of guy would I be if I walked out when she needed me the most?”

The tear-jerking story resonated with the “American Idol” judges, who passed Medina into that show’s Top 40. TMZ reported that Steven Tyler cried and hugged and kissed Ramos when she appeared on the stage next to Medina.

Medina didn’t win, but USA Today said that his single “What Are Words” notched an impressive 105,000 copies sold. The song was about Ramos’ injury.

Though his American music career faltered after that, the Chicago Tribune reported that he found success in Norway. He also said that he and Julia still loved one another deeply, although her condition was difficult.

“Juliana and I are doing really great,” he said. “It’s a really challenging relationship.

“We know we love each other, and I don’t want to leave her, and she doesn’t want me to leave. I think I just want her to get to the point where she’s happy and more independent before we put the pressure on ourselves to walk down the aisle.”

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Sadly, that point wouldn’t come. In 2014, the couple announced that they had broken up.

Julia announced the news on her blog and seemed upbeat about it, saying, “I also, personally, want [Chris] to just be happy again and move beyond the situation that HE didn’t even cause. I love him and our relationship, so if this is what soul mates feels like, I am good!”

Medina went on to begin a relationship with Silje Skylstad, had a child with her, and continues to find success with his music in Norway. But despite it all, Medina and Ramos remained on friendly terms.

“How can I still be such amazing friends with Juliana even though we’re not together anymore and have a new girlfriend? I think this is an easy answer really. We are REAL friends who genuinely love each other unconditionally!” Medina wrote on Instagram in 2015.

“Maybe it’s more easy for me because I lived through this tragedy with her and her family. We survived! And this kind of trauma tests your boundaries. We realized we were capable of anything! Friendship is the easy part! Bring on the anything!”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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