by Lyndsey Parker in Reality Rocks
Earlier this season, Chris Medina was a standout contestant on “American Idol.” His sob story was perhaps the saddest in “Idol” history, and it created a huge amount of buzz for the series as it launched its all-important first post-Simon Cowell season. But now it seems that “Idol” producers have already forgotten about Chris, even though his story was clearly manipulated to full effect to generate ratings. According to Chris’s tweets, he has not been invited to appear at the “Idol” finale next week, not even as an audience member.
For those of you who don’t recall, Chris auditioned in Milwaukee, where he told the judges his horrific backstory about how he has been a caretaker for his fiancée, Juliana Ramos, since she suffered a traumatic brain injury in a 2009 car accident. Juliana even attended Chris’s audition, and Steven Tyler wept as she was wheeled into the audition room. Viewers at home wept as well, no doubt.
Later, when Chris shockingly didn’t make the top 24, it was Jennifer Lopez’s time to cry, as she emotionally delivered the bad news. But it wasn’t all bad news for Chris back then, as Interscope’s Jimmy Iovine decided to put out a Chris single anyway. “What Are Words,” a ballad penned by “Idol”-associated producer Rodney Jerkins, and inspired by Chris and Juliana’s real-life tragic love story, was rushed onto iTunes the day after his elimination episode aired, before any of the top 24 had even competed.
But this week, only a couple months after all that fanfare, Chris tweeted: “Just found out I will not be at the finale for #AmericanIdol sad and disappointed.” When one of his followers tweeted back inquiring why, Chris replied, “not asked. Then I asked for tickets and I [was] told they can’t. No harsh feelings #AmericanIdol”
Obviously Chris and Juliana have suffered setbacks far greater than this one, so I am sure they’ll get over this apparent snub. But still, this seems rather rude, if you ask me. “Idol” viewers may have differing opinions as to whether Chris deserved to be in the top 24, but his dramatic audition and equally dramatic elimination were a major part of the “Idol” story arc this season, so it seems strange that producers wouldn’t invite him to participate in the finale in some way.
Yes, “Idol” has done a lot for Chris already–few top 40 contestants ever get the opportunity to put out their own single on a major label–but not giving him a couple of tickets still seems a little cold.