Last week, when Chris Medina was sent packing on "American Idol," it was a shock to pretty much everyone — except, oddly enough, Medina himself.
"I gave it my all, but, I mean, I'm in a room with 40 phenomenal singers. They all have earned their right to be there. And though I had faith in my talents, just being in that situation, you gotta have consistent, solid performances all the time, and the people there did that," he told MTV News on Monday. "I think I had a really good first audition, a good audition in Vegas and a good audition in my last one — I sang for my life — but there were times in the middle where I was just pretty OK. And I'm not one of those people who's delusional. I left it all on the line. ... Some people had seven solid performances; I had three or four."
If that reaction seems a little strange coming from a former "Idol" contender, well, it's probably because Medina is far from your average pop-star wannabe. Even in the face of overwhelming success, he's remained grounded, thanks in no small part to his fiancée, Juliana, who, as viewers of the show know, suffered a traumatic brain injury and has been cared for by Medina ever since.
"If there's anything I learned from my situation with my fiancée," he said, "it's don't expect that things are going to happen. Just enjoy what is happening, and always do your best. And I did that on 'Idol,' so I'm OK with it."
So no, Medina has no regrets about missing the "Idol" top 24 or really anything he did during his run on the show — and that includes allowing producers to film his and Juliana's story for the show. Though some might have called the move exploitative, Medina, not surprisingly, sees things a little differently.
"I just know that there's people out there who kind of naturally see the bad in every situation, and, to be completely honest, I think at one point in my life, I might have been one of those people," he explained. "But I felt like in this specific situation, when they asked, 'Can we do a story on you and your situation?' The first thing I did was, 'I don't think I want to do that. I'm a little nervous about it. I'm afraid there's going to be people who are going to be saying bad things.'
"But then Juliana's mother and my mother, my family, all kind of got together and [asked], 'What's something that you want to come out of it? Why are you even entertaining the idea?' " he continued. "And I said, 'If I can get her story out there, maybe there's someone that can help out. Maybe there's somebody whose brother went through the same thing that can offer us some kind of advice or a doctor that could be like, "I want to help her, I can help her." ' And, I'm glad I did it, because the day after it aired, wonderful things started happening, for both me and my family."
Like he said, no regrets about his "Idol" past, or his future with his fiancée, for that matter.
"Brain injuries just scoop the life out of you ... but that doesn't necessarily mean you just give up all hope," Medina said. "She's my best friend, and I'm always going to be here for her."
Don't miss "Idol Party Live" at 10 p.m. Thursday on MTV.com following the "American Idol" results show for analysis, celebrity guests and even some karaoke. In the meantime, get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' "American Idol" page, where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.