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American Idol’s Christian Guardino overcomes rare disorder to make it to top 24

Christian Guardino on American Idol
Christian Guardino on American Idol. Pic credit: ABC

A familiar face for reality TV fans showed up on American Idol in the audition round this season.

Christian Guardino auditioned for the show and he blew the judges away with his performance.

It also wasn’t the first time he did so, as he was also a major fan favorite when he was a teenager on America’s Got Talent.

On America’s Got Talent, his story touched everyone’s hearts and now he is telling his story to a new generation of fans as he has reached the top 24.

Christian had to overcome a rare disorder called Leber congenital amaurosis to reach this point.

What is the rare disorder that Christian Guardino was born with?

Christian Guardino was born with Leber congenital amaurosis.

Leber congenital amaurosis is an eye disorder that primarily affects the retina. People with this condition typically have severe visual impairment beginning in infancy. People with LCA typically have longstanding severe visual impairment.

Christian said he was legally blind as a child and was told it would only worsen as he got older.

However, he got a miracle cure when he was 13.

“When I was 13 years old, I received an experimental gene therapy and a few years ago, it got approved by the FDA,” Christian said. “And when I got the treatment, it was experimental and it was in hopes just to stop that inevitable blindness, but for me, it’s done so much more.”

“I got to see the moon for the first time. I got to see stars for the first time, fireworks.”

He was still struggling when he was on America’s Got Talent, but he gained vision and now can see with glasses on, something he never believed could happen.

This allowed him to once again try to achieve his dream, this time on American Idol.

Christian Guardino talks American Idol experience

“Honestly, it was crazy to be there in front of Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie,” he said. “Just the fact that I was there in front of them and able to perform in front of them was insane. I’ve been a huge fan of Lionel Richie pretty much my entire life.”

It also sounds like Christian hopes to make it further.

In the top 24, fans get a chance to vote on who they want to move on and Christian said he hopes his family will be watching with episodes without him this Easter.

“My uncle runs a bar called PeraBell on Main Street in Patchogue and we’ve been doing viewing parties down there,” he said. “For Easter, they’re gonna have one. I was at the few that we threw while I was there, like for the audition.”

American Idol airs on Sunday and Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC.

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