It was one of the most touching audition moments in "American Idol" early-round history. The final slot of tryout shows is often saved for inspirational tales that serve as an uplifting close to that night's episode (unless they're not, in which case we see the goofiest of goofballs).
During Wednesday night's episode, which chronicled the judges' second day in Milwaukee, we met 26-year-old musician Chris Medina, whose tragic tale nearly brought the panelists — and likely many viewers — to tears. Two years ago, Medina proposed to his girlfriend of eight years, Juliana Ramos. A short time later, however, she was in a car accident that left her with a traumatic brain injury and in a coma from which doctors didn't think she'd wake from.
She did, though, and Medina has stood by her side, helping to take care of his love and wearing her engagement ring on a chain around his neck. In front of the "Idol" judges, he sang "Breakeven" by Irish soft-rock act the Script, an emotional song with lyrics about heartbreak that includes the lines "Well I'm still alive but I'm barely breathing/ I pray to a God that I don't believe in ... when a heart breaks, no, it don't break even ... I'm fallin' to pieces."
During his audition package, Medina explained of his dedication to Ramos, "What kind of guy would I be if I walked out when she needed me the most?" The judges were clearly inspired by his story and asked to meet Juliana. Steven Tyler seemed particularly moved and gave the wheelchair-bound Juliana a hug and a kiss before telling Chris that he was going through to Hollywood. "I just heard your fiancé sing and he's so good," Tyler said to Ramos. "You know 'cause he sings to you all the time. I could tell. That's why he sings so good because he sings to you."
Tyler, Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez weren't the only ones whose heart strings were pulled. The Script guitarist Mark Sheehan was so touched by Medina's story and the performance, he tweeted a message to the aspiring singer. "Chris Medina: Not only R U a major talent but U R 1 in a billion!" wrote Sheehan. "Stay Strong, Never waver, This world needs more MEN like U. Peace+Love, Mark." The song, which actually chronicles a breakup from the perspective of both the man and woman involved, appeared on the group's self-titled 2008 debut.
The Laurus Foundation has set up a website to help with Juliana's medical expenses.
What did you think about Chris Medina's "Idol" audition? Share your opinion in the comments.