"American Idol" always closes its audition shows with a sob story, but the final moments of Wednesday's episode were especially heart-wrenching.
We met Chris Medina, 26, whose fiancee (Juliana Ramos) was in a car accident that left her with a severe skull fracture, a traumatic brain injury and multiple fractures to her face. Chris is now her caregiver.
Chris impressed the judges with a nice rendition of The Script's "Breakeven." While giving Chris his ticket to Hollywood, they asked him to bring his fiancee into the room. She arrived shaking in a wheelchair. Meanwhile, viewers wiped tears from their eyes.
Once you've restocked your Kleenex supply, weigh in: Is this the saddest back story in "Idol" history?
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Click here to learn more about Chris' fiancee's car accident. Here's Chris' audition footage.
Here's another video of Chris:
Check out our full recap of Wednesday's show.
Welcome to Milwaukee, "American Idol" fans. Remember, Danny Gokey hails from Milwaukee. It's Idol's first time hosting auditions in the city.
First up: Scotty McCreery, 16, who's from a small town in North Carolina. He calls himself an all-American kid who plays baseball. He sings "Your Man" by Josh Turner and delivers a very deep traditional country voice. It's decent, but his appeal seems somewhat limited. The judges ask him to sing another song. He sings Travis Tritt's "Put Some Drive in Your Country."
Steven Tyler is shocked and offers a few obscenities. Scotty gets a three-way yes. Randy calls him a "throwback country guy." I don't know...I wonder about this guy's versatilty. Agree?
Here's Joe Repka, 19, an aspiring radio star from Ohio. I immediately sense a "bad audition" alert and I'm right. He botches Billy Joel's "The Longest Time." The trio tells him to pursue radio instead of singing. He can't resist performing another song. He sings "Can't Help Falling in Love" and Steven sings along. He gets three no's for Hollywood.
Emma Henry, 15, drove from Colorado to Milwaukee. She just got her learner's permit. She sings "True Colors" and her voice is a little shaky. She'll be better in a few years. "You should keep working on that," Jennifer says. Randy doesn't think she's ready yet. Jennifer says no, Steven says yes, Randy says yes. She's going to Hollywood, but the judges say she needs more energy. "She's going to get eaten up in this competition," Jennifer says. I agree.
Cue the obligatory bad singer montage. I love the reject who asks for a sip of Randy's Coke. He says no.
Meet Naima Adedapo. She works a cleaning job with Summerfest, the big music festival in Milwaukee. She wishes she could be on stage. She sports dreadlocks and pulls out a stellar cover of Donny Hathaway's "For All We Know." She sails through to Hollywood.
Yikes, did you see the guy who crushed the camcorder while doing black flips?
Jerome Bell, 27, from New York wows the judges with his rendition of "Let's Get It On." I think it's a little over the top at points. He unanimously gets a "yes" for Hollywood.
How did a 5-year-old audition for this show?
Big surprise. Another 15-year-old singer. Thia Megia hails from California. She sings Adele's "Chasing Pavements." She has a nice big voice. The judges love her. She unanimously gets a ticket to Hollywood.
UPDATE: I knew it! Thia is from "America's Got Talent." Learn more here.
Then, we get a montage of successful 15-year-old singers. There's a lot of them.
Nathaniel Jones is a Civil War reenactor. He wears his Civil War getup to the audition and botches a rendition of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" He gets a "no" and initiates a chain of bad performances.
Molly DeWolf Swenson is a Harvard graduate. She's an intern at the White House. She loves Obama. Randy Jackson accidentally punched Molly in the mouth while giving high fives. She delivers a nice performance of "Sittin' On The Dock of the Bay." She has a good deep voice. She easily advances to Hollywood.
Time for day two of Milwaukee auditions.
Haley Reinhart auditioned last season and got rejected. She sings "Oh! Darling" and hits some pretty nice notes. She unanimously gets a "yes" for Hollywood.
Tiwan Strong performs a nice rendition of "Twistin' the Night Away" and sails through to Hollywood.
Steve Beguhn is a tall CPA. He sings at weddings and funerals. He's actually pretty good. He performs a pretty awesome version of "The Man Who Can't Be Moved." Steven Tyler calls it "disturbingly great." He's going to Hollywood!
Vernika Patterson gets a "no" for Hollywood and insists it's because she's not skinny. Actually, she's just a bad singer.
Albert Rogers III does a nice Obama imitation, but can he sing? His take on "Stand by Me" is, um, less than impressive. Randy calls it "terrible and a joke." He's not going to Hollywood.
Scott Dangerfield is a student teacher who pulls out a surprisingly awesome rendition of "Dreamin'" by Amos Lee. Jennifer Lopez says he's her favorite. He easily advances to Hollywood.
Annoying singer alert! Megan Frazier is a huge Packers fan. She sings an opera version of Justin Bieber's "Baby." Naturally, she gets a "no."
Alyson Jados is a Steven Tyler fan who wants to bring more rock to "American Idol." Actually, she kind of looks like Steven Tyler, too. She sings "Come Together" and then pulls out a shaky version of Aerosmith's "Dream On." Steven does the high notes. The judges think she needs some work. Randy says no, Jennifer says yes, Steven says yes. She's going to Hollywood!
Then, we get a montage of successful singers.
We're down to the last singer of the night. Big surprise, everything is on the line.
Chris Medina, 26, is engaged. His fiancee got into a bad accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Now, Chris is her caretaker. He sings "Breakeven." It seems a little rough at first, but he picks up steam as the song goes on. Of course, the judges have Chris bring in his fiancee. She's in pretty bad shape. She's shaking in a wheelchair. While I wipe tears from my eyes, Chris advances to Hollywood.
And we're done.