When David Francisco walked onto the American Idol audition stage, there was no sign that the Knoxville, Tennessee native was even slightly nervous.
After 15 seasons of the singing competition show, we thought we had seen it all, but the singers and their life stories continue to inspire us all.
Now on the 16th season, David had to impress judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and Katy Perry. His story and his breathtaking performance brought them to tears.
But before he sat down to sing, David had a story to share as to why he's walking with crutches.
A couple years ago, David was hit by a car that ran a red light. Doctors told him that he would never walk again because he suffered a severe spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed waist down.
"I thought everything was over. Music’s over. Relationships are over. I cried every single day for months," he said. But as time went by, he was able to slightly move his legs, and worked hard to keep them strong. “I don't take anything for granted now."
Then came a letter from a friend, and that changed the course of his life...
When his friend, Christie, heard about the accident, she encouraged him to follow his dreams.
As they spent more time together, they fell in love. Christie thinks of David as "the bright light in the room."
"I was amazed by how she didn't seem to be fazed by the fact that I was in a wheelchair," David said.
It's clear that David is grateful for the positive impact Christie has had on his life, which encouraged him to pursue his dreams.
“Being on American Idol is huge because this is the next step trying to reincorporate myself into real life. And then maybe someday I can support myself with music," he said.
So when Christie and David came on that stage, David sang a beautiful rendition of "Isn't She Lovely" for his fiancee.
The judges were in tears while they stood up to hug David. "[Christie] was looking at him with the purest kind of love," Katy Perry said with tears streaming down her face.
Needless to say, David did get his golden ticket, and we can't wait to see him on the live show!