Feb 2, 2011

Top 10 'American Idol' Sob Stories: David Cook, Chris Medina & More

Which was your favorite?   I personally remember Anthony Fedorov really well, and of course David Cook's story...

"American Idol" auditioner Chris Medina set off waterworks across the country last week with his Milwaukee tryout, in which he shared a truly heartbreaking story about the accident that left his fiancee Juliana Ramos brain-damaged. But Medina is by no means the first person with a tragic tale to come across "Idol," which has called upon viewers to break out their tissue boxes many, many times over 10 seasons.

Here, the top 10 "American Idol" sob stories that still bring the tears.
Chris Medina
Season 10
 Chris Medina performed a solid rendition of the Script's "Breakeven," but his audition will be remembered for the appearance of his fiancee Juliana. After Medina, who is one of her caretakers, earned a trip to Hollywood, he brought her out to meet the judges, and Steven Tyler said, "He sings so good [because] he sings to you."

Danny Gokey
Season 8
 Like Medina, Danny Gokey made his personal heartache apparent from the moment he came to "Idol." The season nine third-place finisher lost his wife Sophia during surgery for a heart condition just four weeks before he tried out, and as he told his story to "Idol's" cameras, he simply broke down. "I was so close to not trying out because of the grief; I mean, the grief is so intense," Gokey said. "But I decided I'm gonna go through [with] it because I believe that people through me can see who my wife was." And that's exactly what happened, as Gokey won the judges over by singing "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and never looked back.

Angela Martin
Season 9
 "For every heart that swells with good news, one is broken with bad," Seacrest said at the end of season nine's Hollywood cuts -- but did Angela Martin's really need to be broken more? By the time she tried out for "Idol" a third time, fans knew the most intimate details of her life: her father was killed, her daughter struggled with seizures, she was briefly jailed for a traffic violation (disqualifying her second "Idol" audition) and then her mother went mysteriously missing. "Could this finally be Angela's year?" Seacrest wondered just before Martin met with the judges one last time. Unbelievably, it was not, but we're still rooting for her happiness.

David Cook
Season 7
 Season seven winner David Cook had plenty of incredible "Idol" moments, but one that really stands out is when his brother Adam Cook, who was battling brain cancer, was cleared by his doctors to travel to Los Angeles and see him perform on the show. David sang Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby" and moved even himself to tears, while his family looked on proudly. Adam Cook passed away in 2009, but his memory definitely lives on thanks to David.

Asia'h Epperson
Season 7
 Asia'h Epperson's father died in a car accident just two days before her audition for "American Idol" season seven, and somehow, she summoned the strength to step in front of the judges and deliver a heartwrenching rendition of LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live." "I think your dad would be very proud of you," Simon told the then-18-year-old. Epperson made it all the way to the Top 16 before going home.

Scott MacIntyre
Season 8
 Few "Idol" contestants could move Paula Abdul to tears like Scott MacIntyre, who won the hearts of millions with his ability to perform amazingly well on the "Idol" stage despite a serious visual impairment. McIntyre's self-deprecating sense of humor made him that much more endearing, and when his remarkable run ultimately ended, he was sent off with a standing ovation.

Anthony Fedorov
Season 4
 Anthony Fedorov was told he'd never speak again after having a tracheotomy as a child, but by the time "Idol" season four kicked off, the Ukrainian-American singer had beaten the odds. Fedorov wowed during his audition and made it all the way to fourth place before a duet with eventual winner Carrie Underwood failed to ignite voters.

Josiah Leming
Season 7
 The fact that Josiah Leming was a season seven favorite and didn't even make the final cut was a testament to not just his striking voice, but also his personal story. After dropping out of high school, the Tennessee native moved out of his home and into his car, and told producers: "Wherever the wind blows, that's where I go." It may not have blown him through the Hollywood round, but Leming finally released his debut album, "Come On Kid," on Warner Bros. last year, so all's well that ends well.

Jim Verraros
Season 1
 The original "American Idol" sob story, season one's Jim Verraros was raised by deaf parents and grew up fluent in sign language. "It's been one of my huge dreams for them to magically just hear [me sing]," Verraros told Randy, Paula and Simon when he auditioned. "It doesn't happen, but nevertheless they are at every single one of my shows, whether they can hear it or not." Verraros' parents cheered for him all the way to the top 10, when he was eliminated.

Katie Stevens
Season 9
 Connecticut native Katie Stevens shared the story of her grandmother, who was suffering from Alzheimer's, during the season 9 auditions. "She's probably not gonna remember me for much longer, so I want her to see me succeed in my dreams before she forgets who I am," the 16-year-old singer said. After an impressive take on "At Last" sent her to the next round (and all the way to 8th place), Katie called her grandmother and made her cry by announcing, "I won!"

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