Formerly Paralyzed Music Student Auditions for ‘American Idol’

David Francisco's performance of "Isn't She Lovely" left Bryan in awe of his talent. 

Written by Kelly Brickey
Formerly Paralyzed Music Student Auditions for ‘American Idol’
David Francisco on American Idol; Photo via Instagram

When David Francisco popped into the American Idol audition room, the judges didn’t know what to expect after he admitted that he’d been hit by a car and lost all function of his legs after he moved to Nashville to pursue his music dreams.

What they got was an experience full of love and happy tears.

Francisco chronicled his story from the very beginning, revealed that just weeks after moving to Music City, he was T-boned by a car while riding his bike. Becoming paralyzed from the waist down after waking up in the hospital confused over how he got there, Francisco didn’t know just how life would go on as normally as before. He cried every day until he saw his foot move just slightly months later.

Using that ounce of encouragement, he dedicated himself to getting back on his feet through physical therapy. Regaining the strength needed to perform even the most basic of functions, Francisco finally made his way to walking again with the physical help of crutches and the emotional help of his fiancée.

He decided to play an acoustic rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” for the judges, which left Lionel Richie inspired and Katy Perry crying. Even Luke Bryan sat in awe of the talent in front of him, giving Francisco a unanimous yes with the golden Hollywood ticket.

Francisco’s story may sound somewhat familiar, as Martina McBride and friends raised $30,000 for the contestant’s family to send him to the treatment he needed in recovery. Francisco was also able to return to the Blackbird Academy, run by McBride’s husband John, to continue his growth and development as a musician.

American Idol viewers will have to see what happens next on Francisco’s path to the top when the chosen contestants make their way to the intensive commitment during Hollywood rounds.

New episodes of American Idol air on Sunday and Monday nights at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.