American Idol Contestant Chris Medina Shares Heartbreaking Story

01/27/2011 AT 09:50 AM EST

Meet Chris Medina: The American Idol contestant's heartbreak and powerful audition on Wednesday night's show in Milwaukee touched the judges and helped earn him a golden ticket to Hollywood.

Medina, 26, told the story of his fiancée, Juliana, who was working at Starbucks when he proposed to her after dating for six years. Two months before they were to tie the knot, she was in an accident that left her with a traumatic brain injury. "Everything changed," said Medina. "We're still not married."

But Medina still cares for his fiancée with her mother.

"I was about to make vows just two months from the accident – through thick and thin, 'til death do us part, for better or worse," he said. "What kind of guy would I be if I walked out when she needed me the most?"

Medina's audition – he sang "Breakeven" by The Script – was more than enough to get earn him a ticket to the Hollywood round. But the judges were so taken by Medina's story they invited Juliana into the studio to meet her.

"I just heard your fiancé sing," Steven Tyler told Juliana. "He sings to you all the time. I could tell. That's why he sings so good because he sings to you."

Later, outside the audition room, Medina, who wears his ring around his neck, leaned over and listened to Juliana whisper something, telling the cameras, "She said, 'I knew it.' "

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