Knoxville native David Francisco was eliminated during Hollywood Week on Monday night’s episode of American Idol.
Francisco, 25, is a University of Tennessee graduate who recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams. He had a close call with death in Nashville when he was T-boned while riding his bike. Doctors told him he would never walk again.
But then, what seemed like a miracle happened. While recovering in Atlanta, he began to regain movement in his legs. Now, he’s walking on his own.
During Monday night’s show, Francisco began walking onto the stage with crutches, which he then tossed into the air and walked to the microphone on his own power.
It was a moment he planned, and is proud of.
“I’m just going to go out there. How cool of a symbol would it be if I just threw the crutches as I was walking out? Glad they showed it. It was pretty epic, and so I”m glad I did it, ” he said on Tuesday.
The judges, however, were not impressed enough with his performance of “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5 and sent him home.
Francisco was obviously disappointed in the outcome.
“Well, to be honest, it was not my best,” he said of his performance. “And I kind of had a feeling where after I performed like that wasn’t my best, and I should’ve done my best.”
“Maybe it’s because I was standing or something but I just, it was like I couldn’t remember where my voice was. Like, where is it? And then watching it back last night wasn’t as bad as I remembered. I remember feeling awful… and it had to be in front of all of these incredible singers,” he said..
He says the singers really support each other, at least right now, despite the competition you see on TV.
“They show a lot of drama which I’m sure is there, but for my portion when I was there, we were just hanging out, talking, getting to know each other, having a really good time. I still hang out with a lot of them.”
WATE 6 On Your Side asked if he could say who might be the judge’s favorite.
“I know a couple people who are still in but obviously not going say, but I really like this one guy Taylor John who I don’t think they’ve even shown yet. He has a hat and plays electric guitar. Smooth voice.”
Things are only looking up for Francisco, whose first album is coming out in June. He has written every song on it.
“It’s all original and it’s all post-accident so some of them are love songs for Kristy. Some of them are overcoming songs, some of them are just fun songs.
He has no regrets about his time on American Idol:
“I’m thankful I was on. Wouldn’t have done it any other way. I’m very, very happy for that experience and excited for the future.”
Part of that future includes an appearance in Knoxville April 6, 7 and 8 at Rhythm n Blooms Music Festival.
Francisco is also taking part in a 500 mile bike ride starting in Southern California from June 22 to July 3. It benefits research for people like Francisco with spinal cord injuries.
He will be riding a tandem bike with his wife on the 12 day journey.