After a strong showing in Milwaukee and a heartbreaking story of love in the wake of tragedy, American Idol's Chris Medina was sent home on Wednesday's show, failing to make the Top 24.
When it came time to deliver the bad news, no one was more emotional than judge Jennifer Lopez, who championed Medina as he sang The Script's "Breakeven" and introduced her to his handicapped fiancee, Juliana, in the show's early audition round.
"It was just honestly a pleasure to meet someone like you," a teary Lopez, 41, told Medina, 26, as Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson looked on. "It was a blessing and a moment in my life I'll always remember.
"You've had some good moments and some bad moments," the judge told Medina, who struggled with the week's Beatles theme when performing "A Hard Day's Night" during the Las Vegas round.
Lopez's epic meltdown intensified when it came time to tell Medina his Idol journey had ended. "It's hard for me to tell him no," she said between sobs. "I don't want to do this anymore!"
Offered Jackson as a consolation: "You did it in the best way possible."
Though Medina won't be singing for viewer votes come March 1's semifinal performance round, five other hopefuls did make it into this season's Top 24: Naima Adedapo, Clint Jun Gamboa, Ashthon Jones, Paul McDonald and Haley Reinhart.
The rest of the Top 24 contestants will be revealed Thursday during part two of Idol's Green Mile episode.