"American Idol" finalist David Cook sang in tribute to his brother Adam, who is battling advanced brain cancer and was in the audience for the first time Tuesday night.
Adam thought he would never be able to make the trip, but then his community rallied together to make the impossible happen.
The performance of Mariah Carey's "You Will Always Be My Baby" was a star-making turn for David, resulting in raves from the judges.
"That was the best performance all year," judge Randy Jackson said as he finished the song.
David couldn't hold back the tears as he looked to his brother in the audience.
Adam, a 36-year-old lawyer, has a brain cancer that has spread to his spine. Thanks to the Cooks' hometown of Terre Haute, Ind., nothing could stop him from being there for David's big moment.
"We made a dream a reality, and he wants everybody who is battling something like this to know, you gotta keep fighting," said the Cooks' longtime friend Darrick Scott.
At the Wild Wings pub in Terre Haute, family and friends, including Adam's two kids, gathered to cheer the brothers' reunion.
"We've struggled just to see Adam get out of bed. To see them go on this trip like this and to be able to go out and support his brother, it's overwhelming," said Lori Hoffman, another old friend of Adam's.
Close friends led the charge to get a special plane donated, equipped with a medic and flight nurse.
"He said, 'You know, I really have to show people that I am strong and that I am going to make this trip,'" said Adam's wife, Kendra Coko.
A radio station paid for the hotel. The total tab for the trip reached $80,000.
Adam's health has been an emotional ride for the Cook family.
David was admitted to a Los Angeles hospital earlier in the month, experiencing heart palpitations and elevated blood pressure. An unnamed "American Idol" executive told entertainment Web site TMZ that the singer had been under extra stress because his brother had recently suffered a setback.
On the "American Idol" Web site David says he "draws inspiration from his brothers." It certainly worked Tuesday night.