April 15, 2008 12:00 AM

In a heart-wrenching American Idol performance, David Cook sang “Always Be My Baby” on Tuesday night while his brother Adam Cook, who is battling brain cancer, watched from the front row.

When David finished the Mariah Carey song, Adam gave him a standing ovation and David wiped his eyes.

“You have tears,” host Ryan Seacrest said after giving the audience the number to vote. “He’s in tears right now.”

David could only answer, “Yeah.”

During a commercial break, David walked down to hug his brother in his seat. All three judges — Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson — also hugged Adam.

Adam, 36, who traveled to Los Angeles from his home state of Indiana, arrived at the studio 40 minutes before the live telecast began and took a seat right next to Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher and her daughter.

Two weeks ago David had a difficult time concentrating on the show because he had learned his brother’s condition had worsened. Despite his fragile state, Adam’s doctors allowed him to travel to the Idol show accompanied by a medic and a nurse.

“His brother came to town a few days ago, and he’s not in the best of shape and you can tell it’s affecting David and everything,” says dancer Lacey Schwimmer, of So You Think You Can Dance, who has stepped out with David recently. “But I think it’s a good thing that he’s here because it shows that his brother is still supporting him.”

Schwimmer adds: “He’s just really happy his brother is here.”

Adam is expected to attend Wednesday night’s Idol results show before returning to Indiana on Thursday. —Jed Dreben and Monica Rizzo

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