Not even "American Idol" couple Jacqueline Dunford and Nick Fink's cheery love could salvage a shaky audition.
Fink and Dunford, who were aiming to be " 'American Idol' 's first power couple," charmed audiences with their affectionate, googly-eyed banter ("I like to think of Nick being me in boy form," Dunford said at their Arizona audition) and won over the judges with their equally sweet voices. However, the power of love couldn't keep the wannabe "Idol" pair together in the competition after Fink turned in a weak second audition during day one of Hollywood Week.
Holding hands as they waited to show off their pipes once again, Fink went in front of the judges first. Sporting a satin blazer and blue T-shirt, Fink sang Paolo Nutini's "New Shoes," but his paper-thin vocals lacked the refined smoothness of his Arizona audition. Jacqueline, however, rocked it, taking the stage in a jaunty flower hairpiece and gray cardigan and assuredly belting Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me."
Their hands were entwined as they waited for Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler to divide hopefuls into two lines, but they had to separate when Fink was called up front and Dunford remained in the back. Then, to Fink's disappointment and Dunford's delight, the panel dismissed the front line and congratulated the back line. Although they tried to empathize with each other, Dunford was clearly suppressing her giddiness as she gazed at the dejected Fink.
Fink didn't take the rejection well at all. As the auditioners headed off the stage, the 19-year-old crooner grabbed the mic and pleaded with the judges to give him another shot, saying he "wanted to continue with his baby. I'm so happy for her, but I just wish you guys would let me sing, like, a teeny bit more." Jackson dashed his hopes once again, insisting that everybody got just one chance, adding, "You gotta leave it all on the stage." Still, as Fink reluctantly filed down the aisle — Dunford had already quietly gone ahead — he tried once more to belt "Shoes," sounding no better than he had moments before.
Eventually, Fink caught up with Dunford and hugged his lady. Chopping it up with Ryan Seacrest afterward, she explained that they didn't even entertain the idea they might be separated heading into the competition, while Fink asked Seacrest, "Are you hurt by this?"
While Fink was clearly hurt, at least he still had his girlfriend. As Seacrest noted, it's time for Fink to cheer his lady on as she chases "Idol" fame alone.
What did you think of Fink and Dunford being separated on "American Idol"? Let us know in the comments!
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