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Fargo native heads to Hollywood in Americal Idol competition

Nick Fink

Nick Fink, a 2009 Fargo South graduate, is going to Hollywood.

The 19-year-old Fargo native who now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., impressed the "American Idol" judges during Wednesday evening's episode of the popular show, earning a "yes" vote from each of them after singing the Maroon 5 song "Sunday Morning."

It's the latest move for the former Bruin who has shifted from being a celebrity on his high school's show choir to selling suits in his family's menswear clothing store to being pegged as a potential star by the judges on America's most popular television show.

Fittingly, the slender and smiley Fink was grinning as wide as his face after receiving the golden ticket that will send him to the next stage of the "Idol" ladder to possible success.

"I wouldn't have (auditioned) if it wasn't for my girlfriend at the time," Fink said on Wednesday.

That former flame, Jacqueline Dunford, made Fink one of the featured contestants on Wednesday's episode. The one-time couple decided to audition together, joking to the cameras that they were aiming to be the first "Idol" super-couple.

But while they didn't duet, they were shown in a montage that featured them kissing in front of a pond and holding hands while skipping in a grassy field. Dunford even remarked that Fink was like a male version of herself.

The two met while they were singing choir at Scottsdale Community College. On Wednesday night, they were being packaged as a potential reality-show power couple. Though Fink did say they aren't together anymore, he couldn't comment on how they did once "Idol" took them to Hollywood. Those taped segments will be aired in the coming weeks.

Also in the coming weeks, Fink says he will be moving to Los Angeles, but not for his singing career. He'll be relocating to the City of Angels to pursue an acting career.

Fink's dual-threat potential doesn't surprise the people who witnessed this former Fargo South class president sing and act in high school. He's described as a charismatic performer adored by the audience and his peers.

"He was talented, but never cocky, and so encouraging of everyone else," says Michael Radniecki, a former choir and show choir teacher at Fargo South who retired in 2009. "Nick was the appreciative student, he was always working to get better, but he was the one who said 'thank you' for everything. As a teacher, that's pretty neat to hear that."

Coincidentally, Radniecki watched Fink's "Idol" debut in Arizona, where the former teacher winters.

Fink lives there year-round, after following his family who relocated to the warmer climate and opened a menswear store where Fink is currently selling suits. While in Fargo, the family ran a horse operation called Four Finks Farm.

Fink, who is living with his parents, says they still have four horses on their property, but he's been focused on honing his acting skills by studying at the Phoenix Film Institute in preparation for his move to Los Angeles.

Though, before he lands any big acting roles, he'll be playing the "Idol" hopeful. He might have a chance at getting the lead role. Fink's take on "Sunday Morning" was smooth and melodic, prompting all three "Idol" judges to give him a "yes" vote. They seemed to like more than his voice, too, as judge Steven Tyler told Fink "You're beautiful looking, man."

Jennifer Lopez was also complementary of Fink, but in his couple status, calling Fink and Dunford her "favorite couple on 'Idol' in 10 years."