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Country Club Hills singer falls short on ‘Idol’

CliftDuffJr. Country Club Hills DePaul University Chicago where he is student Jan. 30 2013. He has been selected advance Hollywood

Clifton Duffin Jr., of Country Club Hills, at DePaul University in Chicago, where he is a student, Jan. 30, 2013. He has been selected to advance to Hollywood in the current season of the TV program "American Idol." | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 10, 2013 6:17AM



Clifton Duffin Jr. made it to Hollywood with “American Idol,” but his run at fame and fortune is done.

Duffin, 23, of Country Club Hills, failed to advance from the first night of the men’s competition on the popular Fox television show, and was last seen carrying his suitcase down a hallway.

The episode was broadcast Wednesday night.

“Before I left, my mother told me that no matter what happens, she’s so proud. And she cried all the way through saying that,” Duffin said in a taped interview that aired late in the broadcast.

A junior at DePaul University, Duffin competed with other male singers in the group competition at a theater in Hollywood.

He advanced to Hollywood after sailing through the Chicago audition last fall.

That Chicago audition marked the first time his parents, Sasha Duffin and Clifton Duffin Sr., had ever heard him sing. He clinched his trip to Hollywood with a heartfelt rendition of his mother’s favorite song, Luther Vandross’ take on “Superstar,”’ during a tryout at the Adler Planetarium.

“He just blew us away,” his mother said last week of that performance.

Sasha Duffin said Thursday morning she was disappointed that he didn’t advance and that he wasn’t seen singing Wednesday night.

“It’s such a bummer. I was watching last night. I looked at his face when they showed him walking away and it looked like he was in another world,” she said.

“I think he was a bundle of nerves,” she said of the intense competition in the show, “but he’s living and he’s learning.”

Duffin did not immediately return a phone call Thursday.



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