He may have finished sixth on last year's "American Idol," but Constantine Maroulis isn't about to let you forget about him.
The dark-haired Greek brooder was one of the few "Idol" contenders who went into the show with an established fanbase, thanks to gigs in musical theater and his New York rock band Pray for the Soul of Betty. Now, Maroulis says, he's ready to show the rest of the world what his fans already know: He's the real deal.
"We have a lot of fans waiting to see what happens with this album ... and I don't really want to talk about it [too much] because talk is cheap, but we're excited about the material and we have a lot of confidence in what we're doing," said the singer, who debuted about six songs for the crowd at the "American Idol" Season 5 launch party in Hollywood on Saturday.
Along with Bo Bice, Maroulis was deemed one of the show's resident rockers before he was booted off. But don't expect too much rock and roll on his solo disc; Maroulis says he's hoping to cater to a different crowd this time around.
"[This album] is probably not something you'd expect from me. We're working on a really good summer song right now that I like. It's a little more pop, and there's definitely rock, but it also touches on the adult-contemporary side [too]," Maroulis explained. "[The album] is a bit more vocally driven and it's going to be super-sexy, with great arrangements and some classic stuff. Basically [it'll have] a little bit of everything."
"Idol" judge Randy Jackson has been helping Maroulis with his solo endeavor, hooking him up with musical director Paul Pesco, who oversaw his recent New York solo shows.
"We also have some great writers and great producers onboard," the singer added, while keeping most of the LP's main details top secret for now. "There will definitely be collaborations, but you'll have to stay tuned for that too."
With albums already out by Bice and winner Carrie Underwood, what took the more mysterious Maroulis so long to jumpstart his solo music career? Well there's simply not enough Constantine to go around. After finishing up the "Idol" tour last summer life (see "American Idols Live Kickoff: One Ticket, 10 Different Concerts"), Maroulis devoted his time to playing with Pray for the Soul of Betty and developing the still-untitled ABC sitcom that will be loosely based on his life (see "Constantine Maroulis Hopes For 'Roseanne'-Type Success").
He still needs to shoot the pilot for the show, which is being overseen by Kelsey Grammer's production company, but Maroulis says he's hopeful the sitcom will make the channel's lineup next fall. Besides, the veteran stage performer — who has toured with the musical "Rent" and made brief appearances on shows like "Law & Order: SVU" — is eager to slip back into acting after a brief hiatus.
"I'm an actor. I grew up in the theater," Maroulis said. "So hopefully [the show] is part of the near future as far as the television world goes, but it's all up to the big boys now."
Maroulis' solo LP is due in September.