Maroulis, a New Yorker, says that his Betty bandmates were initially upset when he joined Idol. Their gritty, post-grunge clatter, they argued, was not meant for pop TV audiences. "But they understood the big picture," says Maroulis. "It's what you do with that opportunity after that."
Once the tour winds down next month, Maroulis will continue to work on his solo album, due out this summer. Then he'll begin production on an ABC-backed sitcom about his family and friends. "Look at Kelly Clarkson," he says. "She's everywhere. I am in position right now to do everything I ever wanted to do."
Thu., Jan. 26, 6 p.m.