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Idol reject wants more exposure than Kelly Clarkson.

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You won't hear Constantine Maroulis talking trash about American Idol. One of two long-haired rockers who made it to last season's finals (he was the one who didn't win), Maroulis realizes that without Idol, his 2006 wouldn't be shaping up quite as fab. On tap: a solo album, a starring role in a sitcom based on his life, and best of all, a tour with his band, Pray for the Soul of Betty (which comes to town tonight). "I just want to get back onstage and get ugly with the boys," he says.

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.

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