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"Idol" Finalist Loves His Greek Heritage

Of the Oakland Press

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It’s a long way from the high profile of “American Idol,” but Constantine Maroulis is happy to play gigs such as Troy’s St. Nicholas Opa!Fest and anything that celebrates his Greek heritage.

“I’m a very proud Greek-American,” says Maroulis, 31, who was the sixth-place finisher on “Idol’s” fourth season and has gone on to appear on Broadway (“The Wedding Singer”) and TV (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) and has his debut album, “Constantine,” ready for an Aug. 7 release.

“The Greeks have supported me in a big way, and let’s not forget Detroit is one of the most important markets in the whole country for pop music and has one of the biggest Greek communities in the whole country.

“So it’s a big deal for me to come there any time. Last time I played Joe Louis (Arena); it’s crazy going from that to the Greek festival, but I’m very happy to be part of those kind of festivities. It would be nice to find a nice Greek girl out there, too ...”

The Brooklyn-born Maroulis is still part of “The Bold and the Beautiful” but will use the show’s three-week summer break to build momentum for “Constantine.” The first single, “Everybody Loves,” is already out, and he says that being an “Idol” also-ran actually worked to his advantage in making the album.

“If I’d won or come in second,” Maroulis explains, “I’d have made a record right away and wouldn’t have had the time to make the right record for myself and set up to have a career for the next 20 or 30 years.

“Don’t get me wrong — winning is great, and Carrie (Underwood, the season four winner) is amazing. But I’m very happy with the way things have worked out for me, and for the way the future looks, too.”

Constantine Maroulis performs at 7 p.m. Saturday (June 23rd) and 3 p.m. Sunday (June 24th) at the St. Nicholas Opa!Fest, 760 W. Wattles Road, Troy. Admission is three cans of food for the Gleaners Community Foodbank or $2 per person (children younger than 12 admitted free). Call (248) 362-9575 or visit www.opafest.com.

Web Site: www.opafest.com

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