15 American Idol losers who found their own stardom

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Constantine Maroulis (Season 4)

Constantine Maroulis was the lead singer of a rock band in New York when he decided to take a risk and audition for the fourth season of American Idol. The 28-year-old rocker got lucky, because the producers changed the age range to 16-28 that season, allowing him to audition. He performed “Crying” by Aerosmith for his audition, but the judges weren’t immediately sold. Simon, as usual, had reservations about Maroulis, but Paula and Randy disagreed.

Despite having more of a rock’n’roll sound, Maroulis was safe week after week, performing songs like “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by the Police” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” When he made it to the Top 6, he got eliminated after singing Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me.”

Maroulis already had a background in theatre, having appeared in off-Broadway roles and the Broadway touring company of Rent as Roger, so when he was let go from the show, he started performing his own solo concerts that included songs from his theatre roles, as well as those he performed on Idol. He released his debut solo album Constantine in August 2007 on his own label, 6th Place Records.

But he soon found his way back to his Broadway roots, like so many other American Idol contestants before him. Most notably, he starred in the hit Broadway musical Rock of Ages, for which he earned rave reviews. The role even earned him a Tony Award nomination in 2009. He has since appeared in other shows on and off-Broadway as well as guest starring in shows like Madam Secretary and Mozart in the Jungle.