Constantine Maroulis: Life After American Idol

updated 10/10/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/10/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

According to the New York City rocker, his sixth-place finish on last season's American Idol was the "best thing that's ever happened to me. I'm not cursed with that stigma of being the American Idol." Now free of his show commitments, Maroulis, 30, is planning a solo album and just signed a deal to star in an ABC sitcom produced by Kelsey Grammer's company. "My name is out there," he says. "I'm not nervous about the window closing."

Who needs the mall?
In addition to getting designer freebies, he says, on the Idol tour "people would drop off gifts for me. I was shipping a box home every week of gifts I got." He points to his wrist. "I got this from a fan. It's a big rock-and-roll watch with the Grim Reaper on it."

He's got a famous idol worshipper.
At a party in L.A. in June, Quentin Tarantino "kept saying I was going to be a big star," recalls Maroulis. "He was like, 'You sucked in the last song, but that's okay. You sang it great the night you went home.'"

I think I love you.
On Idol, his smolder had the girls swooning, and now, "I get proposals all the time," says the unattached singer. "I'm not taking advantage of any of the offers. I have no time for that now." For future reference, though, "I like girls who are focused on their career and that are a little old-fashioned."

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