What Not to Say to an American Idol Has-Been

I walked into the nightclub with my friends, and there in front of us, perched atop a velvet banquette in between a beautiful blonde girl and other glittering hangers-on, was Constantine Maroulis. Who?

Well, he was on American Idol three seasons ago, the one when Carrie Underwood ultimately won. He reached the top six by acquiring the persona of a hard rocker with long hair — no, not Bo Bice, the other long-haired rocker during Constantine's season.

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These days, only reality-TV junkies like me would recognize his pout and wavy locks, but if you find yourself in a similar situation, here the top three things not to say to Constantine (or any other American Idol reject):

1. "When is your next album coming out?" They may not have a next album (if a first one was even released), so try to avoid this touchy subject.

2. "Is Simon really that mean?" Constantine was on Idol in 2005, which means he's had three years of this question. Asking it again will not endear you to him.

3. "Do you still talk to Kelly/Ruben/Fantasia/Carrie...?" Because the answer is no. Idol rejects hug like besties during the finale, but you just know that they're too competitive to keep in touch.

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