Constantine Maroulis won over millions of voters with his saccharine camera gaze and electric rock performances, emerging as one of the most talented and recognized competitors of "American Idol" (Fox, 2002- ). He was born Constantine James Maroulis on Sept. 17, 1975 in Brooklyn, NY, and spent his formative years in Wyckoff, NJ. The future rocker was active in the Greek Orthodox Church, where he was an altar boy and a youth group leader. By age five, Maroulis started developing an interest in music, and at age 11, was taking trumpet lessons. After graduating from high school, Maroulis studied musical theater and acting at the Boston Conservatory, graduating in 2002 with a degree in fine arts. Prior to competing on "American Idol," Maroulis competed on the dating show "elimiDATE" (syndicated, 2001-06) and appeared as an extra on the crime drama "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010). He also starred in the Broadway international touring company's production of the smash hit "Rent" (1994), playing Roger Davis, an AIDS-stricken musician battling the coming wave of gentrification in New York City's bleak Lower East Side. Determined to make it as a musician, Maroulis auditioned and earned a spot as one of the Top 24 contestants of season four of "American Idol," which coincided with the show changing the age range of its contestants from 16-24 to 16-28.