April 22, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

You may recall seeing Constantine Maroulis’ bandmates in hard rock quartet Pray for the Soul of Betty wince at his auditioning for American Idol (imagine the eye-rolling after his disco performance this week), but his Idol-bred fame has apparently landed the band a record deal. Whether or not Maroulis is still a finalist on May 10, he’ll already have a CD in stores. That’s the release date for the band’s self-titled debut CD, Koch Records announced Thursday.

”Pray For the Soul of Betty is one of the best rock bands I’ve heard in years,” said Alan Grunblatt, general manager and executive vice president of Koch Records, in a statement. ”Considering how popular Constantine Maroulis is, we should go gold for sure!” Koch is the same label that capitalized on Idol by releasing two albums by Idol reject William Hung and one by first-season finalist Jim Verraros.

It’s not clear whether the Koch deal conflicts with the notoriously restrictive management contract that Idol contestants must sign, but the label says the album was recorded in 2003 and 2004, before Betty’s frontman auditioned for the TV talent contest. The label cites as the band’s influences such hard rockers as Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden, and Queens of the Stone Age. Given Maroulis’ recent rendition of ”Bohemian Rhapsody,” he certainly has the Queen element down pat.

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.
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