Ghosts of the Brian Dunkleman era continue to rise from beyond. First came the announcement that first-season reruns of American Idol will surface in syndication this fall. Now comes word that vanished Season 1 runner-up Justin Guarini is alive and well and putting out a second album. Talking to MTV News, he seems remarkably not bitter and says he still watches AI every week just like you do. He’s also recorded a new album, Stranger Things Have Happened, whose sound will come as a surprise to fans of the curly-haired crooner’s previous pop sound: It’s an album of lounge standards, with Justin backed by a serious acoustic jazz quartet playing tropical-tinged arrangements. It’s not bad; you can hear some of it at his website, where he’s distributing the album himself until he can get a label to pick it up.

Could Guarini make a comeback as a Michael Bublé-style jazz act? Stranger things indeed.

addCredit(“Justin Guarini: Amy Graves/”)