The Sixth Man 

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Nothing warms a cold music critic's heart like these four words: "former 'American Idol' contestant." Last Saturday, Elliott Yamin returned for an intimate concert, and now Richmond hosts its second castoff from the show in as many weeks Thursday, Feb. 28, with a concert by Constantine Maroulis at the Capital Ale House. Unlike Yamin, Maroulis wasn't a high-school dropout or show-biz neophyte when he entered the country's largest karaoke contest. He'd already appeared on the television show "Elimidate," contributed to the cast recording of the 2000 musical "Suburban Dreams" and earned a degree in musical theater from The Boston Conservatory. Since "Idol," Maroulis has quit the band he fronted (Pray for the Soul of Betty) and started his own record label, named after his ranking on the popular show, Sixth Place Records. His voice has been compared to Freddie Mercury's and his music's stadium-rock sound would be a great sound track for a reality show about angst-laden male models. The guy who came in sixth performs at the Capital Ale House at 9 p.m. $20. 780-ALES.

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