NORFOLK (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Nassau (LHA 4), the "Top Gator," received special thanks Aug. 16, when the rocker most known for his live rendition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" on Season Four of American Idol visited the ship.
Constantine Maroulis was "blown away" when he toured the amphibious assault ship and learned about the capabilities and mission. He thanked Top Gator Sailors for their dedication to service and to this country.
"This is the first time I actually remember being onboard a Navy ship," said Constantine. "I am amazed by the size of the ship and by the crew that serves on board. I am here to thank them for the awesome job they do and show them it is appreciated."
The former American Idol participant toured the bridge and flight deck where Nassau Sailors were standing by to give him a glimpse of their world.
"It is always great when someone famous comes out to support the crew," said Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) (AW/SW) Derek A. Gordon, Air Department. "The Sailors [on board NASSAU] work hard and deserve to be recognized because they are celebrities in their own right."
After leaving the flight deck, Constantine made his way to the Combat Information Center and then down to the Medical Department.
"The capabilities of this ship are incredible," said Constantine. "I just didn't realize how much has to happen for the ship to succeed. It's all very impressive."
Constantine was given a Nassau ball cap, which he proudly sported while he toured the "incredible" warship.
After the tour, Nassau Sailors were able to receive signed photos and information on Constantine's self-titled album, released Aug. 7, by Sixth Place Records.
"I was not particularly aware of who Constantine was, but my daughter was quick to inform me that he is the 'it' guy on the scene right now," said Chief Air Traffic Controller (AW/SW) Trevor Rowe, leading chief petty officer of Operations Department. "She begged me to get his autograph for him as well as some pictures. How could I refuse? As it turned out, he was a really good guy with genuine care for our Sailors."
Since his departure from American Idol, Constantine has starred on Broadway in "The Wedding Singer" as well as in the critically acclaimed off-Broadway revival of "Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris."
For more news from USS Nassau, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/lha4/.