Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP
Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) -- "American Idol" castoff Matt Giraud (jir-AHD') has returned home to a warm welcome in Kalamazoo, Mich., where he will be the guest of honor at a public party.

The event begins Thursday afternoon at Arcadia Creek Festival Place, an outdoor venue in downtown Kalamazoo. His "Idol" contract prohibits Giraud (jir-AHD') from performing.

Several dozen fans greeted Giraud (jir-AHD') when he arrived Wednesday evening at the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport. The 23-year-old singer-pianist says he didn't expect so many people to be waiting to greet him. He signed autographs and posed for pictures for about 30 minutes.

Giraud (jir-AHD') was voted off the popular Fox network singing competition last week. He finished in fifth place.

Fox is a unit of News Corp.

On the Net:

http://www.americanidol.com/