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Carly Smithson + Evanescence = 'Suck it, Simon Cowell!'

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Here’s an embarrassing confession: I’ve listened to Carly Smithson’s American Idol performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Superstar” so many times, you’ll find it in the Top 10 Most Played list on my iTunes. So you won’t be surprised to discover that I positively freaked when I found out that the Irish songbird who spent Idol‘s seventh season getting treated by Simon Cowell like a rawhide chew in the mouth of a Rottweiler is finally taking her first post-show steps toward success.

Yes indeedy, USA Today reports that Smithson is teaming up with three of the four original members of multiplatinum-selling rockers Evanescence — guitarists Ben Moody and John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray — plus bassist Marty O’Brien to form a new band, The Fallen, and that their first single, “Bury Me Alive,” will be available for free download starting Monday at wearethefallen.com.

Apparently, the band will start touring in September and release songs in small batches, “so there’s always new music and new reasons to come to another show,” according to Moody.This intense, world-altering news should result in several important changes in my life:

Upshot #1: Now that Smithson’s got herself a legit band, my iPod suddenly outs me as an “early adopter” instead of a tragique fanboy. (After the jump, check out the sadness video Idolatry exec producer Jason Averett and I posted on EW.com the night of Carly’s Idol ouster.)

Upshot #2: Looks like Carly’s going to be rocking a helluva lot harder than she did on Ultimate High, her 2001 major-label solo disc released under the name Carly Hennessy. (True confessions: That disc’s lead single, “I’m Gonna Blow Your Mind,” can be found on my 100 Most Played List, too. Okay, so I’m back to tragique fanboy.)

Upshot #3: Simon Cowell can suck it!

What do you think of Smithson’s deal? Will teaming up with Moody & Co. give her a shot at becoming the next Daughtry-like success to rise from the Idol ashes? Or would she have been better off going solo? And paired with successful major-label discs from Davids Cook and Archuleta, an upcoming Atlantic set from Jason Castro, and anticipated indie releases from Michael Johns and Brooke White this summer, are the season 7 alumni rocking harder than any other?