I had mixed feelings when I read in the Los Angeles Times this morning that two-time music industry washout Carly Smithson (you remember her — she was the tattooed Irish lass from the seventh season of "American Idol" whose husband looked like The Enigma) has formed a band with three former members of mope rockers Evanescence. They call themselves Fallen. Some think Smithson's ejection from "Idol" came too early, but clearly Rocky Gray, John Lecompt and Evanescence co-founder Ben Moody think the timing was just perfect.
Visual resemblance to Evanescence singer Amy Lee aside, Smithson is up for the gig if only because she sang the band's smash "Bring Me To Life" on last year's "Idol" tour (she also has the same vampire tan as Lee). And lord knows guitarist/songwriter Moody has finesse with crafting poppy tunes, thanks to his post-Evanescence work with Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion, Chris Daughtry and Kelly Clarkson.
Smithson's genius move got us thinking: What other "Idol" flameouts might have a second shot fronting lead-singerless bands?
Velvet Revolver: The hard rock act featuring ex-members of Guns N' Roses had some success, but more than their share of headaches with Stone Temple Pilot Scott Weiland. Hello Constantine Maroulis! He's got the Broadway chops, the hair and is — most importantly — drama-free.
'NSYNC: Face it fellas, Justin's never coming back. But "Idol" has created a warehouse full of guys with serviceable falsettos, complicated hairdos and entry-level beatboxing abilities that could slip into JT's spot. Might we suggest Blake Lewis? He's probably looking for some work about now.
Destiny's Child: There's no way DC would reform without Beyoncé at the helm, but considering the struggles Kelly Rowlands and Michelle Williams have had emerging from B's massive shadow, "Idol" has given us quite a few options for her replacement. Tamyra Gray could do the trick, Mandisa's got some serious attitude, and I always had a thing for Syesha Mercado.
INXS: The Australian rockers already went the reality show route once trying to replace late lead singer Michael Hutchence. But JD Fortune was a bit of a handful, so why not tap a fellow Aussie with the good looks and pipes, like last season's nice guy Michael Johns? Yeah, he just released a solo album, but trust me, every Aussie kid worth his weight in dingo meat would jump at the chance to sing "Need You Tonight" with the Farriss brothers.
Fleetwood Mac: The veteran 1970s rockers have soldiered on without second female singer Christine McVie for a decade now. And since that whole Sheryl Crow thing didn't work out, how about Brooke White? Again, like Johns, she's just released a solo album, but her fragile, folky voice would be perfect for "The Chain."