Carly Smithson took a very rare and special gift from the set of American Idol after she was booted from the stage during the show's seventh season: sage advice from Simon Cowell!

"He helped me grow a good set of balls," the Irish singer-songwriter, who's now leading the rock group We Are the Fallen (their debut disc, Tear the World Down, dropped on May 11), says. She popped by my office on May 12 to discuss how those words gave her the courage to step out front with ex-Evanescence members Ben Moody and John LeCompte (plus Disturbed bassist Marty O'Brien) -- and don't think Amy Lee is mad about it one bit. Carly explains why in the clip above.

Visit the band's Web site to find out where to see them on the road in a town near you.

By Ian Drew for To read more of Ian's blog, click here and don't forget to follow him on Twitter.