Antonella Barba is currently a contestant on the sixth season of American Idol. At the time of the writing of this article, she is in the top 16.
Barba is 20 years old, was born on November 26, 1986 and is from Point Pleasant, New Jersey. She is a 2004 graduate of Red Bank Catholic High School in Red Bank, New Jersey where she was a member of the school concert choir and a member of the school’s doo-wop group.
In addition to singing, her other musical talents include playing the piano and the violin.
Before appearing on American Idol she was a junior at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C studying architecture, but has had to temporarily withdraw from school to be in California for the show.
Like Clay Aiken’s fans during season 2 of American Idol who called themselves the Claymates, Antonella’s fans have dubbed themselves the “Fantonellas.”
As she performs each week, she can count on support and votes from her fellow students at college who gather in the college’s University Center to watch the live episodes that feature her. Antonella also has the unwavering support of her parents, two younger sisters, and younger brother.
She hasn’t been without controversy though. First, during Hollywood week tempers flared between Barba and friend Amanda Coluccio (they tried out together.) It started to look a little like the movie “Mean Girls” as Amanda got sick of working on their group performance and instead started hanging out with the male contestants which resulted in Barba getting angry and saying a few “less than complimentary” remarks that the cameras caught and, of course, showed on national television.
Then, several unflattering photos of Barba surfaced on the Internet and were quickly the topic of conversation on websites, in newspapers, on the radio, and on television. The photos that were of Antonella were private photos taken when she was with friends and at parties. The x-rated ones were later found out to be fakes. There has been speculation that an ex-boyfriend first posted the picture.
The American Idol producers officially stated they wouldn’t disqualify Antonella from the competition and the judges came out in her defense, most notably Simon Cowell who said the photos were her private business and that people should leave her alone.
Although Antonella has been singing since she was in 6th grade and did well during her auditions for American Idol, her two performances on the show so far have been weak. She has admitted to being very nervous and will need to get those nerves under control if she wants to continue on the show.
She may be avoiding elimination by a popular website that encourages voters to cast their votes for the contestant they think is the worst one in an effort to sabotage the outcome of the show. Currently, Antonella is their choice.
Her life has certainly changed since she became an American Idol contestant. Last summer she was like any other college student on summer break – working a summer job and hanging out with friends and family. Now she says things are “totally surreal…..I was home for a couple of days (a few weeks ago) and I took my sisters out to lunch….and there were people asking for my autograph.”