"American Idol" Dirty Photos Scandal
Antonella Barba, 20, of Point Pleasant, N.J., a contestant on FOX's reality show "American Idol", may have a lot of jealous ex-boyfriends (or girlfriends?) posting her racy photos all over the Internet, including one with four women posing topless at the beach, and others with a woman engaged in a sex act.
The latest of the images that have been surfacing all week long on a number of blogs allegedly depict Antonella posing semi-nude in a wet t-shirt in front of a World War II memorial, as well as performing oral sex on an unidentified man.
Alex Gillespie, a Fox publicist in New York for the top-rated show, said the network would have no comment on the incident or whether it might affect Barba's participation in the contest. He also underlined no contestants will be available to speak to the media.
The producer of "American Idol" and judge on "So You Think You Can Dance?" Nigel Lythgoe said to Entertainment Weekly on Friday: "It's sad, isn't it, that your best friends are the ones that come forward with information that will go to Smoking Gun or put your photographs on the Web?"
This week, Antonella survived the first round of elimination despite being heavily criticized by all three judges for her lackluster performance. it is too early to tell whether the scandal will diminish or improve her chances to stay in the competition in the next round.
In the past, "American Idol" has dropped contestants for actions unrelated to the show. In 2003 the producers disqualified Frenchie Davis because of her appearance on an adult Web site. She however bounced back with a role in the Broadway production of "Rent."