Simon Cowell predicts an end to Antonella Barba's 'Idol' journey
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/08/2007
Seemingly anticipating that Antonella Barba's American Idol journey would be coming to an end during Thursday night's live results show, Simon Cowell commended the 20-year-old Point Pleasant, NJ native for continuing to perform despite the emergence of numerous provocative photos of her on the Internet in recent weeks.
"You've gone as far as you can go Antonella. I mean the reality is -- and I think you know this yourself -- which is you are surrounded by some pretty amazing girl singers. And I don't know how much more you could do to be honest with you because I don't think your voice is going to get any better," Cowell told Barba following her "Put Your Records On" performance on Wednesday night's Idol performance show.
"You know, I feel for you. You've taken a lot of stick in the media, you've handled yourself well throughout, and I don't think anybody should be put in that situation. I'm not going to patronize you here, it wasn't your worse [performance]... we've heard you sound worse. But I just have a problem here... I wish you could sing better."
Despite the emergence of the Barba photos on the Internet, she has remained as one of the Top 16 finalists on the sixth season of American Idol. Producer Nigel Lythgoe revealed last week that the show had decided not to disqualify Barba from Idol, and she's also received support from the series' host and judges. While the photos were not enough to get her disqualified, Idol judge Randy Jackson hinted that he believed they did have a mental impact on her performances in recent weeks.
"I always feel like the last couple of weeks you don't quite believe you... you're actually a better singer than I think you've shown," he told Barba.
Following the judges' comments, Idol host Ryan Seacrest asked Barba how she feels about the competition she's facing. "I know I'm surrounded by really talented people, and I think that I have a different sound then them," she said. "I'm not trying to compare myself to anybody else... I wish the judges wouldn't compare me to anybody else because I try to be myself." When Seacrest asked if Barba understood what Cowell told her, she had this to say.
"I understand that yeah, I'm not going to doubt the talent I'm surrounded by... I don't try to be like them, they don't try to be like me." Following that last comment, Cowell could be heard saying "Yeah, they wouldn't be [like you]" under his breath, which drew a chuckle from the live studio audience.
"I mean let's get real," continued Cowell. "No one's being critical for the sake of being critical. It's just a fact."
Apparently fed-up with the direction the conversation was heading in, Idol judge Paula Abdul said, "Let's get to a warmer place." And Cowell had the perfect suggestion to do just that.