Antonella Barba's 'Idol' best friend says most explicit photos aren't her
By Steve Rogers, 02/27/2007
Fox isn't publicly commenting on the recent emergence of numerous provocative photos of sixth season American Idol semifinalist Antonella Barba, nor are they allowing Barba to directly do so herself. But there is one person that's willing to talk to the media about the alleged pictures -- Amanda Coluccio, the Barba best friend who also made it to American Idol 6's Hollywood round but failed to make the season's Top 24 semifinalists cut.
According to Coluccio, the "tamer shots" -- including an American Beauty tribute photo that features a naked Barba covered by rose petals -- are legitimate and were taken as part of a calendar that she gave her boyfriend of several years but she's certain that the "lewdest" -- specifically the ones that allegedly show Barba performing a sex act -- aren't of Barba.
"They were meant to be seen by one person and one person only," Coluccio told The Star-Ledger, New Jersey's largest newspaper, in an article published in Monday's edition. "The really bad ones aren't her. I've studied them. It's not her nose. She's never had (acrylic nail) tips in her life. She's the least slutty person I know."
According to Coluccio -- who told The Star-Ledger that she's been talking daily with the sequestered Barba -- Barba believes that someone from Catholic University, the Washington, DC university she'd been attending prior to her Idol participation, broke into her personal computer and posted the pictures.
"She's been crying. She's horrified," Coluccio told The Star-Ledger. "She's most upset about what her parents think."
According to Coluccio, American Idol's producers told Barba that they are reviewing the more recent and most explicit photos, but Barba doesn't believe that she's in danger of being disqualified from Fox's smash-hit reality competition
On Friday, Fox publicist Alex Gillespie told The Associated Press that the network would have no comment on the photos or whether they might affect Barba's continued participation in American Idol's sixth season competition. Gillespie also confirmed that, per the show's standard policies, the network would not be making Barba or any of American Idol's other 20 remaining sixth season semifinalists available to the media prior to their elimination from the competition.
That same day, American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe was only slightly more forthcoming, telling Entertainment Weekly that he had only learned of the photos when the magazine contacted him to ask about them. "We have really good background checks on everybody, and we deal with that every season," Lythgoe told EW in a report published on the magazine's website on Friday afternoon. "It's sad, isn't it, that your best friends are the ones that come forward with information that will go to [The] Smoking Gun or put your photographs on the web?"
Despite not making Idol's sixth season semifinals, Coluccio says that she's also been receiving some undesired attention -- "more than 3,000 MySpace messages a week," many of which feature nasty messages. According to The Star-Ledger, Coluccio blames the messages on inaccurate American Idol editing that "made her look like a flirtatious, jealous, spoiled brat."
"We both went to fulfill a dream but were made into characters," Coluccio told the paper. "American Idol is the fakest show on TV. We're so real and down-to-earth, and I wish people could see that."
Unless American Idol's producers do decide to remove her from the competition, Barba -- considered one of the show's weakest remaining female singers, at least according to Idol's judges -- is scheduled to perform with the rest of the 10 remaining female semifinalists during Wednesday night's American Idol broadcast.