Randy said her song was “way too big for her.” Paula said something incomprehensible. Simon said she was “worse than last week.” But luckily for Antonella Barba, America disagreed.
After a difficult week in which racy pictures of her were leaked on to the Internet, and her performance of CÃ©line Dion’s “Because You Loved Me” was poorly received by the judges, Barba still managed to land a spot among the top 16 contestants on American Idol.
The New Jersey native, who has been praised more for her looks than her vocals this season, may well owe a large portion of her continued success to the Website votefortheworst.com, which has selected her as its female contestant of choice.
The anti-Idol site urges its visitors to vote for the least deserving candidates–those who “the producers would hate to see win,” and claims past contestants John Stevens, Scott Savol, Kevin Covais, Kellie Pickler and Taylor Hicks among its victories.
Of course, Barba may also have also received a boost from a newfound fanbase that developed as a direct result of the aforementioned racy pictures.
Whatever the circumstances that enabled Barba to survive yet another round of eliminations, Alaina Alexander, Leslie Hunt, Nicholas Pedro and A.J. Tabaldo weren’t as lucky.
All four semifinalists were culled from the Fox competition Thursday after receiving the least amount of votes from viewers.
Pedro was the first to go, after his performance of “Fever” failed to generate much heat.
Simon Cowell admonished the eliminated singer for lacking charisma, saying, “It’s about standing out in the crowd.”
It was the second and undoubtedly final Idol journey for Pedro, who opted out of the Hollywood round last season after forgetting his lyrics during the group performances.
Alexander, who sang the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready to Make Nice” was the next to go. The emotional Mariah Carey look-alike was too overwrought to complete her final performance, instead choosing the comforts of a group hug while the backup singers covered the vocals.
Next up was Tabaldo, whose performance of “Feeling Good” received positive reviews from the judges Tuesday night.
“Truthfully, this is a singing competition, yet I don’t feel tonight reflects that,” a stunned Paula Abdul said after hearing the verdict. “I think you’re a brilliant singer.”
Hunt, who also performed “Feeling Good,” was the final singer sent home, a result she acknowledged she “had a feeling” about, after Cowell called her rendition “forgettable.”
The night also featured a performance by Idol alum Kellie Pickler, who played up the Southern gal naivetÃ© that became her trademark during the fifth season in a bit with Ryan Seacrest in which she pretended to believe that spider roll sushi actually contained spiders.
Unfortunately, while her lack of worldly knowledge may have been a somewhat endearing quality when she was actually competing on the show, the repeat performance fell flat.
Next week marks the final round of multiple eliminations, after which 12 finalists will remain in the running.
Last week, 30.5 million people tuned in for Wednesday’s outing of the talent competition, featuring the female singers, while 29.5 million watched the male singers perform on Tuesday.