Tonight is Antonella Night on American Idol. The poor little vixen looked terrified (and uncomfortable, too) in the brief audience shots during Sanjaya Night-- but one thing's certain-- she will not be disqualified by the producers. Word came last night, believe it or not, from the Idol judges and host-- at a party at the The Playboy Mansion!
Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest were partying with Hef last night.
And they all, craftily, took Ms. Barba's side in the naughty photo scandal.
Sez Simon: "These people haven't done anything illegal; that's their private life. (The photos should) not affect her standing on the show, and if the public wants to keep her in, they'll keep her in."
Randy: "Nobody's clean in the entertainment business."
Ryan: "It's just tacky, disgusting. You've got a girl who's trying to make it on a show where she needs a vote, and someone's trying to tear that away from her. (I'd) absolutely let (Antonella ) stay on. If American Idol is a true representation of American youth, we're going to find imperfections. And it's OK to be imperfect."
Producer Nigel Lythgoe confirms that it will be up to America (and a few phone calls from India) to decide if Antonella has violated some unwritten moral code and deserves to be eliminated.
And it turns out that, as we predicted, those sex-act photos (that came through that source that first presented the tamer snaps), have actually helped Antonella...
With general agreement that Antonella's not the gal in the hardcore pix (NSFW!) (thanks to additional photos (NSFW!) that confused the issue enough for everyone to give the poor kid the benefit of the doubt), she's got the sympathy vote.
Now, showing off her butt crack, posing on the toilet, grappling topless in group shots, grinding up against other coeds, peeling off her thong and groping herself soaking wet on a national monument-- even imitating Jessica Simpson-- seem pretty wholesome.
Even the lady at the New York Times rewrites history and cleans up the mess today by referring to "an amateurish Internet scandal involving fake dirty pictures." Then again, she calls Paula Abdul a "mom I'd like to sleep with"-- how's that for cleaning up a phrase?
So tonight, all eyes are on Antonella. Will she play the minx ala McPhee? Or will she cry? And the bigger question: Could she actually get to the finals? Does she have a chance to actually win? A few gambling sites are laying out the odds.
Sadly, the oddsmakers don't think she has a chance. Her current odds to win at 5Dimes.com are "+4000." That means a $100 bet on Antonella to win would result in a $4,000 payout. BetUS.com oddsmakers believe Antonella may end up posing for Hef or one of his competitors: "She will appear nude in Playboy +600*"... "She will appear nude in Penthouse +800*".
(See the latest NSFW Antonella pix here).
And hey, what's Ryan Seacrest doing at the Playboy Mansion?