Good timing for American Idol last night, sending Antonella Barba packing just as the show kicks into its Bono-inspired save-the-world mode with the "Idol Gives Back" charity event for kids in Africa and (probably because the British producers assume that the majority of the Idol audience are selfish Yanks who don't care about Africa) here in the States.
But don't cry for Antonella. She might be heading home to Jersey without a recording contract, but if she plays her cards right, she's easily walking away as a Million Dollar Babe. Already on the table are a $250,000 offer to host Girls Gone Wild DVDs, a $500,000 to be spokesgal for the SugarDVD online adult video store, and Hugh Hefner's suggestion that she'd be an obvious subject for a Playboy spread.
Then there are probable offers from the tabloids, Maxim, Kohler bathroom fixtures, Charmin, Swifter, Catholic University, The North Carolina University Tar Heels, the VFW, MacAweenie & Cheese, and Entertainment Tonight or one of the network newsmagazines that'll pay her under the table for an exclusive interview.
Which way will she go? Because Antonella wasn't allowed to be interviewed while an Idol contestant, everyone was able to project their own version of the 20 year-old through the sultry photos and smartass demeanor on Idol. Our bet's on Playboy, for starters.
UPDATE: Antonella appeared on Fox's Morning Show this morning and was pretty nonchalant about the photo scandal, saying, "Personal private property got into the hands of the wrong people." She didn't reveal her future plans and the hosts didn't ask any heavy questions, but Antonella did say she's open to singing-- and acting-- jobs. She also offered a warning to girls everywhere: "Cover your tracks!"
(And just for old times' sake, click here to see the NSFW photos that almost made Antonella bigger than Idol.)