AI6: Interview with Antonella Barba: No Publicity is Bad Publicity
This was the toughest interview I have sat through. Antonella was hammered continually about her online pictures and what she plans to do. I was not able to get through and as you read you will notice many of the questions were denied by the moderator. I honestly was not that sad to see her go but I do wish her the best of luck in the future.
Now that the journey has ended for you, and you didn’t make it to the finals, can I ask, given everything that happened outside of the show, and given that you didn’t make it that far, is there any part of you that regrets having done this?
A. Barba: Not at all. I don’t like to look at it as I haven’t made it that far because I think that out of 103,000, the top 16, I’m proud of it. I’m happy I got that far.
How hard was it to have to deal with all of the external things that were going on around you as you were moving along in the show?
A. Barba: It was definitely difficult, and it wasn’t how I intended things to go. But I tried to block it out as much as possible and stay focused on the competition because I’m here to sing. All of that other stuff was completely irrelevant to the fact that I’m here to sing.
Given how important it is on this show to be visible and to set yourself apart, does part of you sort of feel as if there’s no such thing as bad publicity, that being out there helped you to some degree?
A. Barba: I keep getting told that no publicity is bad publicity, and people try to make me feel better, and I understand. Yes, it’s true that my name is more well known because of it, but I’m not known for the things that I would like to be known for right now. I wanted to make a name for myself in singing. I wasn’t trying to promote myself in any way that it has been made apparent.
Following up on that, going forward from here, how important will it be for you to keep the focus on singing in the choices you make after this?
A. Barba: I’m definitely not opposed to taking other offers, such as acting, or modeling, or something. But, again, the pictures that have been released of me, that ones that actually are me, they were very personal. That is not how I intended to portray myself, nor do I intend to portray myself in the future. That’s not the way I’m trying to promote myself. I’d rather promote myself in a more classy way. Again, that was personal, that was private, and that was not for the public eye.
I’m wondering if the message people should take away is that women should not take sexy photographs of themselves, even for their boyfriends, because boyfriends go away, but photos never do. I’d also like to know if you’ve ever had acrylic tips on your fingernails.
Moderator: I think we’re going to skip over that question. Let’s focus back on Antonella’s career and where we’re going.
I’m just curious what you’d like to do next. If you make an album, what kind of music we can expect, and what kind of style?
A. Barba: I would definitely do pop music. But I would add my style to it, a little flavor of R&B’ish type, but pop music, and maybe bluesy, jazzy, but definitely pop music.
There was a lot made about what were the producers of the show going to do. I’m wondering if you ever met with them throughout this, and how that went, what they said to you? Also, whether that whole experience ruined your American Idol experience or if you were still able to find a lot of joy in doing such an awesome thing.
A. Barba: Looking back on it, I’m very thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given, and I know that because I’ve been in the public eye, all of this embarrassment has come with it. In retrospect, I still think it was worth it because I would still like to move forward in a career in music without -keeping that stuff not part of it.
What about the producers, did you meet with them?
A. Barba: Nigel just tried to keep me focused on the competition and told me to ignore the other stuff because it’s irrelevant. That’s not what I’m about. I’m about singing for the show, and all of that other stuff was irrelevant.
Was it nice to have that support from them?
A. Barba: Definitely, both from the producers and from other contestants.
I wanted to know if you will be returning to Catholic University. Will you be more distrustful of people when you return, or if you return?
A. Barba: Right now, because the elimination was just last night, it was so recent, I’m going to stay in LA for a week or two and just see what offers are coming my way. I want to see what I can do with this for a career right now. I want to strike while the iron are hot right now.
So I have not made plans for the future yet. I don’t know about this or about school, and what I’m going to do, because I kind of need to work it out and just see what offers have been given to me. Also, yes, I’ve learned to just be careful who you trust.
Some of the comments of the judges weren’t overly flattering about your singing. I’m wondering, what’s that like for you to stand up there and hear that? Paula will say to Sundance, “I’m shocked that you’ve been voted off.” What was that like for you?
A. Barba: It’s difficult to be put down, especially on national television. But more so, it’s just difficult to be told that you’re not good when you’ve made it this far, and you know that you’ve earned it, and you have nothing, but support around you, my fans and everything. Yes, it’s definitely hard to hear it from the judges. But at the same time, sometimes I think they say things just to say things. I try to only listen to their constructive criticism because negativity will just bring your confidence down. What will make me sound better would just be believing in myself and having the confidence, and not listening to the negativity.
And you mentioned you’re sticking around LA and entertaining offers. There was a rumor that you had been approached to pose in Playboy. Can you confirm that?
A. Barba: Yes. I never heard of that, actually.
Would you do it?
A. Barba: I heard of it, but I was never approached.
Would you do it?
A. Barba: No.
A. Barba: Right now, I want to look at all of the offers that I get and sort out what’s best for me right now.
Your roommate at the hotel was Stephanie Edwards and she said she thought of you as her best friend. What did you guys talk about? What did you say to each other when you were packing up last night?
A. Barba: I’m so happy for her. I knew she was going to make it. We actually both thought that we would both make it. She’s very excited, obviously, to go on, but she’s very sad for me because she was really pulling for me. It was hard to go up on stage with her. It was hard for her. I was so happy for her, though.
Do you think you guys will work together later, maybe do a music video together or something some day?
A. Barba: Definitely. I hope we both have very successful careers. I’m a huge fan of her voice and her style.
Was that something you guys talked about, working together maybe?
A. Barba: Yes. We were always like, “Yes, we’ll do a music video one day together.”
I was just wondering, are you considering the offers from Girls Gone Wild or the … DVD deal that we’ve heard about?
Moderator: We’re going to skip over that question. Can we move on to the next? You can ask another question. She’s just not going to answer that one.
That’s fine. Who would you most like to win now and why?
A. Barba: At this point, it’s hard to tell because everyone is so talented. The thing is that you can’t really compare most of the contestants to each other, even though the judges have been doing that. I think comparison is unfair because each person is unique. Each person is very different from the other, different style of voice, different looks, and different everything. I’m just really anxious to see what each person brings new to the table because I know everyone has it in them to show something original.
So there’s no one you’ve got a gut feeling about that you really feel you’re pulling for.
A. Barba: I really think it’s hard to say because everyone is so unique and there’s a lot of originality.
Thanks for doing this. I wonder if there’s any further light you can shadow on how these photos that were of you made it on to the Web.
Moderator: Steve, can we skip that?
The last time somebody had photos like this show up on the Web, the producers eliminated them from the contest.
Moderator: I know. We’re skipping this question. She’s answered the question already, but you can ask another question.
When these things showed up, did the producers question you about the providence of them and whether you had anything to do with them going on the Web or not?
Moderator: Steve, we’re going to skip the question. She’s answered way too many of these questions already. Please, let’s move on.
I was wondering if there were some points where you told them that you didn’t particularly want to talk during the live show? There were two points where ordinarily you’d talk and you didn’t, one was right after you were voted out, they didn’t stop and ask you much about that. The other time was two days earlier when there’s two people coming up, usually Ryan sits and talks to the two people coming up, but this time Gina was there instead of you. Did you say you didn’t want to?
A. Barba: No. That’s just, I guess, the way the show as set up. No, that had nothing to do with me.
I’m going to ask the fashion question here. The green retro dress that you wore a couple of weeks ago got a lot of good comments. Even the judges who criticize you said you looked great, but, where did the green dress come from? Did you bring it there? Did you find it when you got to LA?
A. Barba: The stylist here picked it out for me.
It’s one of the strongest fashion statements someone’s had here, what did you think of it when you first saw it?
A. Barba: I thought it was very fun. I like to see what it looks like on before I make a decision about an outfit.
So you put it on and then what did you think?
A. Barba: I loved it.
I think we’re good, but I’m just curious about how it was coping with all of the stuff in the media and how it affected the competition, and how you and your family dealt with this as it went along.
A. Barba: I hope that I’ve remained on the show so far because of my talent. I hope the photos didn’t affect where I got in the competition because they are irrelevant to my singing. They are part of my personal life that was exploited unintentionally, and against my consent.
Moderator: I think that answers the question. That will be the last question about that topic, please.
A follow-up question, if I could. What was it like not being able to respond to all of this?
Moderator: I’m sorry. Last question about the topic. Let’s move on. She’s taken enough already.
You’re censoring. You’re deciding what Antonella can talk about.
Moderator: She answered the question already.
Why don’t you let her decide whether she wants to answer it?
Moderator: Because she doesn’t want to. I’m sorry.
Can we ask her the questions?
Moderator: We want to move on to the next question. I apologize. Please. She’s answered the questions; she does not want to answer any longer. Let’s focus on her; she has some great things coming up for her.
Do you think that your heated exchange with Simon had anything to do with your getting voted off?
A. Barba: What heated exchange?
When you said that you weren’t going to listen to what he said because he voted Jennifer Hudson off the show.
A. Barba: I don’t think that was a heated exchange. I think it was more of just an honest comment. It was a hopeful comment for me. I look at Jennifer Hudson as a role model, and she definitively gives me inspiration. And it’s so inspiring to see where she’s gone from her being on the show, and that’s inspiration for me to hopefully go as far as she has, or somewhere far.
Did you ever think that you might come across as impertinent when you were asking Simon that question?
A. Barba: As what?
As irreverent towards Simon and his judgment as a judge on the show?
A. Barba: No. I don’t mean any disrespect towards the judges; I was saying that as a hopeful comment for myself. Like, “Well, if Simon’s been wrong before about someone who’s made it so big, hopefully the same thing could happen to me.”
From a preparation standpoint when you were getting ready to sing, you’re either in your hotel room or you’re backstage and you’re getting ready. You were telling yourself, you’re trying to push the distractions out of your mind. Can you just walk us through how you got yourself mentally ready to sing and to perform, and to not be distracted? Can you just walk us through mentally how that happened?
A. Barba: Sometimes when you get that nervous feeling in your stomach, the vocal coach here told me, “Don’t mistake that for nerves, turn that energy into positive energy.” Sometimes it’s not you being nervous; sometimes it’s just your adrenaline preparing yourself for how big of a thing you’re about to do. So if you can turn nerves into positive energy that is excitement that can feed your performance and just make you have fun with it.
Also, right before I go out on stage, I try and say a prayer.
Thank you to FOX for allowing us to participate in this media call.