Just for the record, I don’t watch American Idol. I don’t care who wins. I’m only commenting on a story that’s been hard to avoid in the media (mostly the net).
I thought I’d comment on a subject that I normally wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole because I couldn’t help but notice a few interesting details in this Antonella Barba ‘scandal’.
First, Barba is unarguably a beautiful young woman. I didn’t see much of the show, but it’s hard to imagine many other contestants scoring higher in the looks department. Or, look at it another way, and say that if one had to chose which contestant they’d want to see racy photos of, she’d be at the top of the list. Yep, I’m going somewhere with this.
Second, the timing. These photos came out at the beginning of the semifinal round, and as I understand it, that’s when the audience (anyone with a phone) plays a role. I imagine this portion of the competition marks the beginning of a hike in ratings for Fox as well.
Third, the photos themselves, and how they were released (won’t link to them here, but they are easy to find). The first pictures that came out were what appeared to be taken by friends at various parties. The newer “wet t-shirt” photos are noticeably more revealing, and were more akin to a pro model photo shoot than casual party pictures. ( I’m not sure if those pics of the you-know-what are actually her). In other words, the photos ‘leaked’ have become increasingly racy.
My conclusion? Either Fox is behind it, or Barba, or both.
Undoubtedly, the ‘scandal’ increases the chances that people who wouldn’t ordinarily care to watch the show will tune in. That would point the finger towards Fox. Nothing boosts ratings like a subplot with plenty of sex and drama, especially when it appears they had nothing to do with it.
However, it’s possible that Barba realized (on her own) that the photos would likely help her if and when it came time for the audience to decide her fate, and went ahead and leaked some more revealing pics of herself after she witnessed the initial reaction to the first batch. Even if she gets booted from Idol, she took advantage of the timing to virtually guarantee that a call from Playboy was right around the corner. She is obviously not camera shy, after all.
Or, it could be that someone high up in Fox’s Ratings Engineering Dept. decided that this would be a great way for this season to play out, and contacted Barba about making it happen (if not for the first batch of pics, but the second), after noticing a bump in viewership. Many popular expressions include ‘take it and run’ and ‘roll with it’ I believe.
Maybe I should feel ashamed that I even put thought into this, but there ya go. What do you think?
Update: If you want a little more on this, Bastardly has a thread up analyzing the pics…for authenticity.
Update: Another blogger’s take on the whole affair: Sky Windows
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