A former American Idol contestant just got some very bad news this week. Season 6 contestant Antonella Barba, who reached the top 16 during her early 2007 stint on the singing competition, has been sentenced to 45 months in federal prison for taking part in a conspiracy to distribute the opiate fentanyl. Barba was sentenced on Thursday in US District Court in Norfolk, Virginia.
Antonella Barba pleaded guilty in July to 10 drug charges, including possessing over 400 grams of fentanyl with the intent to distribute the drug. Barba had been initially arrested in October of 2018 for trying to sell 100 grams or more of heroin, but was then found to have been trying to deliver almost two pounds of fentanyl to a stash house in Virgina.
While Antonella Barba, made a pretty good impression during her season of American Idol, her time away from the show has not been that kind. In fact, according to Deadline, her lawyers actually argued that not doing better on the show led to the series of poor choices that resulted in her arrest. She had tried to continue with a career in music after getting voted off of American Idol (the photo above is from a Prince tribute video), as well as trying her hand at acting, but didn't have much success.
The singer's mother testified that being voted off of American Idol was "devastating" for her and also said in court documents that she believed the "sudden move to Hollywood" Barba made after appearing on the show caused a "detrimental change" in her daughter's behavior. For instance, Barba, who also appeared on Fear Factor in 2012, was arrested in 2010 for shoplifting in New York City and was involved in another drug case in Kansas at the time of her Virginia arrest.
It's not difficult to make the case that Antonella Barba has engaged in many bad decisions since her time on American Idol came to a close, and it's even easy to understand why her lawyers and mother would try to use the show as reasoning behind her actions. But, the truth of the matter is that the default result of appearing on a reality competition is getting kicked off of that show, as there is always only one winner. Everyone who leaves a competition without coming away victorious is probably devastated, so it's not quite fair to blame that experience for everything.
Having said that, we do also know that fame and the pursuit of it can easily ruin many people. Reality stars are no strangers to getting in trouble with the law during or after their stints on popular shows are over, so, maybe Antonella Barba can take some solace in the fact that she's not alone in this particular fall from grace. Hopefully, she'll be able to serve her time, learn some solid lessons and come out a better person for it.
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