Former ‘American Idol’ Contestant Antonella Barba Sentenced To 45 Months In Federal Prison

Singer Antonella Barba poses on the red carpet at the Cherry Lane Music Publishing's 50th Anniversary celebration at Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn on May 19, 2010 in New York City.
Jemal Countess / Getty Images

Former American Idol contestant Antonella Barba appeared at the U.S. District Court in Norfolk, Virginia on Thursday to receive her sentencing on drug charges, according to People. Barba was sentenced to 45 months in federal prison. Back in July, the outlet says she pleaded guilty to ten drug charges stemming from her October 2018 arrest.

Prior to her sentencing, Fox News obtained documents in which blame was placed on the show American Idol for putting into motion events that led Barba to this moment. The documents said the reality singing competition “brought about a detrimental change” in the singer’s life.

According to the Fox News report, the court documents stated Barba had “little if any insight” into the drug operation and stated she did not have anything to do with the “planning or organization.” The documents further went on to state that “her conduct in this offense was limited to this single delivery.”

She was arrested in Norfolk, Virginia back in October 2018. She was found with nearly two pounds of fentanyl, according to the report. Barba was facing the maximum of a life sentence for her crimes, though her attorney sought a lesser punishment.

Barba’s attorney, James Broccoletti, gave a statement to People about the outcome of the case saying, “The case is over. My client accepted responsibility and the judge was very fair — very concerned about her. Because she knows what’s happening, there’s now closure to this part of her life. It’s been liberating [for her]. She is able to have a concrete understanding of where she is and where she’s going next. With all things considered, she’s in the best place she can be emotionally and psychologically.”

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Barba appeared on the sixth season of American Idol back in 2007 when she was just a 19-year-old aspiring singer. She was one of the Top 16 contestants before being eliminated. Reportedly, her elimination was “devastating to her.” Upon her elimination, she returned to college and eventually earned a degree in architecture.

After Idol, Barba didn’t completely disappear from the spotlight, however. She returned to reality television in 2012 with an appearance on Fear Factor. More recently, in 2017, she appeared on the late night show Jimmy Kimmel Live! with other American Idol alumni to sing a parody of “We Are the World.” The parody featured Barba, along with other memorable contestants who had appeared on the show in the past. She was reportedly working on an album back in 2009.