Pop Life: Like a Bon Jovi Ballad, Antonella Barba Is Living on a Prayer

Ciao, Antonella. This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you. We'll forget everything else on American Idol this season, but we'll never forget the toothsome Sagittarian from Point Pleasant, New Jersey, the Italian girl who taught us what "Sowing the Seeds of Love" is all about. Like a Bon Jovi ballad come to life, Antonella Barba was livin' on a prayer through week after week of tone-deaf awesomeness. But now we're supposed to believe America just gave up on her? Sorry, but I don't buy it. This was rigged -- they just switched Antonella's votes with Haley's. What do we want? Recount! When do we want it? Now!

Antonella wasn't the worst singer on the show (take a bow, Gina G) or the most hideous egomaniac (adieu, Brandon), but, man, what a character. Every week was a new chapter in her life, full of heart-filled texts to her BFF, who declared, "She's the least slutty person I know!" I miss her already. It's tragic she got kicked off before she got a chance to dedicate Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know" to the jerk who exposed her alleged sex photos, but that can wait for her own inevitable Fox show, How Do I Look?

One thing is for sure: Idol is doomed without her, because she was the whole show. This is easily the worst cast ever, and if they had any sense, they'd scratch the results and start over. The only keepers are Lakisha, Melinda, maybe that sweet Jordin and Stephanie, too. But the rest? Where did they find Chris Sligh, playing Jack in Osbournes on Ice? Blake seemed cool with his Morrissey imitation, but he's devolved into a scatting, skanking, 311-loving, improv-comedy-dabbling windbag. Phil the Bald Muppet always reminds me of the final scene in 2001. Sanjaya is obviously desperate to go home, but he's a prisoner of his own cuteness, as he wows the old ladies with his Indian El DeBarge thing. Sorry, Sanjaya! No matter how bad you sing, you will clearly have to slaughter a cow onstage and sing the Revolting Cocks' "Beers, Steers & Queers" before America will let you go. Even the ones who can sing are hampered by their corny taste in material. Melinda needs to step it up -- "My Funny Valentine" has been dead to me since Ralph Malph sang it on one of those "Joanie has a dream sequence" episodes of Happy Days.

What a cast. Order lots of room service, kids -- your days of Fox-sponsored nachos would seem to be drawing to an extremely imminent close. When it's over, all we'll remember is Antonella, and we don't want to miss a thing. Bring her back now!