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The demon Barba of Fellate Street

SCANDAL! American Idol, ITV2, 8.30pm

American Idol contestant Antonella BarbaOh, American Idol. Just when we thought you were going to be quite dull this year after all, you find a whole new way of entertaining us. Every year there needs to be a contestant with the faint whiff of controversy about him or her, and this year that role will be filled by the delightful (read: snotty and rather obnoxious) Billie Piper hookerlike, Antonella Barba. Wave hello to Antonella, everyone!

If you pride yourself on knowing your celebrity gossip, you will have seen Antonella about recently. Perhaps sitting on the toilet and grinning at a camera. Or wearing a wet t-shirt and posing at a monument of historical importance. Perhaps even wearing acrylic nails and fellating some random bloke. Except the fellatio pictures have been widely denounced as fakes, particularly by Antonella's BFF and fellow Idol auditionee Amanda Coluccio, who claims that Antonella has never, ever worn acrylic nails, and isn't that the real crime here? Oh, and she said that Antonella's "the least slutty person I know". Presumably right before all of her other friends got their righteous indignation on and started pelting her with cans of hairspray.

Anyway, lest we forget, this is a singing competition (ha ha!), and word from Idol HQ is that despite this personal tragedy, Antonella will not be forced to leave the show unless the viewers choose to decide as much with their votes. But since Antonella is currently the female candidate of choice on Idol-smiting website Vote for the Worst, she may not be going anywhere just yet. (And to be honest, we're not sure we want her to go just yet, because we have this curious affection for her that we can't quite explain.) Tonight is the moment of truth for the candidates, since the last quadruple cut of the semifinals is being made and the Top 12 will be decided tonight. Idol aficionados may remember this point from last year as the moment where presumed shoo-in Ayla Brown fell at the last hurdle and was usurped by plucky underdog Melissa McGhee, who promptly undid all her good work the following week by forgetting the words to Stevie Wonder's 'Lately' ("I have many, many wishes / Hope my prediliction ishes...") and getting sent on her merry way home.

Will one of the assumed "worthy" candidates take a last minute faceplant as The Notorious A.N.T.O.N.E.L.L.A. rushes headlong into the final 12, despite having given two very questionable performances in the semifinals, and the odds on a third of similar quality being very high? We'll find out tonight as the dashing Ryan Seacrest (fuck off, we love him, we don't care what anyone says) announces America's Top 12 contestants. There'll be tears, there'll be tantrums, there may be more scandalous revelations. The X Factor, eat your heart out. We love this show.

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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses. We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.

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