Barba was born in California to parents Vincenzo and Valerie, and raised in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. She went to high school at Red Bank Catholic High School in Red Bank, New Jersey. She has one younger brother and two younger sisters. Barba graduated in 2008 from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., studying architecture.
Barba is currently a non-partisan spokesperson for ElectionMall’s Voter Space.
Barba was first seen on television at the New York auditions of Idol in a January 2007 episode. She auditioned with her friend Amanda Collucio; after Collucio sang her rendition of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” Barba took center stage and belted out a smooth performance of Deniece Williams’ “Free.” Paula dubbed Barba “fantastic” and Simon advised her “when someone is down on the floor kick them”. Nevertheless, the judges praised her performance and liked it better than her friend Amanda’s performance; eventually both received golden ticket passes to Hollywood. Barba made it into the top 24 but her friend was cut before the top 40.
Barba received notoriety beyond the show when a series of racy photographs of her surfaced on the Internet prior to the final twelve contestants being chosen. These included photos of her posing in a wet T-shirt in the fountain of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C..
Barba appeared on the January 9, 2012 show of Fear Factor titled “Roach Coach.” Her partner’s name was Jenna. The fact that she was on American Idol did not come up. However, it stated that Jenna and Barba own a singing telegraph business. The duo was eliminated in the first round when Jenna quit.
Barba appears in Jerseyboy Hero the documentary film based down at the Jersey Shore where she is originally from. She and her friend (Amanda Coluccio) comment on their American Idol experience and what they think about the industry’s ups and downs.