''American Idol'' producer Nigel Lythgoe comments on the emergence of provocative photos of Antonella Barba

Is Antonella Barba this season’s Frenchie? The American Idol contestant and New Jersey native has been under fire lately due to some rather compromising photos that have popped up recently on the Internet, including one of her on the toilet and one that allegedly shows the singer performing a sex act.

Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe says he has not seen any of the Internet pictures, and only learned of the sexually explicit shots from EW. ”We have really good background checks on everybody, and we deal with that every season,” he says. ”It’s sad, isn’t it, that your best friends are the ones that come forward with information that will go to Smoking Gun or put your photographs on the web?”

The naughty photos of the 20-year-old contestant began circulating around the Internet earlier this week. Despite less-than-stellar reviews from the judges for her off-key rendition of ”I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” this week, Barbara somehow squeaked through to next round of the competition on Thursday’s show.

In 2003, Frenchie Davis was booted from Idol‘s Season 2 when producers discovered she had worked for a porn website. The revelation came after the Smoking Gun reported that Davis posed topless for a website to earn college tuition money.