Barba was first seen on television at the New York City 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.