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Who’s Looking Out For Fantasia, For Real?

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

This week, according to CNN and Radar Online, troubled American Idol Fantasia Barrino dropped yet another bombshell, when she testified in Mecklenburg County Court during the divorce proceedings of her married ex-lover, Antwaun Cook, that she became pregnant by him and underwent an abortion right around the time of her suicide attempt this past August. Yikes.

The shocking and saddening revelation came at a very inopportune time for 'Tasia, who finally seemed to be getting her life back on track and distancing herself from the overdose and affair scandals that overshadowed the release of what was supposed to be her comeback album, the proudly titled Back To Me. On recent episodes of her VH1 reality show, "Fantasia For Real," she'd appeared to find closure after confronting Antwaun on camera, and in her new music video, "I'm Doin' Me," she was back to her sassy self, smilingly celebrating her single-lady status. So this pregnancy/abortion shocker is a definite setback for Fantasia's image and career.

But maybe Fantasia's career isn't the most important thing here. Obviously, her physical, mental, and emotional well-being are much bigger concerns. Which begs the question: Who exactly is looking out for Fantasia right now?

Hmmm. Let's see. Her label wants to sell records. That's why her album release date wasn't pushed back. After almost overdosing on medication, Fantasia probably just needed chill out and get her head together, but instead she was put on a never-ending promotional treadmill of interviews and appearances, only a couple weeks after the near-fatal incident.

What about VH1? Well, VH1 wants ratings. That's why the network quickly reshot Season 2 of "Fantasia For Real" to include unsettling scenes in her post-overdose hospital room (although, to be fair, at least no cameras trailed 'Tasia to the abortion clinic). It's why VH1 filmed a "Behind The Music" on her, too. I wouldn't be surprised if some VH1 execs were even secretly pleased that Fantasia's personal life derailed so wildly, so that her show could cover more exciting developments than her brother's bikini car wash or her aunt's speed-dating.

And what about her manager, Brian Dickens? Well, I do believe he cares about his client. He was there for her the night she OD'd, and had he not placed that fateful 911 call, real tragedy could have struck. But at the end of the day, Brian still makes money off of 'Tasia. His livelihood depends on whether or not she releases albums, appears on TV shows, gets played on the radio, and performs live gigs. Did he ever tell BMG or VH1 powers-that-be that she needed a break from the pressures of showbiz? I have no idea, but I have my doubts.

And what about Fantasia's family? Well, that freeloading brother of hers, Teeny, clearly covets a record deal of his own, but 'Tasia could wear a coat fashioned out of chainmail and her coattails still wouldn't be strong enough to support the talentless likes of him. Really, Fantasia ought to be spending more time with her wise, well-meaning Aunt Bunny. Aunt Bunny may the only figure in her life who's truly got her back and doesn't want anything from her.

I genuinely do believe Fantasia can rebound from the many setbacks she's suffered during this crazy year. She's a strong woman--if you watched her aforementioned "Behind The Music" and learned all about what she went through growing up, then you know she's a survivor, a real tough cookie. But even a tough cookie can crumble sometimes. What Fantasia really needs right now is support--not people that need her to support them.

For real.

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