Only in Jersey: 3/15/12

Happy Ides of March, y’all! Time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

So, as expected last night, in the wake of revelations that contestant Jermaine Jones had a violent criminal past and several outstanding warrants for his arrest, “American Idol” kicked the Pine Hill native to the curb. During a sit-down with producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick in the episode, Jermaine said he had a reason why he didn’t divulge his run-ins with the law. “I just was scared, nervous,” he revealed. “I didn’t want to get judged, I didn’t want to get penalized for anything that happened in the past.” And while the producers said they would’ve worked with him had he been honest from the get-go, to find out about it after the fact was unacceptable. “We are not allowed to have anybody that has an outstanding warrant against them on the program and you’ve got four of them against you,” Nigel told Jermaine. The segment concluded with a rehearsal clip of Jermaine singing “Somewhere Out There.” It was a sad finish to a promising start. But perhaps Jermaine will find that New Jersey is the “somewhere out there, out where dreams come true.”

I was so impressed with East Orange native Dionne Warwick’s candor while speaking of her late cousin, Whitney Houston, to “Entertainment Tonight” this week. Dionne shared her theory that it was a heart attack that killed Whitney. “I think her heart just gave out,” Dionne said. The singer is currently in the studio recording new material, some of which is written by Burt Bacharach, to commemorate her 50th year in the music industry. Yet while she’s happy doing what she does best, she admitted that she has yet to come to terms with Whitney’s death. “I have not had an opportunity to just let it go,” Dionne said. “As I said, recording has been a blessing for me. It’s taken me out of a reason to just break down. I know it’s coming. I know it’s going to come soon and I’m looking forward to it. I really am. I want to get it out. I want to have a peace that I know she’s enjoying right now.” But it was what Dionne chose to wear during the interview that truly blew me away: a Bada Bing T-shirt! Way to represent, lady!

Joel Stein: You can take the boy out of Jersey, but you can't take Jersey out of the boy./Photo credit Time

In a matter of weeks Time humorist Joel Stein will officially be a published book author. The Edison native’s tome, “Man Made: A Stupid Quest For Masculinity,” drops May 15 and explores what it means to be a man in America. Joel hangs with firefighters in Los Angeles, subjects himself to several days worth of basic training with the Marine Corps, and consults a panel of “experts” on what it means to them to be a man. In addition to tweeting up a storm, Joel also pens a parenting blog along with his wife, Cassandra Barry, over at Babble.

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