Only in Jersey: 3/21/12

Happy Hump Day, everyone! 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.

Sayreville’s native son Jon Bon Jovi gets the Oprah treatment when the rock singer is featured in “Oprah’s Master Class,” airing at 10 p.m. Sunday on OWN. In an exclusive clip to “Entertainment Tonight,” Jon gives credit for his success in the music business to his hometown mentor. “And a man by the name of Al Parinello moved in across the street from my childhood home, and he was in a club band,” Jon reveals. “He was like, a hip guy, and he showed us how to play songs – and he showed me how to play ‘House of the Rising Sun.’ … When you learn a song, you start to think about songs, when you think about songs you want to write songs. When you write songs, you get to be here… Thanks to his encouragement, I stayed with it.”

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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.”

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Only in Jersey: 3/14/12

Happy Hump Day! 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.

Jermaine Jones: Thanks for misrepresenting New Jersey!/Photo credit Fox

Reality television and drama go hand-in-hand, no doubt. And there’s plenty o’ drama to go around these days on “American Idol.” Remember Jersey contestant Jermaine Jones, the show’s “gentle giant”? People reports that he will be quitting the show during tonight’s telecast. In a tweet last night that has since been deleted, Jermaine wrote, “Awww I will no longer b on the show.” TMZ goes a step further, saying the show’s producers discovered Jermaine has a criminal past that he had lied about. The Pine Hill native reportedly was arrested twice last year, and one of those arrests was violent in nature. On top of that, Jermaine apparently lied to police, giving them fake names each time he was arrested. And there are also outstanding warrants for his arrest. This news comes on the heels of reports that Jermaine’s story of his dad abandoning him as a kid are untrue. (His dad told TMZ that that wasn’t the case at all and that he sees his son regularly.) All of this raised the producers’ suspicions, and they started looking into Jermaine’s background more closely. And here we are. I guess the only question remaining is how much the show will reveal tonight (8 p.m., Fox) and what its explanation will be for Jermaine’s sudden departure. That leaves Kinnelon native Elise Testone the sole Jerseyan contestant left. Hopefully she will be able to impress the judges more than her next-to-last-place finish last week.

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Only in Jersey: 3/9/12

TGIF! 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.

Chaz Brown: Hope he's good at juggling.

Jerseyans and reality shows go together like, well, peas and carrots. Case in point: A “Top Chef: Texas” contestant (who was eliminated in the qualifying rounds) from Voorhees will compete in Bravo’s latest food-based competition, “Around the World in 80 Plates,” beginning Wednesday, May 9. Chaz Brown, the chef de cuisine at New York’s Fatty Crab, will battle against 11 experienced cooks in culinary challenges across the globe. The show, which is hosted by Curtis Stone and Cat Cora, sounds like a combination of “Top Chef” and CBS’ “The Amazing Race.” Here’s hoping the French Culinary Institute grad never hears the unfortunate words, “I’m sorry to tell you, but you’ve been eliminated from the race.”

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Only in Jersey: 3/7/12

It’s Wednesday! We’re halfway through the week, and it’s 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.

Who would've thought of West Orange as "status symbol land"?

In the wake of Davy Jones’ untimely death last week, I’ve discovered at least two connections The Monkees have to the Garden State. First, I was very surprised to learn that one of their hit songs, “Pleasant Valley Sunday,’ was written about life in West Orange, of all places. Yup, that’s right: the tune, penned by Carole King and her then-husband, Gerry Goffin, was inspired by their time living on Pleasant Valley Way in the township’s Watchung Mountains. Kinda gives new meaning to the lyrics, huh?
The local rock group down the street
Is trying hard to learn their song
Serenade the weekend squire
Who just came out to mow his lawn

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care

See Mrs. Gray
She’s proud today
Because her roses are in bloom
Mr. Green
He’s so serene
He’s got a TV in every room

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don’t understand

Creature comfort goals
They only numb my soul and make it hard for me to see
My thoughts all seem to stray to places far away
I need a change of scenery

The second Monkees/Garden State connection, which I recall but had forgotten, is that the band filmed the video for its ’86 comeback hit, “That Was Then, This Is Now,” at Great Adventure’s arena in Jackson. The song and video only feature Monkees Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, although apparently Davy was part of the tour.

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