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Newsday's Battle of the Bands Contest 2017: Meet the judges

After 55 local bands shared their original songs, thousands of fan votes have narrowed Newsday's Battle of the Bands Contest to the Top 10 finalists.

So who picks the winner?

Judging the finalists based on the originality and quality of their music, a panel of industry insiders will listen, debate and eventually come to a consensus to crown the greatest music group rocking Nassau and Suffolk.

Click here to see all the 2017 Battle of the Bands contestants.

Click here to read the contest rules, and get to know the judges below.

Orlando, 94.3 The Shark morning show host

Bio: Born in Bayport, and graduated Sachem High
Photo Credit: Orlando

Bio: Born in Bayport, and graduated Sachem High School. I have a really bad accent, root for a horrible baseball team and can pronounce the most difficult American Indian tribe names this side of Aquebogue. Before I started my radio career I was a radio fan. I spent my weekends in Port Jeff watching my friends' bands play. When I got my first break in radio it moved me to Atlantic City and gave me the opportunity to work with bands like Alice in Chains, Korn and Weezer. For a kid who grew up on grunge and steady doses of metal, I should have been in my glory but there was something missing. I wasn't home. At the Shark I have everything I need. The greatest music in the greatest place. Yeah the traffic sucks. Yeah it's expensive. It's also home. So now I can talk to you about my Candlebox and Mother Love Bone obsessions, rock out to some ACDC and meet you at the tattoo shop for some ink, because I'm where I belong. On Long Island, at the Shark.
Favorite bands (artists): Candlebox, Mother Love Bone, Bruce Springsteen, Pantera, Alice In Chains
Best concert/music-related memory: Shark birthday bash four watching Kevin Martin from Candlebox play "Far Behind" in The Paramount studio for a street-side crowd of about 200 people.

Glenn Gamboa, Newsday's music critic

Bio: Glenn is Newsday's music critic. He's been
Photo Credit: Glenn Gamboa

Bio: Glenn is Newsday's music critic. He's been writing about music for 30 years, as well as booking, promoting, roadie-ing, and even performing the occasional show over the years.
Favorite bands: The Beatles, R.E.M., Afghan Whigs, Fleetwood Mac, Nirvana
Best concert/music-related memory: "Nine Inch Nails played the tiny Empire Club in Cleveland on Aug. 4, 1990, just when they were hitting it big. They were the hometown conquering heroes that had been hailed by the rest of the world and people packed in so tight to celebrate that I don't think my feet touched the floor for the whole show. It was the musical equivalent of the Cavaliers championship parade."

Kaydi Pelletier,'s entertainment editor

Bio: Kaydi is's entertainment editor. She has
Photo Credit: Kaydi Pelletier

Bio: Kaydi is's entertainment editor. She has covered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Long Island Music Hall of Fame, "American Idol" and "The X Factor" auditions on LI, and many more local music and other entertainment events for Newsday.
Favorite bands (artists): Taking Back Sunday, Beyoncé, Pearl Jam, Third Eye Blind
Best concert/music-related memory: "Beyoncé at Citi Field in June 2016. I cried three times."

Andy Edelstein, Newsday's entertainment editor

Bio: Andy is Newsday's entertainment editor, a lifelong
Photo Credit: Newsday

Bio: Andy is Newsday's entertainment editor, a lifelong music fan, who in addition to writing for dozens of music publications, covered the Long Island music scene for The New York Times and played bass in the legendary Franklin Square-based garage band, the Freewheelin' Ultimato.
Favorite bands: The Beatles, The Clash, The Ramones, Beastie Boys, Led Zeppelin
Best concert/music-related memory: "Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin together, two years before they died -- at the Singer Bowl in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, now part of the USTA National Tennis Center."

David J. Criblez, Newsday reporter

Bio: Dave has been an active music journalist
Photo Credit: David J. Criblez

Bio: Dave has been an active music journalist since 1985 writing for publications such as the Island Ear, Good Times Magazine and Newsday, interviewing artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, Stevie Nicks, Eddie Van Halen, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Gene Simmons of KISS, Slash, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Jerry Lee Lewis, Meat Loaf and many others. He also runs his own Van Halen podcast, "Dave & Dave Unchained."
Favorite bands: The Rolling Stones, Van Halen, John Mellencamp, Led Zeppelin, The Police
Best concert/music-related memory: "In August of 1994, I went to see John Mellencamp at Jones Beach. I was dancing in the third row when Mellencamp pulled me up on stage, handed me the mic and let me finish singing his hit, 'Hurts So Good.' I ran around the stage doing my best Mick Jagger impression as he sat on the drum riser laughing his head off. That night Mellencamp had a heart attack and canceled the rest of the tour. To this day my wife thinks it was my fault."

Jessica Damiano,'s lifestyle and entertainment deputy editor

Bio: Jessica oversees's entertainment and lifestyle coverage
Photo Credit: John Damiano

Bio: Jessica oversees's entertainment and lifestyle coverage and is the newspaper's gardening columnist. Her connection to music began at birth, and took her from her first music purchase at age 5 (B.J. Thomas' "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,") and her first concert (The Bee Gees at MSG in 1979) to a gig as a rock historian (1990) and her current rabid love of indie hipster bands.
Favorite bands (artists): David Bowie, Queen, The Beatles, David Byrne, Vampire Weekend
Best concert/music-related memory: "Bohemian Rhapsody" in concert. No one could ever belt it out as well as Freddie. You could feel his voice in your soul.


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