Despite needing to reschedule for bad weather, the first #SpeakingComedy contest went off without a hitch to a capacity crowd at the Comedy Cove in Springfield on Tuesday night.

Jessica Gibson did an outstanding job hosting. She kept the program going making her presence known on stage when comics went through the flashing red timer light! She also kept the crowd laughing in between sets.

As far as the contest itself, more than a few of the contestants stood out to us as judges. But we had to pick three finalists and a winner. The finalists, picked by our very cutting edge scoring system (basically we used similar tally sheets to Meatloaf Day), narrowed the field down to five and then three.

Corey Anderson, who came up from Florida to his NJ home to compete, Pam Carrington who was selected through Twitter during our #MakeJessicaLaugh campaign and Chris Astrella who may have been the only performer to hit the timing within five minutes perfectly!

Jessica and Jay joined me on the air Wednesday morning to pick the winner from the three finalists. Although all three were very funny and had tremendous stage presence, only one can win. All three also got a huge reaction from the crowd and will certainly be on stage in the future for sure.

For this weekend's performance, we picked Chris Astrella for his edgy performance and incredible comedic timing. He basically took one story and wrote it to almost exactly five minutes and ended the set with a call back. It was an impressive and clean performance that had us all ready to give him another five minutes. He'll perform on Friday and Saturday with me, Jessica and Jay Black at the Comedy Cove. Showtime is 9pm for both weekend shows.

Enjoy the BTS conversation with all of us as the contest got underway. And yes, as you've come to expect, Jay took part of the conversation down a totally awkward and borderline inappropriate direction and then doubled down on it of course. To give you a hint, it has to do with the appearance of me and Jessica in the recent Fyre Festival documentary on Netflix and Hulu...

Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.

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