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Now is the time for all Marin Alsop fans to smack down the competition

Hey, I know it may sound silly to those of you past the age of 16, but another "Celebrity Smackdown" has begun here at the august Sun. And, just like last year, Marin Alsop, the kinetic and innovative music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, is in the running, so attention must be paid.

As a bona fide celebrity here, Alsop doesn't get any say in this, of course. Our cyber planners choose Maryland celebs to throw into the fray, randomly select the pairings to kick off the contest, and then gleefully wait to see who's still standing when the dust settles.

(If you were to argue that this whole thing means absolutely nothing, I wouldn't mount much of a rebuttal, but it sure got a lot of people fired up and mouse-clicking away last year. I imagine it will do the same again.)

You may recall that Alsop came in second last year, which was pretty cool, considering all the sports and TV personalities the conductor was up against as the contest advanced. This year, the first round pits Alsop against  

Bryan Voltaggio, the Frederick-based restaurateur who was a big deal on "Top Chef."

So Round One is shaping up as a battle between the musical and culinary arts.

You only have until Wednesday to smack down one of these celebrities -- well, that's such a harsh word. Let's just say, you need to decide soon which celeb to advance, and which to gently let down. (The severe humiliation for the loser will fade in time, I'm sure.) 

So get your mouses ready, rush to the Celebrity Smackdown page and start voting like the crazed classical fan you are.

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