As if the Road to Nightfall competition weren't enough pressure, it appears that two of the participating bands are embroiled in a heated public debate.

The Road to Nightfall finals are set for Saturday night at Revelry Room. Admission is $10, and the winner will be given the opportunity to perform a headlining set during the Nightfall summer concert series. 

Finalists are Nick Lutsko, Preston Parris Band, High Meadows Communion, Mendingwall and Caney Creek Company.

Two of the performers—Lutsko and Parris—are currently involved in some professional wrestling-style mudslinging ahead of Saturday's competition.

It all began with a video (see timeline below) posted by Parris, accusing Lutsko of mistreating his puppet-based band. He mentioned that a Lutsko band member—Greezy Rick—had approached him in secret and revealed that not only had Lutsko been abusing the puppet, but that his appearance was because of a rare disease called "puppetitis."

Lutsko responded with several videos—in a recent one, he appears wearing disturbing green pajamas—and the debate snowballed from there.

We invited both Lutsko and Parris to join us at our Nooga.com studios for a moderated debate on Thursday morning. This would be the first time the two had met face to face since the accusations began. 

It did not go well.

Lutsko brought with him an attitude and ego the size of his hat. He immediately began accusing both Parris and myself of being "cronies with Croz," in reference to his belief that both Parris and all local media are intertwined with legendary singer-songwriter David Crosby.

It was apparent that Lutsko was rattled by an audio file released on Thursday by Talk 102.3 WGOW's Bryan Stone. 

During the debate, Lutsko attempted to interrupt Parris on multiple occasions, and I chose to end the debate prematurely. We can only hope that the two individuals will work out their differences before Saturday's competition.

The other three bands have, wisely, opted to refrain from commenting on the debate.

I'm calling you out, Nicholas Lutsko. PLEASE SHARE!#BanNickLutsko #RTN2016 #RoadToNightfall

Posted by Preston Parris on Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Lutsko's response:

Preston Parris crossed a line! #BoycottPP #BoycottCroz #RTN2016

Posted by Nicholas Lutsko on Wednesday, March 23, 2016
The accusations continued:

Nicholas Lutsko would rather defend his love of the Muppets than show remorse for treating his bandmates as puppets. My response.#BanNickLutsko #RTN2016 #RoadToNightfall

Posted by Preston Parris on Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Even Greezy Rick issued a statement:

Preston Parris Nicholas Lutsko #BoycottPP #RTN2016

Posted by Greezy Rick on Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Later, accusations got even weirder. With Parris' accusations of Lutsko's abuse of his puppets, Lutsko responded with an accusation of his own: that Parris was working for/under Crosby, whom Lutsko had recently had a Twitter dispute with (Crosby called him a "poor baby").

Preston Parris is unrelenting in his slander against myself and my band. #BoycottPP #BoycottCroz #ShowUsTheLetterPrestonYouAreBluffing #RTN2016 Nick Lutsko at Road to Nightfall Finale!

Posted by Nicholas Lutsko on Wednesday, March 23, 2016