T. J. Allard

Mohawk Valley connection:
Grew up in Utica, NY

Claim to fame:
Actor and New York-based correspondent for Fox's "Good Day Live"

Did you know?
Allard did a voice-over for the video game “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.”

Suggest a celebrity | Utica community

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Utica native lands job on Fox TV show
Originally published on Dec. 2, 2004

Utica native T.J. Allard was the last man standing Wednesday after outpolling two other finalists to become the New York-based correspondent for Fox’s “Good Day Live.”

He will start his new job Monday after making an promotional appearance at Paramus Mall in New Jersey Saturday.

“I really want to thank the city of Utica, all the radio stations and the Observer-Dispatch,” the 30-year-old Allard said Thursday.

“I really couldn’t have done this without you guys. I don’t know the vote tally, but I imagine the 315 area code was the most dominant,” he said.

Viewers voted Monday and Tuesday by calling a toll-free number to narrow the field of 10 contestants to five semifinalists and then the final three. The winner was announced by Paula Abdul at about 12:45 p.m. during a live broadcast from Times Square.

“I was scared and excited all at once,” Allard said. “You wouldn’t believe the roller-coaster ride you go on. Now, I know what those reality show contestants go though.”

Allard’s parents, who still live in Utica, have been riding the roller coaster with him.

His mother, Civita, was on the phone with Allard.’s agent when she learned her son had won. She kept Allard’s agent on the phone while she called his sister in Syracuse to share the news.

“We were all screaming,” she said. “We were jumping up and down. It was so exciting. We’re thrilled for him. It’s been a fun two days. We didn’t get a lot of sleep.”

Allard’s father, Tom, said his son called him as soon as he found out he won.

“I’m still numb,” Tom Allard said. “It’s one of those things you can’t really believe. He’s always wanted this. He’s paid his dues.”

Allard is a graduate of Notre Dame High School and has lived in New York City the past eight years.

He started working as a video-game developer for Ubisoft Entertainment until the company moved after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He then became a bartender and pursued his dream of acting.

He has appeared in commercials, movies, off-Broadway productions and TV shows, but his big break didn’t come until a one-minute video he shot in November was selected by “Good Day Live” as one of the 10 best submissions.

“It’s definitely a dream come true,” he said. “I went from nobody knowing me to being someone on television.”

Contact Stephen Clark at spclark@utica.gannett.com

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