native lands job on Fox TV show
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 Foxs
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 couldnt
have done this without you guys. I dont
know the vote tally, but I imagine the
315 area code was the most dominant,
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
wouldnt believe the roller-coaster
ride you go on. Now, I know what those
reality show contestants go though.
Allards 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 Allards 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. Were thrilled
for him. Its been a fun two days.
We didnt get a lot of sleep.
Allards father, Tom,
said his son called him as soon as he
found out he won.
Im still numb,
Tom Allard said. Its one of
those things you cant really believe.
Hes always wanted this. Hes
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 didnt come
until a one-minute video he shot in November
was selected by Good Day Live
as one of the 10 best submissions.
a dream come true, he said. I
went from nobody knowing me to being someone
Stephen Clark at email@example.com
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