If you've tuned in to the recently added Tuesday night show "The Voice" on NBC, you may have seen a local face grace your TV screen.
Sweetwater High School alum Tje (pronounced TYE) Alldrege auditioned for the singing show on the series premiere on April 26. He fared well enough to advance to the second round of competition and landed a spot on the eight member team coached by hip hop mogul Cee Lo Green, thus living out one of his dreams to work with the superstar.
Though he's known on the show by his stage name, Tje Austin, the evidence shows he has come a long way since winning the local talent show, Star Search, as a senior in 2001.
Tje was adopted into a large, multi-racial Mormon family at only four days old to Jimmie and Cindie Alldredge. As the son of a US Marine, Tje has lived in five different states as well as Japan, probably one of the reasons he considers his eight siblings as his best friends.
His family moved to Sweetwater during his high school years and calls the town his home. In an email statement, Tje recounted some of his favorite memories from his high school years.
"In that time I made a lot of great friendships. I joined band [and] was involved in choir. The best time I had in Sweetwater though was in band. Mr. and Mrs. Huck really helped make my senior year a great one!"
But after graduating SHS, Tje has worked tirelessly to put his name on the music map, moving to Austin to pursue his dreams. In 2008, his first album "Love Me Knots" was released on iTunes and Amazon.
A film producer was so impressed the album that one of its tracks, "Today Tomorrow", found its way onto the MTV indie movie "Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom"; another track, "In Every Woman", was played on NBC's Today Show. Two years later in February 2010, the sophomore follow-up album, "Xperience", was released through various digital outlets.
Before making the trip to California for his shot at the $100,000 prize coupled with a record deal from Universal Republic, Tje released his third project, "Dreamin' Big" in April of this year. Fans were given a sneak peek of the album when he debuted a single from the album, "City of Me", in early February 2011.
However, Tje hasn't stayed put with just making albums. He has been featured on the "Texas on Tour" circuit and has also sang the National Anthem for the Texas Rangers. His talent has even brought him great opportunities to open for a slew of Grammy nominees like Trey Songz, Dwele and Anthony David.
And Tje's mom, area local Cindie Alldredge, also has high hopes for her son with this experience, saying, "I hope Tje can get a contract through this and get some exposure."
Yet no matter the outcome, Tje knows that at least he has the support of his family. "My family is really excited that I made it through the Blind Auditions. My brothers and sisters are all rooting for me so I know I have a big fan base already in West Texas."
But right now, Tje is gearing up for Round Two, where the 4 eight-member teams will be cut in half. Should Tje advance to Round Three, his growing fan base will get the chance to vote to eventually select the grand prize winner on the American Idol-esque show.