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TV Bulletin Board (Wed., April 27) -- Dallas twanger makes first cut on NBC's The Voice

Judge Blake Shelton looms large over Dallas singer Patrick Thomas. NBC photo

Three Texas singers, including Patrick Thomas of Dallas, are among the initial 12 finalists for NBC's new The Voice, which premiered with strong ratings Tuesday night.

Thomas, a deep-voiced country twanger, will be on the so-called "Team Blake Shelton." That means the country star will be his guiding light and mentor once a field of 32 contestants enters the show's "Battle Round."

R&B singer Tje Austin of Sweetwater and pop country vocalist Jeff Jenkins of Freeport likewise are among the 12. They'll respectively represent Team Cee Lo Green and Team Adam Levine. Fourth judge/mentor Christina Aguilera so far is the only celeb without a Texan on her team. But she does have former American Idol semi-finalist Frenchie Davis, who was disqualified in Season 2 after old topless photos of her became public.

Thomas performed "Live Like You Were Dying," with all of the judges except Aguilera vying to have him on their team. He grew up in Colleyville and is currently on scholarship at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Both of his parents were Broadway and off-Broadway performers, he says in his official NBC-approved blog.

***The CW has given early pickups for next fall to The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, 90210, Supernatural and America's Next Top Model, which for the first time will feature "all-stars" from previous editions in next season's opener. And Showtime has renewed its ongoing The Borgias for a second season.