Elkhorn guitar prodigy tops out on 'Talent'

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Pedro Oliveira Jr.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
— Elkhorn guitar prodigy Tallan Latz was shocked when he learned he wouldn't go through to the next phase on NBC's "America's Got Talent," but the 9-year-old said Wednesday he has already moved on.

Tallan was part of the second group to be eliminated during the show's Las Vegas boot camp phase. Surviving contestants advanced to the quarterfinals.

Judge Sharon Osbourne broke the news to Tallan and others in a group: "Our decision is you will all be going home tonight."

"I'm just going to keep playing my guitar, keep following my heart," a teary-eyed Tallan responded during the TV show.

"I was pretty shocked," Tallan said from his home in Elkhorn on Wednesday. "I had my guitar with me, I had my hands on the guitar. I just put my head down on my hands where the guitar was."

But, he said he's "over it."

Tallan's father, Carl, who accompanied his son to Las Vegas, said the family has been bombarded with support since Tallan's primetime performance.

"We've got 10 million people now who didn't know a couple months ago who Tallan was," Carl Latz said.

The Elkhorn boy has performed with guitar legend Les Paul and co-headlined a show in memory of Stevie Ray Vaughn. He passed the preliminary phase of the NBC show with high remarks from the judges and the roaring crowd.

Tallan's passion for playing guitar started at age 3, when a family member gave him a miniature guitar. At age 5, Tallan got his first real guitar from his parents and began taking lessons.

Not moving to the next phase of the show knocked him down, Tallan said, but he keeps moving forward.

"What I got out of it is that life isn't always what you want it to be," he said. "I wanted it, but hey, whatever."

Last updated: 10:49 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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