By Rob LeDonne
Taylor Williamson, a Del Mar native and graduate of Torrey Pines High School, overcame the odds and placed second on the hit NBC competition series “America’s Got Talent” on Sept. 18.
Williamson, the 26-year-old comedian who auditioned for the series on a lark, beat out hundreds of other competitors. In his in his first interview with this newspaper back in early August, Williams said he was confident he wouldn’t make it past the early rounds, but went onto survive a variety of elimination shows and made it all the way to the show’s season finale, where he performed one final comedy bit alongside “Inside the Actor’s Studio” host James Lipton.
By the end of the show, Williamson and Kenichi Ebina, a dancer and fellow-fan favorite, were the last two contestants standing. However, Ebina wound up edging out Williamson and clinching the $1 million prize and headline show in Las Vegas.
Despite being runner-up, Williamson’s career has been reinvigorated thanks to his weekly appearances on what is America’s number one-rated television show. Throughout his time on “Talent,” which was broadcast live from New York’s Radio City Music Hall twice a week, Williamson was championed by judges Howie Mandel and Howard Stern, and helped along by growing fan-base he dubs the “Taylords.”
Williamson is slated to perform at a variety of the most prestigious comedy clubs across the country in the coming months, including headlining slots at San Diego’s American Comedy Co. club come December. Not bad for a struggling comedian who, pre-”America’s Got Talent,” said he was close to stepping away from comedy altogether and getting a regular job due to financial constraints. In a recent interview with this newspaper, Williamson called the past few months a “dream scenario.”
Williamson graduated from Torrey Pines High School in 2005.