We've all seen at least one person impersonating Elvis Presley. Most people think of Elvis impersonators in Las Vegas standing on the strip taking photos with people in their jump suits. However, Elvis Tribute Artists are in a whole different world. These guys are performers. Their real fans of Elvis who honor him each time they take the stage. They've learned his mannerisms, his music, his appearance and his voice. They've dedicated their singing abilities to belting out Elvis songs.
Every year at Elvis Week, Elvis Presley Enterprises hosts the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artists Contest. To be eligible to compete during Elvis Week each tribute artists must have won a prequalify contest throughout the year at one of the many contests held across the nation. Around 30 performers come to the stage and in preliminary and semifinal rounds they are narrowed down to the top 10. The top 10 performers are then narrowed down in the finals until one single ETA stands as the winner.
The winner gets recognized by Elvis Presley Enterprise, $20,000 cash, a ETA contest belt and a contract to perform for Legends In Concert. They also receive several other valuable prices. I've been fortunate enough to sit front row for these concerts and it really is amazing how much some of the performers sound and act like Elvis. The judges have a difficult time narrowing down the field. They judge them on Vocals, Style, Stage Wear and Stage Presence.
While there are hundreds and thousands of ETA out in the world, these are some that I've seen perform...
Cody Slaughter winner of the EPE ETA 2011
Ben Portsmouth winner of the EPE ETA 2012
All of these guys were great in concert. I've seen a lot of Elvis Tribute Artists but these guys take the cake. If you ever get a chance to attend the ETA contest or any of the preliminary competitions, I strongly urge you to go! They are so much fun and the guys really are talented!