World Champion Elvis Tribute Artists Entering the Building
Winners of Elvis Presley Enterprise’s Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist contest here next month
Bill Cherry, Dean Z, and Jay Dupuis are winners of the annual Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest that started in Memphis in 2007. Sponsored by Elvis Presley Enterprises, it’s considered the cream of the crop of Elvis contests. Winning in 2009, 2013, and 2014, respectively, Bill, Dean, and Jay reunited as the featured touring cast of Elvis Lives during the initial leg of the 2017 tour.
Pollstar is an online magazine for the concert industry. They conducted an in-depth interview about Elvis Lives last year with Elliot Ordower, the show’s producer and tour manager. Check out these facts:
• There are about 100,000 Elvis tribute artists (ETAs) in the world.
• Performing early Elvis (i.e., from the 50s) is generally more difficult than the other two, because Elvis danced and moved a lot more on stage while he was singing.
• Rare footage from the real Elvis narrates most of the evening.
• Bill Cherry (Elvis from the 70s) has been with Elvis Lives throughout its entire run.
• At almost every show, some older person throws a pair of underwear onto the stage.
• Even three generations of the same family have gone to see it.
Becoming an ETA may seem like an odd job: after all, it’s a very specialized performance act. So how did Bill, Dean, and Jay become Elvis? All had already taken a liking to the King in childhood. Throw in supportive parents, lots of practice, and you have the perfect mix. Listen to all three ETAs talk about their beginnings and performing as Elvis.
To make it to this contest, often referred to as the World Championship of Elvis tribute artists, each artist must win a preliminary competition and then travel to Memphis for the semi-final round. If they win that, they move on to the final round. A few facts about the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest:
• Vocals count for 40% of a contestant’s mark, and appearance, stage presence, and overall performance are 20% each.
• A tie is broken by the performer who has the higher vocal mark. Marks for overall performance, appearance, and stage presence are used if needed, and in that order.
• Judges for the semi-final and final rounds are selected by Elvis Presley Enterprises.
So sit back, and enjoy this video of Bill Cherry, who’s been living his dream and impersonating Elvis since 1989. This video is from his performance at last year’s Collingwood Elvis Festival.
Don’t miss your chance to see Elvis in all three eras. Get your tickets now before they leave the building. (Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves with that one.)
As an added bonus, every ticket holder will automatically be entered to win a 2 night stay for two to the Graceland Guest House in Memphis, TN – the brand new $70 million hotel; the largest, most expensive hotel to be built in Memphis in over 90 years*.
*Airfare not included. Prize includes a Platinum VIP Tour of Graceland and Elvis merchandise provided by Graceland.