Someone is looking for Bubba, that cat drinking vampire who was formerly the King of Rock and Roll. More precisely, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE) is looking for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist. To find him (her?), a record-breaking 26 preliminary events are being held around the globe this spring and summer with winners competing for the fifth annual Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist crown on August 11 and 12, 2011 during Elvis Week in Memphis, TN.
The latest addition to the list of preliminary contests is scheduled for 16 July, 2011 at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, AR. This preliminary contest will also celebrate two new temporary exhibits at the Center. The exhibit “ELVIS” includes special artifacts, some never-before-seen, from the Graceland archives that are significant to former President Bill Clinton (who is a huge fan of the human Bubba was). The second exhibit “Elvis at 21, Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer” is a collection of photographs chronicling Elvis’ life in 1956.
Other preliminary events are being held at:
- Rockin’ ‘E’ Jamboree at the Oneida Casino in Green Bay, WI
- New England Elvis Festival in Manchester, NH
- Elvis FANtast Fest in Portage, IN
- Pocono Mountains Elvis Festival in Bushkill, PA
- European Elvis Championships in Birmingham, United Kingdom (UK)
- Japan Elvis Tribute Contest in Tokyo, Japan
- Tupelo Elvis Festival in Tupelo, MS
- LakeGeorge.com Elvis Festival in Lake George, NY
- Pechanga Casino Resort Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist contest in Temecula, CA
- Wintersun Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Queensland, Australia
- Windsor Elvis Festival in Ontario, Canada
- Penticton Pacific Northwest Elvis Festival in British Columbia, Canada
- Chinook Winds Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Lincoln City, OR
- Ultimate ETA Challenge — Fill the Blue Suede Shoes in Ocala, FL
- Harrah’s Cherokee Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Cherokee, NC
- Tampa Elvis Festival in Tampa, FL
- Collingwood Elvis Festival in Ontario, Canada
- Silver Slipper Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Bay St. Louis, MS
- The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest at Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, IN
- The “Last Chance” ETA Contest at Hard Rock Cafe in Memphis, TN
- Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale Beach, FL
Details, including dates and times for these events can be found on the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artists website.
All preliminary contest winners will travel to Memphis to compete in the semifinals and final rounds where the 2011 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist of the Year for 2011 will be named. Judges for the Memphis round of the competition during Elvis Week 2011 include:
- John Cossette, who has more that 30 years of experience in the entertainment and music industry. His credits include 17 years producing the Grammy Awards, producer of the smash Broadway musical “Million Dollar Quartet,” producing live concerts in Central Park and Centennial Olympic Park for the 1996 Olympic Games and doing benefits for many charitable organizations.
- Alexis Grace, a top 12 contestant on season eight of American Idol, who continues to perform around the U.S. and is part of a morning show on Memphis station Q107.5
- Brad Birkedahl, a rock’n’roll guitarist and vocalist who has shared the stage with music legends such as Carl Perkins, Wanda Jackson, James Burton, Billy Lee Riley, the Stray Cats, Paul Burlison, Malcom Yelvington and D.J. Fontana, and who played the role of Scotty Moore in the film Walk the Line.
- Michael Detroit, the Associate Producer at Memphis’ Playhouse on the Square, who has credits in over 75 professional theatre productions, has done 100s of TV commercials and voice-overs, and has appeared in eight films, including Nothing but the Truth, The Client, The People vs. Larry Flynt and Cast Away.
Along with the title of Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist, the First Place Winner will receive:
- Performance Contract with Legends in Concert
- Cash Prize of $20,000
- A Gibson “Elvis” Epiphone Guitar
The Second Place Winner receives $3,000 and a selection of other valuable prizes. The Third Place Winner receives $2,000 and other valuable prizes. For the first time in 2011, all Elvis tribute artists in fourth through tenth place will receive $500 cash prizes.