10 Fun Facts About the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest

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10 Fun Facts About the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest

Twenty of the world's best Elvis tribute artists are coming to Memphis during Elvis Week to compete in the 10th annual Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. They will pull out their jumpsuits, black leather and blue suede shoes to compete and see who will be crowned the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist of 2016.

To celebrate 10 years of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, check out 10 Fun Facts about you may not know:

  1. We have welcomed a total of 217 semifinalists (not counting 2016) from over seven countries, including the U.S., Malta, Japan, Brazil, Scotland, Germany, Canada, the UK and Australia.
  2. The ELVIS letters used on stage during the Final Round of the contest were built in 1994 for a star-studded Elvis tribute concert at the Pyramid in Memphis (see picture).
  3. During Elvis Week 2012, the fire alarm went off during the contest, which was held that year at the Cannon Center in Memphis. Elvis week host Memphis Jones and Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest host Joey Sulipeck entertained the crowd during the interruption with rendition of "If I Can Dream."
  4. In 2013, our Ultimate ETA Contest semifinalists visited children at LeBonheur’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis.
  5. The Elvis tribute artists competing are actually good friends and camaraderie can be seen backstage – such as the borrowing of shoes (just in case you brought two left feet) or a belt. The guys also help each other get over any stage fright and rehearse together.
  6. In 2012, actor David Keith was an Ultimate ETA Contest judge. David played Elvis Presley in the 1988 movie “Heartbreak Hotel.”
  7. In 2013, David Letterman celebrated Elvis Week on his show with our top Ultimate ETA Contest winners performing each night.
  8. A few of our Ultimate Winners, including Brandon Bennett and Cody Ray Slaughter, have joined the cast of the musical "Million Dollar Quartet," based on the famous jam session. 
  9. When our Ultimate ETA Contest winners and semifinalists aren't on stage, they're living interesting lives. Kevin Mills performed at President Bill Clinton's inauguration. Diogo Light is a lawyer and Brandon Bennett is a volunteer firefighter. Many others have appeared in commercials, TV shows and movies.
  10. Long before he directed movies like "Pulp Fiction," "Kill Bill" and "The Hateful Eight," Quentin Tarantino played an Elvis tribute artist on an episode of "The Golden Girls."

Check out this recap of last year's Ultimate ETA Contest, and get your tickets today for the Ultimate ETA Contest!

Posted by Elvis Presley's Graceland at 5:35 PM
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