EPE is excited to announce that the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest will return for 2017 and Elvis tribute artists around the world can compete for their chance to win a spot in the Semifinal Round during Elvis Week 2017. See a list of confirmed 2017 preliminary rounds.
Now through August 2017, Elvis tribute artists are invited to compete in official preliminary rounds being held around the world for their chance at the title of Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist of 2017. Preliminary winners will then travel to Memphis for Elvis Week 2017, the 40th anniversary, to compete in the Semifinal Round. The only way an Elvis tribute artist can advance to the Semifinal Round will be by winning an official preliminary round. Elvis fans are also invited to attend the preliminary rounds that are held at festivals and various venues throughout the world to cheer on their favorite tribute artist.
History of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest
In 2007, EPE announced their inaugural event in which they were looking for the “best representation of the legacy of Elvis Presley.” Twenty-four of the best ETAs from around the world traveled to Memphis during Elvis Week 2007 to compete, with Shawn Klush of Pennsylvania winning the first-ever ultimate title.
In response to the excitement generated by the 2007 contest, Elvis Presley Enterprises has brought the contest back every year since. Brandon Bennett from Louisiana won the ultimate title during Elvis Week 2008, Bill Cherry from Illinois won in 2009, Justin Shandor from Michigan won in 2010, Cody Slaughter of Arkansas took home the 2011 title, Ben Portsmouth from England was crowned the 2012 winner, Dean Z of Missouri took home the 2013 title, Louisiana native Jay Dupuis was the 2014 champion, and David Lee of Alabama was our 2015 winner - and in 2016, Dwight Icenhower from Florida took home the title.
Watch a recap of the 2016 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest:
Competing at Elvis Week 2017
The contest in Memphis will include a Semifinal Round and a Final Round during Elvis Week 2017. All preliminary winners will compete in the Semifinal Round, with the top Elvis tribute artists moving onto the Final Round.
The top three winners of the Final Round of the competition will receive a great cash prize along with a selection of other valuable prizes.
Ultimate Elvis Contest First Place Winner
- Title of Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist of 2017
- Recognition by Elvis Presley Enterprises
- Cash prize of $20,000
- Contract to perform with Legends in Concert
- 2017 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Belt
Ultimate Elvis Contest Second Place Winner
- Cash prize of $3,000
- Selection of other valuable prizes (TBA)
Ultimate Elvis Contest Third Place Winner
- Cash prize of $2,000
- Selection of other valuable prizes (TBA)
In addition, all Elvis tribute artists finishing in 4th through 10th place will receive a $500 cash prize.
Judging for The Ultimate ETA Contest
In 2007, when EPE launched the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, we were in search of the Elvis tribute artist who ‘best represents the legacy of Elvis Presley.’ As the contest continues, we will continue to search for the Elvis tribute artist who best represents Elvis in the area of Vocals, Style, Stage Presence and Overall Performance.
For the Semifinal and Final Rounds of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest during Elvis Week, the accounting firm of Dixon Hughes Goodman oversees the scoring and tabulation of the contest judging. Having Dixon Hughes Goodman as the official auditor of the event assures that the tabulation is held to the highest standards of integrity and objectivity.
Ultimate Contest Scoring Sheet
Elvis tribute artists competing during the Semifinal and Final Round in Memphis are all judged using the same scoring sheet. Each of the judging criteria is scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest score. Vocals will count for 40% of the score. Style, Stage Wear and Stage Presence each count as 20%. Download a PDF of the scoring sheet.
The judging criteria are as follows:
- Vocals - Overall singing ability
- Style - Ability to present a look and style that well represents Elvis during the era of the song being performed
- Stage Presence - Ability to recreate the charisma Elvis created when performing on stage
- Overall Performance - Rating the overall quality of the performance
Judges for the 2017 preliminary rounds of the contest will be chosen by each individual contest organizer. Once they are selected, judges' names are required to be submitted to EPE for final approval.
Judges for the Semifinal and Final Rounds in Memphis will be selected by EPE and announced closer to August 2017.
Ultimate Contest Rules and Guidelines
All Elvis tribute artists competing must adhere to the Official Rules and Guidelines of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. Any Elvis tribute artist who is unable to meet and adhere to these rules and guidelines will be disqualified from the contest. Get a complete list of the 2017 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Rules and Guidelines.
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