Anthony Petrucci will head to Memphis in August to compete in the world semi-finals of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist contest after winning the Australian final at Parkes on Saturday.
The Melbourne performer was chosen by the judges from eight quality entries in the final at the Parkes Leagues Club to win the prestigious trip, as well as $3000 in prizemoney.
Crowd favourite Brody Finlay, from Townsville, was second, with another Melbourne performer, Joe Piastrino, finished third.
All contestants sang three songs, before the judges chose their top five of Petrucci, Finlay, Piastrino, Stuey V and Carl Erasmus.
Petrucci performed If I Can Dream to secure the win and elected to sing the same song as his winning encore, because he said it represented Elvis’ wish for a perfect world.
Contestants were judged on vocals, appearance, stage presence and the overall quality of the performance.
“Anthony’s deft vocal skill and incredible stage presence was a real crowd pleaser. His ability to embody The King in both looks and attitude made him a deserving winner in the eyes of the judges," Parkes Elvis Festival director Cathy Treasure said.
Petrucci had been a keen fan of The King since childhood and made his national television debut on 2005’s Channel 9’s Star Struck, portraying his idol.
Winning that competition then saw him go on to perform at the “Legends in Concert” show at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas. Now Anthony is headed back to the States to represent Parkes in Memphis for the 2018 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.
“Winning the Parkes Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest is a surreal feeling. It’s a great thing to be recognized for doing what I am passionate about and honoring my idol. I’m looking forward to representing Australia in the contest in America,” Petrucci said.
A day earlier 22 expert Elvii took to the stage before a panel of judges in the semi-finals.