The winner of the Parkes preliminary round of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest® is in Memphis, USA for his chance to be crowned the world's best tribute artist.
Anthony Petrucci will represent the Parkes Elvis Festival in the semi-final round of the contest during Elvis Week, taking to the stage tonight, Friday, August 10.
The Melbourne-based performer has been inspired by Elvis Presley since childhood and made his national television debut as his idol on the Nine Network's Star Struck in 2005.
Winning that competition then saw him go on to perform at the “Legends in Concert” show at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas.
Anthony is excited to head back to the States.
“I'm thrilled to be heading back to Memphis! Being part of the contest is a bonus, including having the fortunate opportunity of representing Parkes while doing so,” he said.
“It's an honour and a privilege to be able to do what I do and I'm eternally grateful for it.
“I had an amazing time in Parkes, they (everybody involved) really made me feel welcome. I can't wait to return.”
The world-wide annual search for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist began in 2007 when Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc announced they were looking for the 'best representation of the legacy of Elvis Presley'.
Twenty-four of the best ETAs from around the world competed in Memphis during Elvis Week, with Shawn Klush of Pennsylvania winning the first-ever Ultimate title.
Elvis tribute artists may only win the prestigious title once in their careers and proudly carry the endorsement by Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc.
Contestants in the Memphis final round compete not only for the titles and endorsement, but also a cash prize of USD $20,000.
Expert judges assess contestants who best represent the legacy of Elvis Presley across the areas of vocals (40 per cent of the total score), style (20 per cent), stage presence (20 per cent) and overall performance (20 per cent).
Parkes Elvis Festival Director, Cathy Treasure, said the Parkes community will be cheering Anthony on.
“We’re happy to have Anthony represent the Parkes Elvis Festival in Memphis,” she said.
“This will strengthen the festival's US connection and further raise our profile on the International stage.”
Registrations will open soon for the 2019 Parkes preliminary round of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, to be held on Friday, January 11 (heats) and Saturday, January 12 (final) at the Parkes Leagues Club.
Tickets will go on sale Monday, September 10 2018 via the festival website www.parkeselvisfestival.com.au.