The definitive prize for contestants of the Texas Tribute to Elvis Festival Ultimate Elvis Artist competition performing tonight will be the opportunity to compete at Graceland’s August Elvis tribute artist contest during Elvis Week in Memphis.
Seven finalists have performed their way in a series of rivalry shows throughout the weekend on the Oil Baron Showroom stage at the Southfork Ranch for the first-ever Texas Elvis Festival. The grand winner will also receive $4,500, a $2,000 gift certificate for a new jumpsuit and large trophy as the 2016 champion. Friday 18 Elvis Tribute Artists appeared before hundreds of fans from across the globe. The seven finalists tonight include:
Al Joslin, a humble Pensacola, Florida native, is a multi-award winning ETA who has performed in front of crowds in the southeast for a decade. He’s become very popular in Texas and is currently based out of Waco.
“After college football in Mississippi, my competitive spirit was channeled through my shows,” Joslin said, who met Elvis Presley’s former girlfriend Linda Thompson Saturday at the festival. “I enjoy songs from each era and it is just a privilege to give tribute to Elvis, the greatest performer ever.”
Jake Rowley, from Nederland, Texas is a 20-year-old actor-musician and original Rockabilly artist for the band “The Payloa Kings.” A lifelong Elvis fan, he says is calling is to introduce the legacy of Elvis and the 1950s to his peers.
Andy King, of Sulzfeld, Germany impressed the four judges to advance to the finalist round after three stirring performances. Noting his favorite song is “Sylvia,” Andy began watching Elvis at age six. He began his tribute to Presley in 2003 as a hobby and is now a fulltime ETA in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and the Czech Republic.
Victor Trevino Jr, of Ft. Worth, Texas has performed on stage in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Sweden and the UK. He performs for the world’s largest tribute show “Legends in Concert”. Including a residency in Las Vegas where “Legends in Concert” is still longest show running on the Las Vegas Strip. Victor has opened for Grammy award winning acts like Boys II Men and Foreigner at fundraising and private events. In 2014 Victor was named an ambassador and given a key to city of Tupelo Mississippi (Elvis’s hometown).
Di Light, from Porto Alegre, Brazil has been a crowd favorite and stronger contender with his raw sexual energy and stage presence. He opening song for the festival on Friday was a stirring performance of “It Hurts Me,” which earned him a standing ovation.
Frank Werth, from Schoenchen, Kansas pays tribute to the King “because it has been a way for me to thank Elvis for everything he has done for me. I never met the man in person and neither do I have to in my heart our souls have connected through the power of god and the purity of his music. I am a huge Elvis fan and I constantly remind myself as well as the people around me that this is Elvis’ tribute and that I will always perform with the utmost respect in honor of the ‘King of Rock and Roll’, Elvis Presley.”
Drake Milligan, a senior at Legacy High School in nearby Mansfield, Texas has been a crowd pleaser throughout the weekend. He says he developed a passion for Elvis at 8 years of age and began studying his moves and style shortly after. Later he started performing for retirement homes and church groups.