2008 Ultimate ETA Contest



Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist of 2008 - Brandon Bennett

From Ponchatoula, LA

Winner of the Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort preliminary round.


Brandon is a southern boy from Louisiana and has been paying tribute to Elvis for the past eight years. Brandon is a fireman in his hometown. He considers himself truly blessed to be singing the music he loves, and enjoys keeping Elvis' memory alive for another generation of fans.










Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Second Place Winner - Donny Edwards
From Las Vegas, Nevada

Winner of the New Jersey Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest and Festival Presented by Ren Media Publishing, Inc.
















Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Third Place Winner - Joseph Hall

From Lincoln, Nebraska

Winner of A Day with Elvis in Arnold, Missouri















The other top ten finalists included (in alphabetical order):


•Mark Anthony
•Leo Days
•Dwight Icenhower
•Ben Klein
•Mario
•Kevin Mills
•Gino Monopoli


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Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Preliminary Winners:
The list below is in chronological order.


Winner: Joseph Hall from Lincoln, Nebraska
A Day with Elvis in Arnold - Ultimate ETA Contest
April 12, 2008; Rickman Auditorium, Arnold, Missouri

Joseph performed his first show in 2006. He never knew what would come from it, but knew something special was going to happen. Joseph loves Elvis and wants to carry the torch to keep the legacy of Elvis going forever. Favorite Elvis Song: Make the World Go Away



Winner: Garry Bomback (Wesley) from Necedah, Wisconsin
Ultimate ETA Contest-Menominee Casino; Presented by Brown Productions
May 17-18, 2008; Menominee Casino, Keshena, Wisconsin

Garry Wesley was born and raised in Willard Wisconsin. He has been performing a tribute to Elvis for almost 30 years. He has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Mexico and South America.  Favorite Elvis Song: How Great Thou Art




Winner: Gino Monopoli from Toronto, Canada
Lake George Elvis Festival
May 29-June 1, 2008; Lake George, New York

Gino has been singing Elvis songs for as long as he can remember. He did not have plans to become an ETA, but after so many people commented on how much he resembled a young Elvis, he checked out a local Elvis festival and saw the pros in action. It was then he realized he could make this into a fun hobby and it has eventually led to a career as an ETA.  Favorite Elvis Song: Love Me Tender


Mark Anthony from Kidman Park, Australia
The Wintersun Festival
June 6, 2008; Coolangatta, Queensland, Australia

Mark was first introduced to Elvis at a very young age and has since been a huge Elvis fan. Through his performances, he pays tribute to the King by sharing Elvis’s revolutionary musical style with today’s youth. Mark dedicates his performances to keep Elvis’s music alive and secure for generations to come.  Favorite Elvis Song: Long Black Limousine



Winner: Victor Trevino, Jr. from Denton, Texas
Tupelo Elvis Festival
June 6-8, 2008; Tupelo, Mississippi

Victor’s love for Elvis started as a child, when his father’s record collection, which included all generations of music, influenced him. He started his tribute when he realized his dream of singing rockabilly music and love of acting could combine in such a meaningful way. Victor’s goal as an ETA is to maintain quality performances with a respectful and genuine image to the King of rock and roll. Favorite Elvis Song: Bridge Over Troubled Water



Winner: Leo Days from Corunna, Michigan
2008 Greater Boston Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest & Festival
June 13-15; Arlington, Massachusetts

Leo grew up watching Elvis movies with his dad. He started doing Elvis professionally at age 15 and it has taken him all over the world. He loves performing as Elvis, but loves being an Elvis fan more.
Favorite Elvis Song: If I Can Dream




Winner: Ted Torres from Orlando, Florida
Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest at Bruce Rossmeyer's Destination Daytona
June 21; Ormond Beach, Florida

Ted Torres is a singer/songwriter/musician/actor. Aside from his original music, he's performed Elvis tributes in Memphis, Canada and California. Ted hopes he can help people relive those memories.
Favorite Elvis Song: The Sound Of Your Cry



Winner: Jeff Barnes from Evans, Georgia
Viva Elvis and the Legends of Rock & Roll Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest
June 22, 2008; Virginia Beach, VA

An Elvis fan since he was a young boy, Jeff Barnes has worked hard to preserve the music and excitement of the king of rock 'n' roll. Jeff has been performing his tribute to Elvis for over 10 years and he entertains at corporate events, civic clubs, hospitals and nursing homes.
Favorite Elvis Song: There's Always Me



Winner: Kevin Mills from Richmond Hill, Canada
The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest at Hollywood Casino Presented by Brown Productions
June 20-21, 2008; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Kevin became an Elvis tribute artist because of his love and adoration of Elvis' music at an early age. He wanted to pay tribute and celebrate the life and legacy of Elvis. His goal has always been to portray his tribute to Elvis with great dignity and respect to the man and the music.
Favorite Elvis Song: Suspicious Minds


Winner: Jay Zanier from Guelph, Canada
Windsor Elvis Festival
June 27-29; Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Jay's passion for Elvis started at a very young age. He is truly honored to tribute the man who is idolized by so many. He has been performing and singing the beautiful and challenging songs as far back as he can remember. Elvis will always live on in his heart, memories and dreams.
Favorite Elvis Song: You'll Never Walk Alone



Winner: Ben Klein from Spokane, Washington
Penticton Pacific Northwest Elvis Festival
June 27-29, 2008; Penticton, British Columbia, Canada

Ben has been singing, dancing and playing music all of his life. In 2002, he bough an early Elvis CD and after listening, he developed an interest which soon became his passion. His desire is to be as authentic as possible and believes that if Elvis was alive today, he would mostly be singing gospel which is his favorite as well.
Favorite Elvis Song: Peace in the Valley



Winner: Matt Joyce from Conway, Arkansas
Branson Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest
July 2; 7:00 pm; Legends Family Theater, Branson, Missouri

Matt is married with 3 kids and one on the way. The reason Matt became an Elvis tribute artist is because he believes that Elvis changed our music, our hearts and our minds and feels that there is a great need to keep Elvis' memory alive.
Favorite Elvis Song: Young and Beautiful




Winner: Donny Edwards from Las Vegas, Nevada
New Jersey Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest and Festival Presented by Ren Media Publishing, Inc.
July 3-5, 2008; Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, New Jersey
Donny's admiration and appreciation for Elvis began at a young age. Little did he know that his devotion would lead him to a beloved career paying tribute to one of the greatest musical artists in history. Donny finds it a true honor to be a part of helping to keep Elvis' memory alive.
Favorite Elvis Song: Suspicious Minds



Winner: Mario from London, England
Elvis My Happiness 2008 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest
July 7 & 13, 2008; City Hall, St. Maxime, South of France

Mario was born and raised in London and has been performing his tribute to Elvis for 14 years. Mario trained as an actor and has starred in film, television and theatre. Mario feels blessed and privileged to be lucky enough to perform songs of his idol in front of thousands of people and to pay tribute and give thanks to the man that has enabled him to fulfill many of his dreams and ambitions. Favorite Elvis Song: Just Pretend 



Winner: Charles Alan Roe from Godley, Texas
The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest at Sam's Town Hotel & Casino Presented by Brown Productions
July 12, 2008; Sam's Town Hotel & Casino, Shreveport, Louisiana

Alan was introduced to Elvis music when his older brother won a stack of Elvis records in a radio contest. At 3, he spent his days listening to and mimicking what he heard. By age 5 he knew he wanted to be an entertainer. Over the years, his love and respect for Elvis and his music grew. Favorite Elvis Song: Bridge over Troubled Water



Winner: George Thomas from Los Angeles, California
Ultimate ETA Contest at Chinook Winds Casino Resort Presented by Brown Productions
July 18-20, 2008; Location: Chinook Winds Casino Resort, Lincoln City, Oregon

George became a tribute artist because he wanted to give back to an audience the same thrill and excitement that Elvis gave him as a kid. He is excited to be part of the contest and says it gives him an opportunity to express his appreciation for Elvis' contribution to popular culture.
Favorite Elvis Song: Baby, Let's Play House



Winner: Dwight Icenhower from Orlando, Florida
6th Annual Tampa Elvis Festival and Contest
July 19, 2008; Tampa, Florida

Dwight was raised in Pomeroy, Ohio, and began his Elvis career by singing karaoke at a local fair when he was just 16 years old. Dwight says that he considers it a dream come true to have such a wonderful job and having the opportunity to meet such wonderful people.
Favorite Elvis Song: You'll Never Walk Alone



Winner: Michael Sokolik Jr. from Myrtle Beach, SC
Legends in Concert Myrtle Beach Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest
July 19, 2008; Legends in Concert, Myrtle Beach, SC

As a child, Michael wanted to be just like Elvis. It is a dream for him to pay tribute to a great artist like Elvis. Being able to do something like this is important to Michael to help him show his daughter that dreams can come true.
Favorite Elvis Song: Blue Suede Shoes




Winner: Brandon Bennett from Ponchatoula, LA
Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest at Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort Presented by Brown Productions
July 24-26, 2008; Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort, Cherokee, North Carolina

Brandon is a southern boy from Louisiana and has been paying tribute to Elvis for the past eight years. Brandon is a fireman in his hometown. He considers himself truly blessed to be singing the music he loves, and enjoys keeping Elvis' memory alive for another generation of fans.
Favorite Elvis Song: Just Pretend


Winner: David Muggeridge from Mt. Airy, NC
Collingwood Elvis Festival
July 24-27, 2008; Collingwood, Ontario, Canada

David's respect and admiration for Elvis Presley is straight from the heart. While always trying to better his craft, David enjoys meeting the fans and sharing his passion for Elvis. David truly loves being an Elvis tribute artist and works diligently to continue to honor the memory and legacy of Elvis through his appearances on stage.
Favorite Elvis Song: How Great Thou Art



Winner: Bryant Scott from Montreal, Canada
Atlantic City Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest
July 25, 2008; Resorts Atlantic City, New Jersey

Bryant enjoys keeping Elvis' spirit alive with his tribute because he believes that Elvis deserves this for his legacy. He has always been an Elvis fan and says that bringing Elvis' music to his fans is an absolute honor.
Favorite Elvis Song: American Trilogy




Winner: Justin Shandor from Portland, Oregon
Horizon's Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest and Elvis Is Still In The Building Festival
July 26, 2008; Horizon Casino, Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Justin is a talented pianist who also writes and performs his own music. Justin was introduced to Elvis' music at the age of 12 by his mother. He instantly connected with Elvis' music and it has been a part of him ever since.  Favorite Elvis Song: They Remind Me To Much of You