2012 Ultimate ETA Contest

Ben Portsmouth - 2012 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist

Winner of the Collingwood Elvis Festival Preliminary

Ben lives in a small village in England called Walthan St. Lawrence. He enjoys spending time with friends and writing songs. He first heard Elvis as a young boy while riding in his dad’s car. His dad had a guitar so he picked it up, learned some chords and started to play and sing along to Elvis’ music. Ben is excited to be in Memphis competing in the Ultimate ETA Contest and entertaining Elvis fans. Ben’s favorite Elvis song is “American Trilogy.”
Victor Trevino Jr.

Winner of the Las Vegas Ultimate ETA Contest Presented by Legends in Concert Preliminary

Victor Trevino Jr. was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas and has always appreciated the roots of rock 'n' roll. In recent years, Victor has performed mainly as an Elvis tribute artist, but he has also appeared in musicals such as "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "The Fantasticks," "Grease," and more. As a fan of roots rock and rhythm and blues, Victor felt that portraying the king in his wilder years would be a good way to show a younger audience the king's influence on today's music. Victor's favorite Elvis song is "Milkcow Blues Boogie."

Pete Storm

Winner of the Hard Rock Last Chance Ultimate ETA Preliminary

Pete is from just outside of London and is thrilled to be back this year. He became an fan after watching Elvis movies when he was just a kid. In addition to singing, Pete also enjoys fishing, cycling and playing guitar. He is a lifelong Elvis fan and says it's an honor to be able to perform as his idol and entertain people. His favorite Elvis song of the moment is “Love Song of the Year.”

In addition, congratulations to our other top 5 finalists, Ted Torres and Kevin Mills.

Ted Torres

Winner of the Elvis FANtasy Fest

Ted is a singer, songwriter, musician and actor from Orlando, Florida. Ted was inspired by both his parents and Elvis to choose music as a career. After learning more about Elvis as a person, he became an even bigger fan of Elvis. He hopes he can help people relive the memories of when a poor boy from Tupelo conquered both Memphis and the world with his music. Ted's favorite Elvis song is "The Sound of Your Cry."

Kevin Mills

Winner of the Myrtle Beach Ultimate ETA Contest

As a teenager, Kevin loved Elvis' music and felt Elvis was the natural choice for him to emulate. Elvis' many genres provide Kevin with a never ending challenge. Kevin says it's an honor to be a part of the Ultimate ETA Contest and to be able to compete in Memphis where Elvis called home. Kevin's favorite Elvis song is "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

Dwight Icenhower

Winner of the Lake George Elvis Festival

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. Now, being an Elvis tribute artist is a full-time career and he enjoys using his talent to keep the memory of Elvis alive. 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. Dwight’s favorite Elvis song is “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Jay Dupuis

Winner of the Philadelphia Elvis Fest

Jay was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and at the early age of three he realized his love and passion for the King of Rock 'n' Roll. Jay considers being a tribute artist a true blessing. He loves bringing the electrifying magic of Elvis back to the stage and for him it is a great honor to pay tribute the greatest entertainer of all time. Jay's favorite Elvis song is "Suspicious Minds."

Stephen Freeman

Winner of King of the Cruise Contest on the 2012 Elvis Cruise

A former police officer and detective, Stephen began his career as an Elvis Tribute Artist in 1998. His inspiration to become a tribute artist stemmed from Elvis’ soulful commitment to both gospel music and his fans. Stephen’s goal as a tribute artist is to accurately portray Elvis, his talent, and his music with respect.Stephen’s favorite Elvis song is “I Can’t Stop Loving You.”

Mark Anthony

Winner for Pocono Mountains Elvis Festival

Mark is originally from Australia and says he has been blessed to be able to travel all over the world and perform for Elvis fans. He feels that this helps keep Elvis’ memory alive. He started by doing a tribute to Elvis at a charity event and it soon became one of the most fulfilling ventures of his life. Mark says he is first and foremost an Elvis fan. His favorite Elvis song is "True Love Travels on a Gravel Road."

Tim Hendry

Winner of the Toronto Elvis Festival

Tim is from London, Ontario, Canada, and has been a professional musician for more than 20 years. His awareness of Elvis came at an early age and he was always exposed to the music of the king because his father was a big fan. Tim first performed as an Elvis tribute artist in 2003. He considers it an honor and privilege to be able to pay tribute to the greatest entertainer of all time, Elvis Presley. He says that being part of the Ultimate ETA Contest provides a great opportunity to compete with fellow ETAs as they all are constantly seeking to improve their craft. His favorite Elvis song is “Hurt.”

Jerome Jackson

Winner of the Tampa Elvis Festival

Jerome discovered Elvis’ voice when he was about 8 years old. Something about Elvis’ voice struck a chord with him before he ever knew what he looked like or what he was about. It wasn’t until the age of 13 that he really started singing. After graduating high school, Jerome got into the radio business, which he still does today. Jerome says it is a great honor to be a part of continuing Elvis’ legacy with the fans.  His favorite Elvis song is “T-R-O-U-B-L-E.”

William Stiles

Winner of Harrah's Cherokee Ultimate ETA Preliminary

William is from Elvis’ hometown of Memphis and has been performing Elvis' music for 12 years. William was raised in a very musical household and had the opportunity to learn about many composers and entertainers. Out of everyone he learned about, Elvis was the one that stuck with him. As a child he always pretended to be Elvis and when he saw his first tribute to Elvis, it inspired him to get into the business professionally. His favorite Elvis song is “Bringing It Back.”

Elias Jamhour

Winner of the Wintersun Festival's Ultimate ETA preliminary

Elias is from Sydney, Australia, where he lives with his wife and three kids and his love of Elvis began early at the age of 5. His start as an Elvis tribute artist began about 7 years ago at his brother’s wedding where he volunteered to be part of the entertainment. Since then, being an ETA has enabled him to give back to Elvis’ legacy and allowed him to play a part in keeping it alive. Elias’ favorite Elvis song is “Just Pretend.”

Eli Williams

Winner of Penticton Elvis Festival Ultimate ETA preliminary

Eli lives in Vancouver and started his tribute to Elvis after graduating from high school. He met a local tribute artist that lived in his neighborhood who became his mentor and is still an inspiration to him this day. He feels very blessed to have friends and family that support him and is proud to be living his dream. His favorite Elvis song is “Promised Land.”

Garry Wesley

Winner of the Elvis Weekend at Diamond Jo Casino

Gary became an Elvis fan when he was 6 years old. All of his friends knew that he was an Elvis fan and influenced him to dress like Elvis for a Halloween party at a local bar. He was invited on stage to perform and history was made. He has been performing his Elvis tribute since 1980. He says being able to compete in the contest in Memphis is the ultimate honor. His favorite Elvis song is “How Great Thou Art.”

Cliff Wright

Winner of the The Rockin' Elvis Fest at Oneida Casino

A self-taught musician, Cliff began playing the guitar when he was 8 years old. He was inspired by Elvis after seeing “Elvis 56” and told his mom he wanted to sing like that when he grew up. He says being a part of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Elvis' hometown is a dream come true. Cliff’s favorite Elvis song is “Love Me.”

Jim Barone

Winner of the Atlantic City Ultimate ETA Contest

Jim began entertaining as a teenager and excelled at musical theater. During the same period, he also became an instant Elvis fan after hearing “Return to Sender.” The two passions came together and Jim’s career as an ETA was launched by a simple request to perform at an oldies show.  He is excited and honored to perform as part of the contest in Elvis’ hometown during the 35th anniversary. Jim’s favorite Elvis song is “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”

Tyler Hunter

Winner of the Tupelo Elvis Festival

Growing up, Tyler remembers hearing Elvis at Christmas at his grandparents house. At 13, his grandma took him to see an Elvis tribute artist perform and they attended many more shows after that until Tyler finally got the opportunity to showcase his talents on stage. During high school, he participated in various talent/variety shows and was surprised to realize how natural performing as Elvis was to him. As a huge Elvis fan, Tyler says there is nothing he enjoys more than being able to perform as Elvis every day.

Matt Cordell

Winner of the Memphis in May Ultimate ETA Contest

Matt is a native of southeast Tennessee and has been performing concerts as the King of Rock 'n' Roll for more than 15 years. Both of Matt's parents are Elvis fans and raised him on Elvis' music, movies and concerts. He says paying tribute to the greatest entertainer is a great honor. Matt's favorite Elvis song is "My Way."

Sean Spiteri

Winner of the the Melbourne Ultimate ETA Contest

Sean is from Melbourne, Australia, and says his parents were his biggest influence when it comes to Elvis Presley. They are avid Elvis fans and the reason why Sean is so passionate about Elvis. Sean was three years old when his dad and mum showed him the “’68 Comeback Special” and from that day on - Sean was spellbound. Being part of the Ultimate ETA Contest is a childhood dream come true for Sean. This will be his first visit to the United States. He can’t wait to see Graceland and Elvis’ home town. Sean’s favorite Elvis song is “Hurt.”

Bobby Simkins

Winner of the Branson Elvis Festival Presented by Legends in Concert

Bobby is a truck driver from Independence, Missouri. In addition to performing, he also enjoys swimming and biking. His love of Elvis’ music got him started singing, but he has just recently become more serious about performing Elvis. He says he is humbled to be part of the experience. His favorite Elvis song is the concert version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

Adam Fitzpatrick

Winner of The Rockin' Elvis Fest at Pala Casino Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest

Adam is from Canada and started attending the local Penticton Elvis Festival because his friend’s dad was an ETA at the time. Through that experience he grew to love Elvis’ music and vocal ability. After that, his friend entered him into an ETA contest without him knowing. When he found out, he decided to just try it. He won the amateur division and has never looked back. He feels to be successful in the ultimate contest, he needs to not only pay tribute to Elvis on stage, but also pay tribute to Elvis’ offstage by taking time with the fans. He has so many Elvis favorites that he said it was hard to pick just one.

Charlie Nieshio

Winner of the Third Look for Japanese Elvis Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest

Charlie was born in Osaka, Japan. He has been a professional singer for 25 years and Elvis has been a big influence on his career. He first learned about Elvis on TV and then began to research and learn more about him. It was then that he became determined to be a professional singer and he thanks Elvis for leading him in that direction. He is excited to represent Japan in the contest and is dedicating his performance to the victims of the 2011 Japan earthquake. His favorite Elvis song is “My Boy.”

Paul Fenech

Winner of the Sydney Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest

Paul was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. A huge Elvis fan from an early age, Paul has been performing his Elvis tribute for 15 years. Paul is a professional entertainer and is also a qualified martial arts instructor. Paul brings both together in his on stage performances as Elvis. This is Paul’s second time competing in the Ultimate ETA Contest and considers it an honor to compete in Elvis’ hometown during the 35th anniversary. His favorite Elvis song is “My Way.”

David Lee

Winner of the Fill the Blue Suede Shoes Ultimate ETA Contest

David’s tremendous respect for Elvis’ music turned into a dream career where he is able to share his love of Elvis with fans of all ages. He pours his heart and soul into every show hoping fans will get to feel a taste of what it was like to watch Elvis. David says it is an honor to compete and keep Elvis’ memory alive. His favorite Elvis song is “Unchained Melody.”

Royden Donohue

Winner of Surfers Paradise Elvis Birthday Bash

Royden lives in the Australian outback town of Nyngan. A country boy at heart,his early career started as a country singer. Elvis made a huge impact on Royden as a boy, influencing his vocal style and passion for performing. Relatively new to performing as an Elvis tribute artist, he loves keeping the dream alive in honor of the king. This is Royden's first time in the US and his family and fans back in Australia are excited to see him be part of the contest. His favorite Elvis song is "You Gave Me A Mountain."

Jesse Aron

Winner of the Rockin' E Jamboree

Jesse is from Janesville, Wisconsin, which is where he got his start as an ETA. He has been performing his tribute to Elvis since 1998. He also has recently started paying tribute to Roy Orbison as well. Jesse says he is just an Elvis fan expressing his respect for Elvis the only way he knows how - through his tribute. It has always been a dream of Jesse's to be part of the Ultimate ETA Contest. His favorite Elvis song is "It's Only Love."

Rick Huntress
Winner of the New England Elvis Festival

Rick was born in Massachusetts and grew up in New Hampshire. He was always known in high school as “the Elvis guy.” Rick's father was a big Elvis fan and it wore off on him. According to his parents, Rick has been singing the lines of “Burning Love” since he was 2 years old. He says being able to compete in the Ultimate ETA Contest is a dream come true. His favorite Elvis song is “Burning Love.”
Matt Dowsett
Matt Cage
Winner of the Tweed Tribute to Elvis Festival

Matt is from Canada and an avid Elvis fan. His love of Elvis' music, style and movies inspired his drive as an Elvis tribute artist. Matt is proud to carry on Elvis' legacy and feels that Elvis was a truly amazing and inspirational person and performer. He says he is humbled and in awe of this opportunity to represent Tweed at the 2012 contest. Matt's favorite Elvis song is "Trouble."

If you are an Elvis tribute artist and interested in competing, check out our list of Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest preliminary rounds for 2013.