Elvis tribute artists descend upon Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Elvis tribute artists descend upon Memphis

(WMC-TV) – You may know them as "Elvis impersonators," but for participants Thursday at the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Memphis, that's not an acceptable term.

"We've got 26 Ultimate Tribute Artist Contestant Finalists from around the world as far away as Australia, United Kingdom, Japan" said Kevin Kern, Director of Public Relations for Elvis Presley Enterprises.

An impressive crowd gathered Thursday to kick off Elvis Week 2011 at the Hard Rock Café and to meet the artists before they took to the stage.

"My girlfriend and I have been coming for 10 years to this and we love it," said Linda Archer, an Elvis fan from Raleigh, North Carolina.

Archer was excited about the contest, but wasn't ready to commit to a winner.

"I can't wait," she said. "I have not picked anyone at this point."

According to Kern, rounds one and two of the contest, held at The Orpheum, whittle about half of the Elvises out of the contest.

"Then we go down to 15, and then tomorrow, Friday at 7pm, the top 10 will compete," he said.

Tim Hendry, who traveled to Memphis from Ontario to compete, said he wasn't just doing it for the money.

"It's all about Elvis and the music, so the accolades are good, but I just want to entertain people," he said.

Isabel Stiven, in Memphis from Scotland, said she looks forward to the tribute contest and Elvis Week each year because it brings everyone together.

"Elvis week is family week, and every Elvis fan is a member of my family," she said.

For a full list of Elvis Week activities in Memphis, click here.

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