Elvis impersonators bring a hunk of burnin' love to EMP for annual Seattle Invitationalson January 11, 2013 @ 5:53 pm (Updated: 6:17 pm - 1/11/13 )
16th annual Seattle Invitationals, the search for the best amateur Elvis around town.
"People still love him," says organizer Peter Verbrugge. "No one can match his voice, his songs, his presence."
It's become a birthday party of sorts for Elvis fans. The King would have turned 78 last Tuesday.
Contestants are judged on their music and their moves. But they're far from conventional. Past years have seen everything from female and cross dressing Elvis' (or is it Elvi?) to a 350-pound Sumo Elvis.
"That's what makes us different. It's just plain fun. But it's also good spirited. Anyone who belittles Elvis will definitely get booed off the stage."
You can expect plenty of far-out costumes as well. Tom Nelligan, a house painter by day, Elvis impersonator by night, told KIRO Radio's Rachel Belle before last year's competition he vowed to avoid the cliche white suit. That is, until he realized it's what the people want.
"I made my own white suit, I grabbed a pair of blue jeans and an old dress shirt. I painted them white with white house paint, I'm a house painter. I stenciled stuff on it. It's studded and full of glitter and bling."
So what's it take to be the best Elvis? Peter says it's a unique combination of all the things that made Elvis special. But the big challenge is figuring out which Elvis. There's the young, rockabilly Memphis kid who first burst on the scene, the leather clad rebel, the heartthrob crooner of the Seattle World's Fair, the glittering Vegas showman, and of course, the aging Elvis who had a few two many peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
"He means so many different things to so many different people. But the one thing that brings us all together is his amazing music," says Peter.
The 16th annual Seattle Invitationals Saturday January 12th at EMP. Doors open at 7:30pm, show starts at 8:30pm with special appearances by legendary Mexican Elvis impersonator El Vez and special guest Billy Joe Huels of the Dusty 45's featuring the Kentucky Rain Band.
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