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Las Vegas: Elvis impersonators compete for a shot at Graceland

April 25, 2013|By Jay Jones | This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
  • After winning the 2012 Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Las Vegas, Victor Trevino Jr. went on to finish second at the national finals in Memphis. The competition this year is May 10-11.
After winning the 2012 Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Las Vegas, Victor… (Fremont Street Experience )

Elvis impersonators can don their jumpsuits – and maybe their blue suede shoes too – as they hit the stage May 10-11 at Las Vegas' Fremont Street Experience for a chance to perform at Graceland.

The Las Vegas Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest kicks off at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday with a musical tribute to the King on the giant electronic canopy. Following a parade of “Elvi,” the contestants will get down to business, grinding their hips while belting out some of Elvis’ many hits.

Admission is free, but a limited number of VIP seats, right in front of the 1st Street Stage, will be available for $20 on a first-come, first-served basis.

Contestants will be judged on vocals, style of dress and stage presence. The judges will include Elvis’ longtime girlfriend Linda Thompson and her brother, Sam Thompson, who worked as the King’s bodyguard.

The winner will get a $2,500 cash prize, plus the opportunity to advance to the tribute contest finals, to be held during Elvis Week in August at Graceland. The Memphis activities annually attract more than 70,000 fans from around the world.

“Elvis had a unique connection to Vegas that still endures today,” said Jeff Victor, president of Fremont Street Experience. “This event is a testament to his legacy, and the caliber of performers we feature every year is truly incredible."

[For the Record, 12:25 p.m. PDT, April 30: A previous version of this post incorrectly identified Linda Thompson's brother as Brian Thompson. His name is Sam Thompson.]

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