More than 20 Elvis tribute artists from the U.S. and Canada gathered in Mesquite over the weekend to pay tribute to the legendary king of rock ‘n’ roll and compete for more than $10,000 in prize money.
The Elvis Rocks Mesquite competition, in its 10th year, kicked off Friday in the CasaBlanca Resort showroom with a ’50s showcase and concluded Saturday with the finals. Tribute artists, or ETAs, also competed in ’60s and ’70s showcases.
Some ETAs, including Bobby Presley, of Modesto, California, have been performing as Elvis for nearly 40 years, but that didn’t unnerve younger competitors, such as 19-year-old Matthew Boyce, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., who wowed both the judges and the audience, and swept the three preliminary rounds, earning first place in the ’50s and ’60s competitions Friday as well as the ’70s contest Saturday afternoon.
Justin Shandor, of Las Vegas, who was a late entry to the contest, won the overall competition after getting into the finals with a single performance in the ’70s era competition. Matthew Boyce came in second, and Jesse Aron, of Green Bay, Wis., finished third. Rob Ely, of Oakdale, Calif., was named fan favorite.