EP Continentals 38th Annual Festival – Preliminary Round

Mt. Dora 2017 Collage

“The image is one thing and the human being is another. It’s very hard to live up to an image, put it that way”

-Elvis Presley

Founded in 1880, Mount Dora gave a charming, small town feel to the EP Continentals Ultimate Contest Festival. Overlooking Lake Dora and everything within walking distance, it definitely shows why Mount Dora is known as the “Festival City”. The weekend was off to a great start with headliner Al Joslin having his own show Friday night. (More to come on that!) Saturday, June 17th, 2017 began the preliminary rounds.

The preliminary showcased over a dozen Elvis Tribute Artists (ETAs) with tracks backing them. Each performer sang two songs and had fun with their performance. To me, one of the most entertaining things about contests is watching so many people have fun celebrating Elvis’s legacy. Fan favorite was a tie and went to both Cote Deonath and Austin Irby, well deserved.

While we waited to find the results and who the top 6 would be in the Finals, the non-pros took the stage and showed some up and coming ETAs. Jacob Eder won the Fan Favorite and also placed first in the non-pros with Liam Grosso placing second. It was incredible to see the talent of upcoming ETAs and know the legacy will continue to live on.

Top 6:

Barry Porter

Vincent Grosso

Austin Irby

Michael Cullipher

Jeff Bradford

Cote Deonath

The next few hours were spent with the top 6 rehearsing with The Crew band as they got their last minute song choices in and prepared for the final that evening.

Below are some of the many highlights from the preliminary round!

(I apologize for the blurry quality of these videos! Camera issues are the absolute worst!)

Michael Cullipher – If I Can Dream

Cote Deonath – Walk On

Austin Irby – Bossa Nova Baby


Vincent Grosso – If You Love Me Let Me Know

Jeff Bradford – Fame and Fortune

The excitement of the preliminary round could be felt and it made the finals that much more exciting. With the live band and incredible talent being portrayed, to the audience, it did not feel like a contest at all. Everyone gave their 100% in the finals, but that post will be left for later as there is too much talent to be shared! There’s so much more to come!

Until we meet again,

TCB and TCE,

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