The iconic white sequin onesie lays flat on his bed with a smug glow. It’s embedded jewels casting dim reflections on the walls while a verse from “Suspicious Minds” vibrates through the air. Tony Colinares is getting ready. It’s Now or Never.
There will be a competition pitting dozens of Elvis impersonators against each other in a vicious tribute to the King, Elvis Presley.
The Crocodile hosts the annual Seattle Elvis Invitationals, inviting all the Elvis impersonators from the Pacific Northwest to compete, crowning the best impersonator as the King of Rock and Roll.
Elvis’s from all walks of life appear, imitating different versions of Elvis – young Hound Dog Elvis, Madison Square Garden Elvis, Blue Hawaii Elvis, too-many-peanut-butter-and-banana-sandwiches Elvis – them all.
Tony Colinares has personified Vegas Elvis, if Elvis was a Filipino man. His band, GracelandManila, has been penetrating the Seattle music scene since 2014 with high energy ballads and self-effacing humor, playing at venues like the Bite of Seattle and the Taste of Tacoma, but his love of Elvis started long before.
“I started probably when I was just a wee kid. My babysitter, way back in the late ’60s or early ’70s, she would say, ‘Hey, let’s watch Elvis! Elvis is on!’ One of Elvis’ 30-something movies, she sat me down and there he was singing ‘Clam Bake.’ And then many years later, in high school, we’re singing Elvis in the parking lot. We should have been in third period.” [Quote from MYNorthwest.com, see and listen to the full article here: http://mynorthwest.com/368361/seattles-elvis-impersonator-contest/]
With the sequin suit tight against his skin, his natural hair wig in place, and the glue for his sideburns fully cured, Tony heads to The Crocodile – ready to shake things up.
Behind the curtains, the tension is high. With square eyes, each Elvis gladiator sizes up the others. There can only be one King. Deep, throaty, yet sensual humming could be heard for miles.
Each Elvis impersonator performs one classic Elvis song for the crowd and the crowd votes for their favorite performer.
As Elvis after Elvis channel Mr.Presley on stage, Tony waits patiently, rehearsing the King’s mannerisms – the gait, the fluid and confident dance, the unshakable charisma.
As Tony walks upon the stage, the crowd turns silent – they sense that the King has arrived. First the guitar, then the drums and bass, then his butter-smooth voice. Suspicious Minds.
After all is said and done, the crowd votes and Tony Colinares wins the 2016 Seattle Elvis Invitationals!