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Pala competitor wins Ultimate Elvis World Title

21 August 2013

PALA, Calif. (PRESS RELEASE) -- Dean Z., an Elvis Tribute Artist (ETA) who performs in the Legends in Concert show in Branson, Mo., won the Ultimate Elvis World Championship on Sunday, Aug. 18, in Memphis, Tenn.

Dean Z. qualified for the championship when he won the Ultimate Elvis tribute contest held March 17 at Pala Casino Resort and Spa.

On Sunday, he won $20,000, the championship belt and the right to be called the number one Elvis Tribute Artist for 2013-14.

Twenty-nine semi-finalists from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia and Brazil performed Saturday, Aug. 17, and Sunday, Aug. 18, during the culmination of Elvis Week.

Dean Z., 30, is a lifetime Elvis fan who grew up in Lancaster, Calif., but moved to Branson when he became the Elvis ETA in the Legends in Concert show.

"My mom was a big Elvis fan," Dean said. "When I was three, an Elvis special was on TV in the living room. I immediately cleared off the coffee table, jumped up and started dancing like the King. Not long afterward, my mom made my first Elvis jump suit."

He said the Pala contest in March was the first of its kind he had ever entered.

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