Young Elvis still singing

Penticton Herald - - OKANAGAN - By JAMES MILLER

Jae­dyn Pilon, the youngest com­peti­tor in the 15-year history of the Pen­tic­ton Elvis Fes­ti­val, has qual­i­fied for to­day’s fi­nal.

The 14-year-old from Ed­mon­ton is one of the seven fi­nal­ists (from a field of 15) in the non-pro­fes­sional cat­e­gory. The cham­pi­onship round goes to­day at 2 p.m. at the Pen­tic­ton Trade and Con­ven­tion Cen­tre. Pilon, who stud­ies at a per­form­ing arts school, grew up in a fam­ily that lis­tened to 1960s rock. He orig­i­nally wanted to form his own Bea­tles cover band.

“It was hard to find three oth­ers with the same com­mit­ment and abil­i­ties for a Bea­tles’ band,” he said. “My fa­ther had sug­gested to try Elvis in­stead be­cause you need only one to be Elvis — and that’s me.”

This year was his first at the Pen­tic­ton event. In ad­di­tion to Elvis the multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist also per­forms on the side as Buddy Holly, Frankie Valli, Jerry Lee Lewis and The Bea­tles.

On Fri­day he per­formed early hits — Lawdy Miss Clawdy and Long Tall Sally and switch tones for Satur­day’s com­pe­ti­tion singing Bos­sanova Baby and A Lit­tle Less Con­ver­sa­tion.

He’s a fan favourite with the crowds at Okana­gan Lake Park, but he also caught the at­ten­tion of judges.

He was one of two teens in the com­pe­ti­tion this year; the other be­ing Tyler Cody from Van­cou­ver, mak­ing his sec­ond ap­pear­ance at Pen­tic­ton’s fes­ti­val.

Other fi­nal­ists in the non-pro­fes­sional cat­e­gory are: Vic DeSousa (Ed­mon­ton), Dar­rell Dou­glas (Prince­ton), Stacey Cerniuk (Sur­rey), Sylvio Fon­taine (White­wood, SK), Dave Greene (Moose­horn, Man.), and Ron­nie Peachey (Co­mox Val­ley).

The two local com­peti­tors — Ralph ‘Relvis’ Ram­say and Christo­pher Blaine (last year’s non-pro­fes­sional run­ner-up) — did not qual­ify for to­day’s fi­nals.

In the pro­fes­sional cat­e­gory, the seven fi­nal­ists who will com­pete to­day are: Roger An­der­son (Bon­ney Lake, WA.), Scott Coon (Mon­roe, WA.), Tim E. Hendry (Lon­don, Ont.), Matt King (Lon­don, UK), Kevin Mills (Rich­mond Hill, Ont.), Steven Sogura (Ravens­dale, WA.) and Eli Wil­liams (Van­cou­ver).

The pro­fes­sional cham­pion ad­vances to Ul­ti­mate Elvis, a tour­na­ment of cham­pi­ons, later this sum­mer in Mem­phis, Tenn.

To­day’s events also in­clude the Li­ons Club pan­cake break­fast from 7-9 a.m. fol­lowed by the pop­u­lar Elvis gospel music ser­vice from 9-11 a.m., hosted by Den­nis Walker and Jeff Bod­ner. Both events are at Okana­gan Lake Park.

The gospel show will in­clude an ap­pear­ance by two of the mem­bers of The Sweet In­spi­ra­tions, Pres­ley’s back-up singers in the 1970s.

Tick­ets for the fi­nals range in price from $28.60 to $52.80 (plus ap­pli­ca­ble ser­vice charges) and are avail­able on­line at Val­leyFirstTi­x.com or by phone at 1-877-763-2849,

Pilon

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