Photos by Steve Shay
West Seattle architect Bret Wiggins became the KING Saturday night as he beat 18 other Elvi in tough competition in the 15th Annual Elvis Invitationals. He placed 2nd for the last two years. West Seattle resident Jim Dever of KING5 hosted.

Update: West Seattle's Elvis wins! Was last of 19 to compete & dazzled judges, audience

Video

Added Jan. 16: Top 10 winners were:

1-Bret Wiggins. 2-Scott Coon. 3-Roger Anderson. 4-Joe Krushinsky. 5-Stephanie Wichman. 6-Tom Nelligan. 7-Jeff Cook/Elvi-lele. 8-Nathan Alidina. 9-Helen Gately/Hellon Wheels. 10-Mike Weber.

Thank you Gillian Gaar!

UPDATE: Saturday night, Jan. 14, 11:00 p.m.

West Seattle resident and architect Bret Wiggins won the 15th Annual Elvis Invitationals and became "The King"- Seattle's Best Amateur Elvis. Wiggins took 2nd place the last two years and this time nailed first place with "Suspicious Minds".

Just before the competition when Wiggins learned of the order of the 19 competitors and that he was randomly selected last, he told the West Seattle Herald that he found this a bit unsettling. But it turned out the best was saved for last, and there seemed to be no suspicious minds in the crowd that he earned his spot as King.

After the judges' scores were tallied, host Jim Dever of KING5, also a West Seattle resident, announced tenth place, then ninth, eighth, and so on. When Wiggins, his competitors and fans did not hear his name called yet, even after the second place winner was announced, he appeared confident he'd win. While the group of Elvi impressed, and were all winners, there was only one King. THREE performers were women, (late correction) and one man flew in from Washington, D.C. to compete.

One of Wiggins' "colleagues", if you will, Tom Nelligan of Burien, earned a respectable sixth place finish with his "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You", following his brief but frenzied nunchuck demonstration which earned him some cheers.

Judges included Art Zone's Nancy Guppy and White Center rockabilly queen, Sweet Pea. West Seattle resident, artist, real estate agent, and Elvis fan, Marlow Harris, dressed as Priscilla Presley in shocking pink and a beehive hairdo, helped promote the event.

Also noteworthy, Dever announced West Seattle artist Theresa Neinas' birthday while she was standing in the center of the front row cheering, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and red flower in her hair.

We will update with more photos later Sunday.

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Tomorrow, Jan. 8, is Elvis' birthday, and next weekend West Seattle resident and architect Bret Wiggins will return to the "15th Annual Elvis Invitationals" to compete to be crowned King- Seattle's Best Amateur Elvis. Wiggins took 2nd place the last two years in a row and is looking to score gold this time around. This year he will be performing the song "Suspicious Minds". He'll be backed by the band Kentucky Rain.

This year the event will be held Saturday, Jan. 14, 8:00 p.m. at the EMP Museum, Level 3 (doors open at 7:30 p.m.) and hosted by KING5's Jim Dever. The event is coined "It Happened at the Seattle Center, A 50th Anniversary of the King's visit to Seattle".

According to the brownpapertickets website page on this event, "It was on these very grounds that the King of rock 'n' roll filmed the head-bopping musical It Happened at the World's Fair in 1962. Hosted by King 5's dashing Jim Dever, The Seattle Invitationals beckon impersonators from near and far to represent just what the King really means to them! There's only one place in Seattle every year where you can see thirty different impersonators in hip-gyrating, fried chicken-eating, swoon-worthy action. You might even catch a glimpse of his wife Priscilla, manager Colonel Tom Parker, and the King's alleged best friend Red West. It's all at the 15th annual 2012 Seattle Invitationals!

"Each amateur performer will tackle one of his many personas: innocent and magnetic country boy, hip-swinging rockabilly superstar, G.I. guy, Hollywood playboy, devout gospel singer, or diamond-studded, gold sunglasses sporting Vegas crooner. Each amateur impersonator will get a shot to show what he (or she) is made of, performing a song, in costume, backed by the fabulous Kentucky Rain band!"


Wiggins began performing as a Presley impersonator at age 13 at Roosevelt Junior High School in Port Angeles, where his father, Glenn, was mayor. He performs there tonight, at Vern Burton Community Center, for an “Evening with Elvis". In "real life", he is an architect at Callison Architects.

For tickets and information, visit: www.brownpapertickets.com

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