Muggeridge takes top honours at Collingwood Elvis Festival 0
As far as Elvis festivals go, 2008 Grand Champion and winner of the Professional Concert Years division David Muggeridge says Collingwood is the 'Cream of the Crop.'
"Collingwood is the best party going," said Muggeridge, who earned the most points as a competitor at the 2008 Collingwood Elvis Festival and received $3,000 to help him when he represents the town in Memphis.
"I went down to compete in Memphis last year and it doesn't touch this competition."
However Muggeridge says the Tennessee competition, which started in 2007, "has lots of room for growth" and he is very proud to be representing Collingwood Canada down there this year. The Memphis festival was patterned after the very successful Collingwood event.
The 2008 Grand Champion told press the competition this year was tough and as far as he was concerned "there were no losers" at the finals. Back stage, the new Collingwood King said he and his Professional Concert Years opponents Mark Anthony, who won second, and Paul Ross, who took third, were congratulating each other before the winner was even announced.
"I would not want to be in a judge's position -- Paul and Anthony were both fantastic out there. That's one thing about Collingwood, everyone gets along, the whole thing is very friendly and they make it all a very big deal for the artists. I was speechless when I found out I won," said Muggeridge.
"I performed five venues here at the festival as well as the competitions all for the purpose of tonight. It got my motor running and revving higher and higher and that helps when you perform in the finals."
Doug Thompson was a judge at the event for the first time and found the job challenging. After receiving a tip from another judge, he found it helped to close his eyes and listen to the performers before looking at them.
"We look for the certain criteria that comes from the committee but it is all based on how close to the spirit of Elvis the artist becomes," said Thompson.
"Out of six categories I picked five of them right, but when it came to picking the Grand Champion there was no question," said Thompson.
Joining Thompson at the judges' table were Wendy King, Kay Meagher, Doug Hobbs, Dean Hollin, Donald Luther and Echo Starr Parker. The judging panel for the Gospel Competition were Jane Ryan, Shirley Harris Deasley and Bert Preece.
Winners of the categories are as follows:
Professional Early Years--
Pete Paquette won first prize, followed by second place winner Chris Ayotte and James and third place James Begley.
Non Pro Concert and Early Years winners-- James Gibb managed to win favour with the judges taking first place closely followed by Adam Scott and Brent Morrey.
Non Pro Concert Yearschampion this year was John Cigan, with excellent performances by second place winner Rick Duin and Chris Marshall in third.
Senior Youth-- Anthony Carbone won the hearts of the fans and judges alike closely followed by Brandon Saunders in second place and Davis Campbell in third.
Junior Youth-- Brenen Katolinsky stole the show closely followed by Zachary Peddie second and Jackson Begley in third place.
Gospel Competition-- Former Grand Champion Roy LeBlanc was first place winner sharing honours with second place winner Ben Klein and third place Darrin Hagel.