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Weston super-mare teen crowned Europe’s best Elvis impersonator

A new king is being crowned! British teenager, 19, is named Europe’s best Elvis impersonator – after he started imitating the superstar at the age of four

  • Emilio Santoro of Weston-super-Mare crowned European Elvis Tribute Champion
  • 19-year-old said victory was a ‘dream come true’ after years of glorifying The King
  • Photos show Emilio’s first impressions of the legendary rocker at age four
  • He would perform as Elvis in school talent shows and first competed at 14










A British teenager who first imitated ‘The King of Rock and Roll’ as a child has been named Europe’s best Elvis impersonator.

Emilio Santoro, 19, from Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, was crowned European Elvis Tribute Artist Champion for 2022 at a ceremony in Birmingham.

Emilio, who started imitating Elvis at the age of four after being introduced to the legendary musician by his grandparents, said it was a “dream come true” to be called the best Elvis in Europe.

Emilio started picking up his mannerisms by studying videos of the iconic rock star, even showing off his style in a homemade “The King” style jumpsuit.

He then performed as Elvis in school talent shows and entered his first competition on the continent at age 14, where he admitted that he was “vibrating like a leaf.”

Emilio Santoro, 19, from Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, was crowned European Elvis Tribute Artist Champion for 2022 at a ceremony in Birmingham.

Emilio Santoro, 19, from Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, was crowned European Elvis Tribute Artist Champion for 2022 at a ceremony in Birmingham.

Four-year-old Emilio Santoro poses in the full Elvis Presley outfit that family gave him for Christmas in 2006

Four-year-old Emilio Santoro poses in the full Elvis Presley outfit that family gave him for Christmas in 2006

Emilio Santoro in Elvis costume

Elvis Presley poses for GI Blues in 1960

Emilio, who started imitating Elvis (right) at the age of four after being introduced to the legendary musician by his grandparents, said it was a “dream come true” to be called the best Elvis in Europe.

Held annually around Elvis’ birthday weekend, the European Elvis Championship and the convention where dozens of tribute acts compete for the title of European Champion.

The event, held at the Metropole Hotel in Birmingham, is regarded as one of the largest annual Elvis impersonation competitions in Europe.

Emilio told the BBC of his win: ‘Everyone always says life is too short – follow your dreams, and it really couldn’t be more true. Being crowned champions is just amazing.

‘I had a jumpsuit that my grandmother and aunt put together for me and I’ve wanted to make it my profession ever since.

“All the supportive posts on social media were so humiliating.”

Emilio performed as Elvis in school talent shows and entered his first competition on the continent at age 14, where he admitted he was 'vibrating like a leaf'

Emilio performed as Elvis in school talent shows and entered his first competition on the continent at age 14, where he admitted he was ‘vibrating like a leaf’

Emilio, then seven years old, is depicted wearing a gold suit in the style of his idol Elvis Presley

Emilio, then seven years old, is depicted wearing a gold suit in the style of his idol Elvis Presley

Emilio (third from left) pictured alongside other tribute acts at the European Elvis Championship and Convention in Birmingham on January 7

Emilio (third from left) pictured alongside other tribute acts at the European Elvis Championship and Convention in Birmingham on January 7

Emilio first became interested in the legendary rocker because of his iconic look and the way he played on stage that he has learned to emulate.

The teen’s next show is in his hometown, ahead of performances in Germany, America and Canada, as well as a UK tour in November.

He added: “It’s just starting to sink in. I had a dream from an early age that I wanted to be on the podium.

“At first I was nervous about chasing that dream, but luckily I have a family behind me and I’ve never looked back since.”

Emilio first became interested in the legendary rocker because of his iconic look and the way he played on stage, which he learned to emulate

Emilio first became interested in the legendary rocker because of his iconic look and the way he played on stage, which he learned to emulate

None of Emilio’s parents have a musical background with mother, Emma Santoro, who works as a business manager for a catering company and her husband Joe is a self-employed contractor.

Emma said she was “an emotional wreck” watching her son in the match, but he “blew us away.”

“We’ve watched him, we’ve helped him coach, we’ve seen the hours of work he puts into it, so to finally see him get recognition is just amazing,” she said.

“His grandparents were initially surprised that Emilio had met Elvis at such a young age, which amused them, but they love it and have always encouraged him.

“I’m a huge Elvis fan, so I was delighted to see that he loved everything about Elvis.

“I’m so proud that he stayed true to himself and didn’t follow the crowd and introduce his friends to Elvis.”

Emilio said he prefers singing Elvis’ gospel music and ballads, which are lesser known but loved by fans.

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