POMONA, CA. The LA County Fair hosted the Créme de la King finals and it was hot. Standing in the shade slowed the flow of sweat and did little to cool off the body. The heat didn’t seem to stop Martin Anthony from retaining his crown with a repeat win followed by second place winner, Joe Bullock, and placing third was Brad Carrow. Anthony’s second win excludes him from competing next year.
Anthony was shocked by his win. He thought Sean Martin would take first saying, “There’s a lot of talent here today.” After the contest we did an impromptu survey to get a feel for people’s opinion. The names, which are not listed in any particular order, that kept coming up were:
- Ryan Collingwood
- Joe Bullock
- Martin Anthony
- Sean Martin
- Bret Burkhart
Brad Carrow surprised me with his win, but not because he is not good enough. Carrow has a smooth, rich voice which makes you stop and listen when he sings those slow, Elvis love songs. In fact, I refer to him as the Elvis crooner, but when he sings I don’t hear Elvis, I hear Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin, maybe a little Bing Crosby singing Elvis songs. He always does well.
The new kid on the block is Ryan Collingwood having just become an ETA this past March. Six months in the biz and he’s already a strong competitor. As Collingwood’s confidence grows, and with a stronger stage presence, he’ll have a successful ETA career.
Veteran ETA performer, Sean Martin, had one of the best performances of the day and was figured to place and so was Bret Burkhart. I don’t know a lot about Burkhart except he’s from Las Vegas, but seems to have a loyal following and puts on a good performance.
Joe Bullock was the only ETA to get a standing ovation after his fantastic Polk Salad Annie performance. He was my pick for first.
The outcome of these contest are not personally real important to me, but it’s fun to watch the performers, guess the outcome, and see the fans cheering on their favorite ETAs.
Congratulations to all the ETAs who performed and shared their enthusiasm for the King of Rock & Roll.