Vasil Iliev was giving 20,000 dollars to make Michael Jackson say in front of the cameras: “Hi, VIS-2”. This is what the best European impersonator of the great Elvis Presley – Tsvetan Atanasov – remembers today.
The offer is addressed to a team of BNT, which will cover a spectacular concert in memory of Elvis, shortly after his daughter Lisa married Jacko. The Bulgarian impersonator is part of the show.
The talented Cezzo Elvisa will turn 51 next week, which doesn’t look like him at all. The boy who works as the king of rock is the only Bulgarian who is on “you” with almost all of Elvis Presley’s relatives, including Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley. Cezzo communicates with them very often to this day. The neighbor of the Presley family in Memphis, Billie le Jean, even asked to adopt Cezzo, but she couldn’t because he was over 18 and the law didn’t allow it.
When in 1983 the first film about the life of Elvis was released, Tsvetelin bought tickets for all screenings and never left the salon. He starts trying to sing like Elvis Presley and succeeds. After finishing school, he appeared in Sofia at a competition for vocalists. They approve him and he starts singing at Rodina Hotel. In the program together with him are Edi Kazasyan, ballet “Telephone” by Alla Pugacheva, Vasil Petrov.
Next comes a victory in a competition on television. He understands that there is going to be an international Elvis impersonator contest in Memphis, Tennessee. He decides to participate at any cost and writes a letter to Graceland Manor. After two weeks, he was told that he had been enrolled. He collects money from friends and leaves.
“I went and won the contest for the youngest European Elvis look-alike from his youth period with a performance of Jailhouse rock, Tsvetelin proudly recounts. Then Billie le Jean took him to Elvis’ hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi, where the mayor personally honored him with the title honorary citizen Cezzo also became the chairman of the King of Rock’s official fan club.
“I got to know many people from the orchestra and entourage of Elvis Presley and a number of his other relatives, friends and relatives. Gradually I became a member of the Presley family. I was even photographed on the famous show “Good Morning America”. I did not expect such a thing and in their wildest dreams, everywhere they welcomed me like a star. They were terribly interested in where I was from and I told them in detail about Bulgaria, which they confused with Bolivia,” remembers the Bulgarian Elvis.
A year after the triumph, Cezzo received an invitation to a huge concert in the pyramidal arena in Memphis. It was then that Michael Jackson married Elvis Presley’s daughter – Lisa Marie. The two decide to do a concert in memory of the King of Rock with stars like Elton John, Scorpions, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Michael Bolton and who else. Tsetso was also invited and they gave him the right to bring the Bulgarian media. Tsetso chooses BNT. From there, they sent a team led by the then host of “Stars on the Air”, and later MP Yuliana Doncheva.
“There’s a funny moment here,” says Cezzo. To go to the USA, the people from BNT need money and they turn to Michael Kapustin’s pyramid “Life Choice” and the then boss of VIS-2 Vasil Iliev for sponsorship. “Iliev helped us, but he told us the following: “I will give you another 20,000 dollars if you make Michael Jackson say to the camera “Hi, VIS-2″. He needs this for an advertising clip,” Tsvetelin laughs. Despite the efforts of everyone from the team, they were unable to reach Jacko and the award remained unrealized, he wrote “Bulgaria Today”.
“Iuliana caught their eye. Bryan Adams tried to take her down and invited her to tour Germany with him. But she turned him down,” recalls Cezzo, who adores the new Elvis Presley movie.
“He’s the best I’ve ever seen,” the Bulgarian impersonator of the King of Rock is emphatic.