Queen drummer Roger Taylor has announced the finalists of the Queen Extravaganza contest Wednesday, and Christian front man of the band Downhere, Marc Martel, made the cut.
Martel had a chance to be on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" Oct. 3 where he sang a picture perfect version of "Somebody to Love."
“It is such a thrill when artists we have been developing and working with get the recognition they deserve. To have Downhere continue to garner the accolades from their Canadian fans is overwhelming,” said Steve Ford, vice president of marketing at Centricity Music.
The fans showed their support for Martel, and voted him winner of the MTV O Award last week for Best Fan Cover.
The remaining members of Queen – Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon – who wish to retire from performing, are holding the contest. They are looking for the best replacement singers and musicians to create a Queen tribute group that can keep playing their music in future years.
All submissions are to be submitted by video on YouTube.
“The Queen Extravaganza will not be a traditional tribute show,” said Queen drummer Taylor on the band's website. “It’s a brand-new show specially designed to enable fans to celebrate the music of Queen in a heart-stopping event.”
The contestants had four classic Queen songs to choose from, "Killer Queen," "Somebody to Love," "Seven Seas of Rhye" and "I Want To Break Free."
"What an amazing storehouse of talent we have unlocked," said Taylor in a press release. "The standard is mind blowingly high, it's really a thrill getting to discover some of them, keep them coming!"
Round two will show each member of the competition playing a song assigned to them.
The press release stated that vocalists must submit a video of themselves performing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." Drummers must perform "One Vision," while guitarists must play "Keep Yourself Alive." Bassists will play "Another One Bites The Dust," and keyboardists must perform "Bohemian Rhapsody."
The press release said: "'The Queen Extravaganza; tour will feature three vocalists and a five-piece band and will be booked by powerhouse agency CAA. Taylor is fully hands-on, taking the role of producer and music director."
The Queen contest ends December 2011.
The other 25 finalists can be found at www.queenextravaganza.com