Japan Wins AIR GUITAR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS; SENTENCED Guitarist Among Judges

Air Guitar World Championships took place in Club Teatria, Oulu, for the 11th time.

Japan's strong presence produced a world champion and this year Ochi "Dainoji" Yosuke gets a chance to spread the gospel of air guitars.

Yosuke outplayed the other skillful contestants with his simplistic but extremely classy air guitarring.

The five finalists who had made their way from the qualifying round on Thursday were challenged by Michael "The Destroyer" Heffels, the reigning champion, and the winners from national competitions. There were people from Australia, Austria, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, the United States, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, and the Great Britain. After a round of optional songs, the ten best players performed a song chosen by the organisers, "Who's Your Daddy", the latest single release by LORDI, the winner of this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

In addition to fame and prestige, Yosuke received a custom made Finnish guitar called Flying Finn and a special donation from the QUEEN guitarist Brian May, a VOX BM Special amplifier, designed by the man himself.

Yosuke's winning performance can been viewed at YouTube.com.

The results of the Air Guitar World Championships are:

01. Ochi "Dainoji" Yosuke (Japan) 35.4
02. Clay "Bangers" Connolly (Australia) 34.8
03. Christian "Heart Buckboard" Sweep (Germany) 34.6
04. Gabriele "The Hoxton Creeper" Matzeu (United Kingdom) 33.9
05. Takeshi "Takeshi the SAMURI Kongochi" Kongochi (Japan) 33.8
06. Craig "Hot Lixx Hulahan" Billmeier (United States) 33.7
06. Rainer "Le Freak" Fussgänger (Austria) 33.7
08. Romain "Sideburn" Lesaffre (France) 33.4
09. Christian "Der Prettauer" Steinhauer (Italy) 33.1
10. Benjamin "Helmutt" Greaney (New Zealand) 32.7
11. Karita "Rässi Rinsessa" Kivioja (Finland) 16.7
11. Michael "The Destroyer" Heffels (The Netherlands) 16.7
11. Igmar "Iggy Stardust" De Haan (The Netherlands) 16.7
11. Eero "Oulun oma poika" Ojala (Finland) 16.7
15. Max "Max" Heller (Austria) 16.4
16. Kanawaga "Super IQ" IQ (Japan) 16.2
17. Terje "Doc" Stephansen (Norway) 15.7

The chair of the prestigious jury was, for the 11th time now, Juha Torvinen, a legendary Finnish guitarist himself. In addition to Torvinen, the jury included Sami Lopakka, an ex-guitarist from SENTENCED; Marzi Nyman, a real guitar virtuoso; Milton Mermikides, a guitar professor of Royal Academy of Music London; and Philipp Brammer, the organiser of the Austrian competition.

As usual, the contestants welcomed everyone to join in as they played their guitars along with the song "Rocking in the Free World". Air guitarists believe that all the bad things disappear from the world when everyone plays the air guitar, you know.

In addition, SWEATMASTER, THE CRASH and CIRCUS RUSKA made sure that everyone was entertained. The night was hosted by the vocalist Hyrde from STAM1NA.

The event attracted approximately 1,000 people.

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