- Title: FINLAND-AIR GUITAR Russian wins the 20th air guitar world championships
- Date: 29th August 2015
- Summary: KAREEL "YOUR DADDY" BLUMENKRANTS PERFORMING IN THE FINAL
- Embargoed: 13th September 2015 13:00
- Location: Finland
- Country: Finland
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVASWZ22QFDOF74JS1B9E745YSG
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: What was supposed to be a one-off joke, has over the past two decades developed into a global competition and on Friday (August 28) Kareel "Your Daddy" Blumenkrants won the prestigious title Air guitar World Champion 2015.
In the competition's twenty year history this was the first Russian win.
The Air Guitar World Championships culminate in a grand finale at Rotuaari Square in the centre of Oulu, in northern Finland, where the finalists take to the stage to give their renditions of selected songs.
"Every judge has his or her own things that they are looking for in the competition but we have certain things that we have to check, I like craziness, I like improvisations, that's my thing," said one of the judges, Finnish guitar player Juha Torvinen.
Show producer Hanna Jakku said the great thing with playing air guitar was that there was no need to actually be able to play the instrument.
"It's a way of enjoying music, without really playing an instrument and you don't even have to know how to play an instrument and you can still be part of that song that is your favourite song," she said.
Thousands of people - both locals and tourists - had gathered in the city centre despite rain to witness the finalists from around the world battle for the main prize - a handmade electric guitar.
One of the contestants, Dutch 2015 champion Sita "The Guilty Director" Van Sante said she hoped the judges would like her "original" act.
"I think it's difficult to know what the judges are looking for, it depends on who is judging so I think I've got quite an original act, so I hope at least," she said.
But in the end, the battle was between Blumenkrants and Matt "Aristotle" Burns from the United States, with Blumenkrants impressing the judges the most.
Michael "Operation Rock a Pussy" Lovely, also from the United States, finished in third place while the reigning world champion - Nanami "Seven Seas" Nagura from Japan - finished fourth.
Blumenkrants said he was surprised he had won.
"It's a little bit weird, I must admit, it's totally unexpected," he said.
The competition started off with thirty competitors from Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, United States, Italy, Japan, Taiwan and Finland competing in the qualifying rounds. The eight acts that qualified were joined in the final by the national champions from Canada, Germany, Belgium, Latvia, Japan, the Netherlands and the United States as well as the reigning champion.
Leading up to the final in Oulu, which has hosted the championships since the beginning, the air guitar masters are being selected in the official national championships in several countries all over the world.
The purpose of the Air Guitar World Championships is to promote world peace.
"According to the ideology of the Air Guitar, wars would end, climate change stop and all bad things disappear if all the people in the world played Air Guitar", the championships official website states.
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