Orlando Regional: Crusher pulverizes the field!

Date: April 21st
Venue: Hourglass Brewery
Location: Orlando, Florida

It’s the most glorious time of the year! The 2018 U.S. Air Guitar has kicked off and it began with 1.21 Gigawatts of electricity, sending the Hourglass Brewery in Orlando back to 1985.

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As if a night of fake guitar isn’t epic enough, Hennessy Williams hosted an unforgettable Back to the Future-themed evening. The show opened with an air guitar-centric alternate version of the classic story in which Hennessy Williams himself saves Marty McFly from nonexistence. 

Complete with spot-on cosplayers reenacting iconic scenes, spectators not only experienced excitement from the start, they also got to hang out with the raddest time machine in the history of the universe, the Delorean. 

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With the crowd as hyped as Enchanted Under the Sea prom goers, the competition began. At stake wasn’t just eternal glory, but also the first guaranteed spot at the U.S. Air Guitar Nationals in New York City.

Judges included four Orlando local celebs, along with air guitar legend Tiger Claw coming all the way out from San Francisco to take part in the fun.

Competitors included air guitarists from all over Florida, from veterans to virgins. It was even a family affair for some.

El Asesino’s (Alejandro Acuna) girlfriend and her daughter surprised him by taking the stage. The freshly branded air guitar newbies Sabol the Absol (Jasmine Bailey) and Mission In-Tosh-Able (Tosha Bailey) absolutely rocked for their first time, wowing the crowd with their natural penchant for airness.

The Ayatollah of Aireollah (Hunter Leakes) was hilarious with this Madonna inspired getup, and completely shredded, landing in third place for the evening.

Three walk-ups also decided to soak up some of that spotlight. They were Matthew McCona-Say Hey Hey (Brian Demeter), Victoria Pratt (Vixie), and Leif Air-ickson (Ryan Holmes) who also all made impressive first performances.

However, as the night went on it was clear that the real competition was between El Asesino and The Crusher (John Healy). The Crusher, who was coaxed out of a long retirement by Tiger Claw, showed the crowd why experience matters by slaying those invisible strings. El Asesino proved to be a formidable opponent, impressing the judges with technical prowess and stage presence.

Eventually, it was the Crusher who won out officially making him the first air guitarist of the season to punch his ticket to U.S. Air Guitar Nationals on August 5thin Brooklyn. He not only brings home the win, but also a brand new “there” guitar, thanks to a partnership with Guitar Center.

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With a successful first show in the books, the question now is... who’s next to join him in the Big Apple? 

Final Standings:
1.     The Crusher (58.7)
2.     El Asesino (58.3)
3.     Ayatollah of Aireollah
4.     Statue of David! Lee! Roth! 
5.     Sabol the Absol
6.     Mission In-Tosh-Able
7.     Matthew McCona-Say Hey Hey
8.     Vixie
9.     Leif Airickson

Judges:Tiger Claw, Gothic Sushi, Joshua Juaz, Thomas Guise III, and Kirk Bonnaci
Host: Hennessy Williams
Organizer: Rachel Williams

Kriston Rucker