Who Ya Gonna Call?

 
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Orlando. You call Orlando.

The 2019 Orlando Regionals was held at the Geek Easy on April 13th , “officially” starting the 2019 U.S. Air Guitar season.

The Geek Easy came with an amazing crew that set up the show perfectly with lights, camera, great atmospheric vibes—and they even threw in a fog machine for the event!

At the beginning of the night, guest have the chance to meet and get their pictures taken with the Ghostbusters, Slimer, Vinz Clortho, Zuul and even a replica Ecto-1, courtesy of the Orange County Ghostbusters of Florida.

There was also a silent auction for the Ronald McDonald House of Orlando which raised a significant amount—much of it coming from a donated painting by local artist, Josh Bauer, who painted it LIVE during the event! With the crowd ready to enjoy something strange, the air guitar show was ready to begin.

Orlando’s always amazing host, The Hennessy Williams Experience, put on a hilarious opener that would make any Ghostbusters fan freak.

Onstage, Hennessy—and the entire crowd—was joined by characters like Zuul, Vinz, Slimer and then entire Ghostbusters crew as the monsters created mischief and our heroes saved the day.

Once the show before the show was complete, Hennessy introduced the diverse panels of judges including comedian Lesley Jo, musicians Joshua Janz, Thomas Flood and Marshal Rones, and author and podcast host Garrett Pomitcher-Murray.

ROUND ONE

Starting out the competition for the evening was Stonehenge. He’s an air guitarist who seems to appear from everywhere, and never ceases to amaze. He wasted no time by jumping on stage and literally cutting his hair off before launching into “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” He added the perfect vibe for the evening from the get-go and received solid scores from the judges, despite his position as first up.

Next up was El Asesino, our returning local competitor who steps up his game each year. His round one performance was no exception and he delivered a solid technical routine to “Bleed the Fifth.”

Our next few competitors were all first-timers who did amazing! Chuck E. Love, Hypnoyogi, and SpoooOOoooky Steve all picked amazing solos and grasped the essence of the competition with ease. We hope to see them back next year!

The Chocolate Drop was our champion from Victory Casino Cruise’s 90s Night with Chris Kirkpatrick (Yes. The guy from NSYNC) . He surprised everyone—including himself—with high scores from the judges.

Stay Puft—and anyone could imagine—had a fluffy good time. Then came a a fascinated display of street-artist air guitar by the return of the Statue of David Lee Roth!

And then came Crusher. As the returning champion, he had selected to finish the round—and finish he did. With a perfect performance of “Tooth and Nail,” he brought the full house to applause and pulled perfect 6.0s from the judges.

With round one completed, Orlando organizer, Rachel Williams, tallied the scores and slid the results to Hennessy. Heading to Round Two would be Crusher, El Asesino, The Chocolate Drop and Stonehenge.

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ROUND TWO

Hennessy couldn’t help starting Round Two off with a classic “Rick Roll,” but the top five quickly realized they’d be blessed with something a little more rocking.

Tied for fourth, the Chocolate Drop started off strong and did stellar until he got lost in the music and grabbed the mic stand, which pulled a major deduction from the judges.

Next was Stonehenge who received, “Back in Black.” He was applauded by the judges with excellent scores.

Third up was El Asesino, who carried costume props on stage for effect. However, he failed to hear the judges call out that he should put them away to avoid the temptation to air guitar with them—a major no-no in competition.

Sadly, the judges were correct. El Asesino got into his song and spent a few seconds spent strumming on his prop axe. This resulted in loud cries from the crowd as the judges had to dock him, despite an excellent attempt at a totally new genre with “Creepin.’”

Crusher finishes out the round with the confidence of a winner and air guitar veteran to “White Wedding.” He received great scores—even though the crowd and judges were obviously still shaken by the previous performances from Round Two.

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Then came the big announcement—Crusher was the now two-time Southeast US Champion with a combined score of 35.2! The scores were tight though, with Stonehenge coming out as the runner up with a score of 34.6.

Thomas Flood presented Crusher with a brand-new guitar from the Guitar Center of Winter Park, which Crusher promptly had signed by everyone. Next, he was handed a framed champion certificate to commemorate the experience. The night was finished off with an amazing local band, The Dev, at the after party.

When someone asks you if you are an air guitar god, you say yes! And Crusher certainly did just that as he demonstrated with his technical merit and stage presence combined to create perfectly exhibited airness.

Dedicated to creating an excellent competition for all participant, attendees and their community, Orlando did not just want to send a winner to Nashville—they wanted to send an air guitar legend. Crusher undoubtedly lives up to those expectations. always work hard to put on an excellent competition for all participants, attendees, and their community.

See you in Nashville, Orlando!

Written by Rachel Williams with edits by U.S. Air Guitar

 
 
Rob Messel