The 13th Air Guitar World Championships were held on 20-22 August 2008 in Oulu. The United States proved to be victorious, when Craig "Hot Lixx Hulahan" Billmeier crushed the opponents with his polished performance at the Grand Final. The two-year-reigning Air Guitar, Ochi "Dainoji" Yosuke (JP), had to give in to the overwhelming new Champion. Hot Lixx Hulahan scored highest on the First Round, and on the Second Round defeated his strongest opponent, Andel "John Sniffler" Soreen (NL), with his impeccable timing and an overall solid performance that took the audience by storm.
In addition to growing international fame and glory, Hot Lixx Hulahan was awarded with a Finnish hand-made Flying Finn electric guitar. He also received a laptop backpack by Golla, as did John Sniffler who took the second place and Cole "Johnny Utah" Manson (CAN) who came third. The international Air Guitar audience also got to vote for their own favorite during the competition. People's Choice award went to Christian "Heart Buckboard" Sweep (DE).
The four contestants to clear the Qualifying Round on Thursday challenged in the Grand Final the national Champions from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, United States, Canada, Norway, Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy, South Africa, Finland, Estonia, Russia and Greece - and the reigning Word Champion Ochi "Dainoji" Yosuke who defended his 2006 and 2007 Championship titles. After the Self Chosen Round, the ten highest scoring contestants played the energetic Billy Talent song "Red Flag" on the Compulsory Round.
Air Guitar World Championships 2008 results and scores:
1. Craig "Hot Lixx Hulahan" Billmeier (US) 35.5
2. Andel "John Sniffler" Soree (NL) 34.8
3. Cole "Johnny Utah" Manson (CAN) 34.7
4 Francois-Xavier "Master Peace" Phan (FR) 34.4
4. Ichikawa the Rock (JP) 34.4
6. Ochi "Dainoji" Yosuke (JP) 34.2
7. Christian "Heart Buckboard" Sweep (DE) 33.5
8. Clay "Clay Bangers" Connolly (AU) 33.4
8. Daniel "Midnight Moses" Robertson (UK) 33.4
10. Simon "Turak" Edwards (UK) 32.8
11. Carlos Slazenger (GR) 16.6
11. Maxim "Angel of Death" Andro (FIN) 16.6
13. Daniel "Fahnderstruck" Faranna (IT)16.5
13. Terje "Lord Fist" Stephansen (NOR) 16.5
15. Aikyu "Super IQ" Kanagawa (JP) 16.4
16. Dirk "Lord Airness" Lüdi (CH) 16.3
17. Heine "Lord Wolmer" van der Walt (ZA) 16.1
17. Alexander "Devilseducer" Gott (RU) 16.1
19. Oskari "Knucklefinger" Martimo (FIN) 15.4
20. Aivar Meos (EE) 15.1
The prestigious Jyry was chaired for the 13th time time by Juha Torvinen, a Finnish guitar legend. In addition to Torvinen, the Jury consisted of the 2005 Air Guitar World Champion, Michael "The Destroyer"Heffels (NL), Amanda Griffiths who is doing her PhD on the air guitar culture and the national Air Guitar contest organizers Rita Cadillac (FR) and Mark DiPietro (CA).
As the tradition goes, Air Guitarists summoned the whole world to play the Air Guitar to "Rocking in the Free World" after the competition. According to the Air Guitar Ideology, all bad things disappear from the world and the climate change stops if everybody plays the Air Guitar.
The Friday night Oulu Marketplace also saw performances by Finnish top artists Chisu and Maj Karma. Host of the night was American Air Guitar Guru, Björn Türoque, who warmed the audience up for the action. The event attracted around 1000 people.