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'Nordic Thunder' crowned world air guitar champion

American Justin Howard, aka 'Nordic Thunder' took the top prize at the contest in Finland.
Nordic thunder air guitar 08 25Enlarge
American Justin Howard, known as 'Nordic Thunder' wowed the judges with his 60-second solo and won the title of Air Guitar World Championship in northern Finland. (Air Guitar World Championship/Courtesy)

The American stormed the stage dressed in a skimpy leather Viking outfit and the crowd went wild. Rocking out with nothing but air between his fingers, Justin Howard, aka 'Nordic Thunder' was crowned at the Air Guitar World Championship in northern Finland.

Howard won over the judges with his energetic performance, sliding across the stage bare legged, and scored 34.6 points, reports Reuters

"I feel amazing, I feel loved, I feel like crying and laughing and hugging," Howard told Reuters after winning both the title and the prize of a handmade electric guitar.

Fellow American Matt Burns, or Airistotle, rocked his way to second place with a score of 34.4 points. Third place went to Theun "Tremelo Theun" de Jong from The Netherlands.

This year's championship was Howard's second try at the prize. Nordic Thunder competed at the world final as US Champion in 2011.

The BBC reports that competing air guitarists usually perform a 60-second solo performance and are marked on their technical prowess and stage presence.

In case you're wondering how exactly to judge an air guitar championship, the BBC has these helpful tips

Stage presence including wigs, skin-tight spandex trousers, capes and other accoutrements of a classic rock wardrobe, are essential.

You must have that indefiniable quality of "airness", or "the extent to which an air guitar performance exceeds the imitation of guitar playing and becomes an art form in and of itself," Dan Crane, writer, air guitarist (stage name Bjorn Turoque, pronounced "b-yorn too-RAWK") and a judge on the US circuit, told the BBC in 2009. 

"Air guitar is about drama - it's about telling a story with a beginning, middle and end - in the span of a mere 60 seconds," said Crane. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/nordic-thunder-crowned-world-air-guitar-champion