DANA-SAURUS REX – Clinches Toronto Championship Again!
June 23rd, Toronto, Ontario…
It was a pretty sweet night of Rock and Roll at a new venue for the Air Guitar Toronto Championships. The Rivoli was the scene and they helped us throw a great party in the name of World Peace and Air Guitar. Collective Arts kept us hydrated with $7 cans of amazing beers. RX Music came to the table with a killer DJ to close the night and keeping us moving until the early hours. We had 16 competitors for the 5 spots at Nationals and the top spot of Toronto Champion! As you can see from the photo above… our 2016 Toronto Champ, became our 2018 Toronto Champ… Dynasty much? Dana will be choosing a nice spot in the running order at Nationals with her choice Toronto win!
Let’s get down to the action. Here is the night in pictures thanks to our super kind and talented photographer Henry VanderSpek from Culture Snap Photography. Hanzel the Manzel, Nyree, Glen and the Frog Rocker joined powers to do some Air-eOke Air Band performance in the name of PRIDE. We had Melissa Etheridge, Bowie and Queen on the list and aside from a missed lyric or five – they put on a nice warm up for the judges audience and performers.
Speaking of our Judges… We had the joy of welcoming Reece Lubbock from Collective Arts, Jamie Gutfreund from CP24, Tanya Casole-Gouveia from Art Battle Toronto, Marilla Wex from the Beaverton and Brandy Dawley our longest standing Air Guitar Judge and resident beauty chameleon. They put up to the 4.0 to 6.0’s all night and provided some of the funniest commentary ever to grace a musical miming competition on magic mushrooms.
Our host with the most was Nyree Macpherson – or Nyree with a Microphone. She keep the night flying with ease and expertise. What a star!
2016 Canadian Champion – Blake ‘The Canadian Tuxedo‘ Johnston was first up after he drew the short straw. In true Tuxedo fashion… he chose to rock out to the Tragically Hip and gave a great performance of COURAGE. He scored… 5.8, 5.5, 5.6, 5.4, 5.8 . As you eliminate the top and bottom score to get the three middle ones – his total for the first round was 16.9. Pretty amazing for going first. He is a champ for a reason.
Next up was a darling from last year… Leona ‘Ri Ri Rockstar‘ Placide. She conjured up memories of Tom Cruise and couch hopping good times with Seger’s Old-Time Rock and Roll. She whipped and slid to a 5.7, 5.8, 5.5, 5.5, & 5.5 for a middle three of 16.7.
Then… there was a virgin to the scene. Uriel ‘El Guapo Flaco‘ Mendoza. His enormous personality and…yes… his hair was a sure-fire hit. He Flamenco guitared his way into our hearts. The rose was a nice touch. His scores: 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.6, 5.7 for a score of 17.0
Then came Mark ‘Whiskey Pockets‘ Slater! A veteran and vice-champion in Ottawa this year… he just gets better and better every year… which shows that perseverance and effort pays off. He stage jumped into the audience, down on to his knees to score: 5.9, 5.9, 5.9, 5.7 & 5.9 for a score of 17.7, blowing away the previous performers.
Then… the Champ. Not an actual champ of Air Guitar. Just a guy named CHAMP Forrester. Matt Hallsworth ripped it up proper with some Misirlou. Easily one of the Artistes of Air Guitar. As usual, the Judges didn’t see the full genius behind it all. Scores were: 5.5, 5.4, 5.4, 5.3 & 5.6 for total of 16.3.
Dana ‘Dana-Saurus Rex’ Schiemann came next. Fresh from graduation, she gave her valedictorian address. As you will see, the robe did not last long. She rocketed into first with the first 6.0 of the night – killer scores: 6.0, 6.0, 5.9, 5.9 & 6.0. Total Score: 17.9. Near perfection.
It was a total shock when this knock-out performer – Arty the Circus Drummer arrived last minute to join the competition. He signed up the day before and came ready with a suitcase full of tricks. A nervous nerd becomes a total dude riding a plank and tube for an entertaining performance of Wipe Out! His scores matched Dana-Saurus with 6.0,6.0,6.0, 5.9 and 5.9 = also 17.9!
A tough act to follow… but this new performer to the scene did not back down at all… in fact Jacob ‘Von Stache’ Hogan erupted on stage and took it by storm… he ended the first round with 5.8, 5.9, 5.8, 5.8 and 5.8. for 17.4. Not bad for your first rodeo.
Closing out our pre-registered performers was Rob ‘the Swiss Geisha’ Wollach. A mix between a football hero and Japanese hostess, The Swiss Geisha overcame some wardrobe malfunctions to totally earn some hot wasabi scores: 5.4, 5.7, 5.6, 5.7 and 5.6 to sneak into the next round with a 16.9.
THE BRAVE SOULS!
These people chose from a list of songs at the night of the competition. There is no practice, no prior listening, they just have to ‘feel’ it. People have won it doing this way… here were our five Brave ones:
First… coming out of retirement was Glen Airy himself. He did pretty well with 5.9, 5.8,5.8, 5.7 and 5.6 for a score of 17.3. He later removed himself from competition because he was too pooped.
Then came The Wild Child who got up and rocked out to No Doubt’s Just a Girl. She was a gem and scored: 5.7, 5.4, 5.5, 5.7 & 5.6 for a three middle score of: 16.8.
Then came Dirty D. He was a natural. He was hilarious. The Judges loved him: 5.7, 5.8, 5.6, 5.6, 5.7 for 17 on the dot.
Second last of the Brave Souls was ‘Limerick Lace‘. She had the attitude and the boldness to venture down into the audience to rile up the masses. She was good… but just a few points shy of the second round with: 5.8, 5.7, 5.5, 5.5 and 5.4 = 16.7
Our final Brave Soul was Ziyan ‘Guitar Mc Guitar Face‘ Hossain. He rocked so hard his wig came flying off… but like a true professional he kept on rocking, grabbed the mic and Air Sang a lyric or two. His scores: 5.6, 5.4, 5.7, 5.6, 5.5 = 16.7. he would not move on, but dang did he shine.
The compulsory round was next, the audience had the choice of a number of PRIDE inspired tracks from LGBTQ artists and lo and behold… a huge donation to Right to Play on the ballot for Queen was the deciding measure. STONE COLD CRAZY was the song and Canadian Tuxedo, Von Stache, Whiskey Pockets, Arty the Circus Drummer, Swiss Geisha, Dirty D, El Guapo Flaco and the only female – Dana-Saurus gave it a run.
Swiss Geisha went first – he scored 5.3, 5.4, 5.4, 5.2 and 5.5 after sustaining an injury to his knee. He had to have some first aid… but has since reported that his injury wasn’t too serious and he will be back next year to reclaim his place in the top finishers. Watch out for long costumes rockers!
Then came the Canadian Tuxedo with some ground to make up after going first in the opening round. He totally killed it earning the 4th highest scores in the compulsory round with: 5.9,5.8, 5.8, 5.9, 5.7 for 17.5 and a combined score of 34.4.
EL GUAPO FLACO – he was back. he was electric. his hair had glasses lodged in it. His scores: 5.8, 5.7, 5.7, 5.9, 5.7. it was good enough for 17.2 and a combined: 34.2 and the final spot at Nationals!!! Newcomer done good!
Dirty D was next. More flirting with the judges and host. More laughs. He was such a fun dude. he came away with 5.6, 5.8, 5.5, 5.7, 5.6 = 17 and a combined final score of 33.9. Good enough for Nationals!
Von Stache changed it up a bit. Added a jacket and a hat to show how serious he was about this whole thing. After he lost his moustache he also tossed his hat. Our Photographer Henry is a genius for catching it in mid flight. His scores: 5.8, 5.7, 5.9, 5.8, 5.7 = 17.3 for a combined = 34.7 Good enough to get into Nationals and 4th in Toronto!
Veteran Whiskey Pockets who dropped the big coin to get Stone Cold Crazy… knew what he was doing. He killed it with scores: 6.0, 5.9, 5.9, 5.8 and 5.8. He was a combined round score of 35.3 earning himself the 3rd place finish.
Arty was next… he transformed into a platform shoe wearing giant who did a drum solo with lit sticks and ended with a partial splits… nuts. Just nuts. The judges loved it and gave him a bunch of 6.0s, 5 to be exact: 6.0,6.0,6.0,6.0, 6.0.
He had a final score of an unheard 35.9!!!
How do you follow that? Well, if you are Dana-Saurus Rex. You drive that your are king. or Queen. She came back at hard and earned mad respect from the judges who wanted another round of competition because she and Ary ended up being tied when she got: 6.0,6.0, 6.1, 6.0 and 5.9.
More crazy shit went down… Arty ran a Parkour course of the Rivoli, Dana seemed to levitate in place as they rocked out to Janis Joplin’s Take a Piece of my Heart. In the end, Dana-Saurus peeked out a win to become the champ again, and Arty became our 2018 Vice-Champion. Both will be working their magic for the win at Nationals on July 14th at the Mod Club.
Thanks to all who came and saw and gave to our cause of World Peace and Right to Play. We hope to see you at Nationals.
Thanks to our sponsors!