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Gunther Love Reigns Again

A Frenchman has been tipped for stardom after being crowned the world’s best air guitarist – for the second year in a row. Sylvain Quimene, performing as Gunther Love, played his way to success in a performance at the 15th Air Guitar World Championship held in Oulu in northern Finland.

Contestants from Japan, Malaysia, the UK, Canada, Germany, Slovakia, Russia, Mexico and Brazil flew in for the event in the remote town near the Arctic Circle. Each finalist had to perform twice; once with their own choice of song and the second time with a performance of Jimi Hendrix’s Foxy Lady.

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 Thousands of people gathered at the Oulu marketplace to watch the 41 contestants in total – including one of the youngest competitors ever, 10-year-old Aapo “Little Angus” Rautio – who finished sixth.

“This is something anyone can do, maybe you can be on stage some day, anyone can be on stage. Maybe that could be the reason why people like this so much,” said veteran jury member and musician Juha Torvinen.



Winner Gunther Love suspected he knew why he had triumphed for the second time. “Why did I win? I think it’s only the gold pants, you know gold, you are first, next year I will come with a silver pants … for the second. That’s the only reason.”

According to the judges, musical talent was not necessary nor is the ability to play an actual guitar. The winner was chosen for his or her ability to move around the stage playing the air guitar as realistically as possible. Quimene’s prize – once again – is a handmade Flying Finn electric guitar.