Many people wouldn't even know of the existence of an air guitar world championship. But a young German student practised hard for it - and has brought home the trophy.
Aline Westphal was already the German air-guitar champion
Most people do it in the privacy of their lounge room when they are sure no-one is looking. But 26-year-old Aline Westphal from Hildesheim in the German state of Lower Saxony is much less shy: on Friday she played air guitar in front of thousands of enthusiastic spectators in the northern Finnish city of Oulu to win this year's World Air Guitar Championships.
Playing under the provocative stage name of "The Devil's Niece," Westphal beat 17 other contestants to win the first prize of a handmade Finnish electric guitar.
Playing air guitar has become a fitness trend as well
Westphal, a student who is currently writing a degree dissertation on the topic of the air guitar, won over the audience and the jury with her skilful renderings of "The Pretender" (by rock band the Foo Fighters) and the obligatory song "Without a Face" (Rage Against The Machine).
Speaking before the contest, Westphal admitted that she is always playing air guitar because she listens to music constantly. "My thumb itches; my fingers have to keep moving," she said.
Defending world champion Slyvain Quimene of France came only sixth in the final, which also featured contestants from Belgium, Brazil, Britain, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, Finland and the United States.
Many of the contestants claim the air guitar is also a great fitness regime.
Air guitar performers mime rock or heavy-metal electric solos without an instrument. The competition was judged by a five-member jury.
Author: Timothy Jones (dpa, dapd)
Editor: Ben Knight