What happens when Donald Trump, a Bangkok moto-taxi driver, and a Squid Games competitor take the stage at a Bangkok bar late Saturday? It can only mean one thing: an air guitar fight for peace.
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Cosplaying individuals gathered at the second annual Thai Air Guitar Championships for the opportunity to represent Thailand at the beloved World Championships in Finland later this year.
The Sacred International Program, established in Finland in 1996 to promote world peace – with the tongue-in-cheek motto “hold the guitar in the air, not the guns” – has given rise to good-natured and over-the-top competitions around the world.
“It’s going to be the biggest thing you’ve ever seen,” co-host and organizer Jacob “Airlactic Eel” Kanga, pouncing on the stage of the brownstone venue, followed his scintillating performance to warm up the crowd.
For the first round, nine contestants each gave a 60-second performance, with three judges advancing the top five to the second and final round.
“The contestants were marked by technical ability, onstage presence and “airness”—”the ‘je ne sais quoi’ of air guitar when it goes beyond a performance and becomes a true piece of art,” Konga said. goes.”
The whimsical and electric set, performing for a mix of styles and tastes ranging from Rihanna’s “Shut Up and Drive” to self-composed Thai rock-pop, ultimately led “Trump” to win the night, despite fierce competition.
“He definitely made Thailand great again,” said judge and comedian Charles the French.
Rob “Donald Trump” Palmer, who has not been performing and working air guitar solos in Thailand for the past eight years, said the evening was “fantastic”.
“It’s a great idea, totally stupid but also totally terrifying,” the 61-year-old said after his Trump-influenced performance of “American Idiot” on Green Day.
Describing his costume, much of which was thrown into the crowd during the final round, he said: “If you have to do something crazy, then let’s do the best thing on the planet to do Trump.” Mad men do.”
After winning the 5,000 baht ($141) and traveling to Finland to represent Thailand, Palmer smiled and said: “For most of us, perhaps the only chance you have is to become a national champion or a world champion. – That’s why you have to do it.”
France, a 22-year-old spectator who gave only his surname, came to support his friend, but was completely unprepared for the “crazy” spectacle.
“I’ve played guitar before and I do some air guitar, but I’ve never seen an air guitar like that.”
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