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Jason Farnan has returned to his Mira Mesa home and Sorrento Valley computer gig after an impressive showing at the U.S. Air Guitar Championships, held this year at Irving Plaza in New York City. Farnan, aka Lieutenant Facemelter, got his ticket to compete in the finals when he finished first at the San Diego regionals, which were held in April at the Casbah.

There are only two rounds in Air Guitar competitions. After the first round in NYC, Farnan found himself in third place out of 17 competitors. Victory was not to be his on that night, though. Romeo Dancecheetah, formerly Milwaukee’s best air guitarist, rose to the occasion to become the greatest in the nation, leaving Farnan fourth overall.

At the finals, Farnan says he was judged by Jason Jones (from Comedy Central’s Daily Show), Kent Jones (from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show), and Myq Kaplan (from Last Comic Standing). Farnan claimed that Jason Jones was particularly “cantankerous” because his wife was due to go into labor at any moment.

“I played way beyond my expectations. One of my buddies who has coached me and helped me put together a routine — we agreed that making the top ten would be a good goal to set for myself, considering this was my first time in the nationals. The fact that I placed third going into the second round and placed fourth overall is beyond anything I ever hoped I could have done,” Farnan said.

Another bonus for Farnan was a little national TV exposure. The Rachel Maddow Show shot a remote clip to coincide with the finals, which gave Lieutenant Facemelter some screen time.

“Kent Jones asked me and [fellow competitor] Mean Melin which was better, air guitar or sex? Mean Melin answered ‘air guitar,’ and I answered ‘air guitar sex.’ Right after that, they showed the final five seconds of my routine.”

For someone who describes himself as a “newbie” to the stage, the reaction and recognition from the crowd were especially memorable for Farnan.

“It’s an indescribable feeling. I’ve never performed anything prior to doing air guitar in front of people, let alone a group that large. To get up there and do something you know and love and have 700 people cheer for you at the end is just this overwhelming sense of pride. You feel like you have entertained people.”

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