In the second round, in which she didn’t get to choose the song, she went first. But as the five finalists were allowed to hear the selected song for the first time, McNallica went wild. She knew the song, chord for chord: “Get Your Hands Off My Woman, Motherfucker,” by Darkness (off 2003’s Permission To Land). She started playing even just standing there on stage with the rest of the contestants, among whom was reigning US champ Hot Lixx Hulahan.
But despite her best efforts – her extensive and complex fingerwork on the fretboard, her lip-syncing, even her throwing of the guitar and her subsequent catch – it wasn’t enough. The only woman in the final five, she landed another perfect 6 from Gladwell, a 5.7 from Wizner, a 5.8 from Dratch, and a 5.7 from Jones (who had given her the 5.2 in the first round). Her total, 23.2 points, made her the fourth-best air-guitarist in the nation. (There was a tie for third place.)
The other four’s performances included crowd-surfing (exemplified by The Rock Ness Fucking Monster’s effort, in which he stayed standing, supported by a few sturdy new friends), acrobatics that lost their grace and surrendered to drunken uncoordination, and spraying of beer and energy drinks all over the stage and the fans.
But in the end, McNallica was a good sport, applauding – even worshiping – as the new champion was crowned, the man who had the home-field advantage from the beginning: William Ocean of New York City.
Will there be a next year? Will she become a coach for other female air-guitarists? Will she get knee replacements to be able to subject hers to the abuse Ocean gives his (she thinks they’re titanium; we think they’re jelly, at least now)? For the answers to these questions, we must wait.
But McNallica, on her way back to Portland on Friday, rocks on.