Welcome to Hooping Idol 2, Hooping.org’s revolutionary contest that is leading us all on an ever spinning journey in our search for the planet’s next big hooper star! For those of you just tuning in we started off by introducing our 20 selected finalists for Season Two. Then we all shook our groove thangs for Hooping Idol Disco Week. We said our Disco Farewells to 4 and announced Circus Week. Our 16 finalists spun up amazing things under the Big Top for Hooping Idol Circus Week, but 6 were eliminated and we introduced our Slow Jams Week concept.
For this challenge our finalists needed to take our Ten Easy Hooping Video Tips with them and slow things down. We asked our finalists to get intimate with us, to connect with the audience, to really bring themselves and their personality for this round. And to help them find that magic place we told them to set their radio dial to the soft rock or slow jams station. After all, soft rock songs and slow jams are all about intimacy, or feeling the lack thereof in life. They’re songs about love and romance, heartache and loneliness. They’re songs about feelings and for our Top Ten finalists to take things to the next level we wanted them to share theirs and channel those emotions into their hooping and their video. After all, we all want to feel something – and in order for us to feel it, they’re going to have to be feeling it first. For Slow Jams week Hooping Idol we are going soft and warm like the quiet storm. It’s time to focus on beauty. It’s a great time to showcase grace and flow. It’s the perfect time to bring it. They all claimed a song under five minutes in length and created a Slow Jams Week video for all of us, remembering to make it count because when the week comes to a close three Hooping Idol finalists will be heading home.
Seated at our judges table today are our four judges with incredible credentials, as well as a special guest. Our four judges are Anah Reichenbach of Hoop Revolution, Rich Porter of Isopop, Canadian hooping legend Babz Robinson of Wild Girl Hoops, and the amazing Marawa The Amazing of MarawaTheAmazing.com in the UK. And joining them this week is none other than Rebecca Phipps who took 3rd place for Hooping Idol Season One. Our finalists are once again presenting their videos and our judges will once again be sharing their thoughts and comments. So without any further ado, get out your snuggie as we proudly present our Top Ten finalists in a randomly selected order for Hooping Idol Slow Jams Week!
Anah: Awww, what a sweet video Hannah! I would have liked to see some flowers in your hair (or other feminine flourishes) and some close up shots of you as well. I loved the location and the shooting was creative. I would have liked to see you get lost in your hooping a little more too. It seems like you are thinking about your moves rather than just enjoying the song and the moment… Not the whole time, for sure there were moments, but I would almost say to forget about trying to put any “tricks” in if you have to think about them. It breaks your flow and that totally isn’t worth it.
Rich: Wow. From the first shot I was impressed. Wow wow wow. It’s beautiful. This video leaps to the level of art. You connect with the camera enough to keep me along for the ride, but mainly it feels like your own authentic journey. Thank you. Outta left field, that video just shook up my whole perception of this competition.
Rebecca: Amazing intro, great song selection and videography for this one! You have a beautiful smile and I enjoyed watching the video, but I would love to see you let go and use your whole body to convey your message. I can tell you have some belly dance in those bones just waiting to jump out! LET IT! This was a well made video, but I want to see more from you.
Babz: Oh my god! Absolutely gorgeous video! The serenity and in a word glow that I felt when I watched you hoop here just made me feel sooooo good. And that ability to make the viewers feel something while watching you is a big part of what this weeks challenge is all about. Some of your angles and breaks could use a little more refinement and every once in a while you looked bored, but most of that was lost in how great I felt watching this and how I smiled every time you did. Certainly one of my very favorites this week. Thanks Hannah!
Marawa: Sometimes I thought you almost looked nervous or bored or something. I have decided this is because you have a crush on whoever is filming you here and that you have gone on a date in the forest. Am I miles off? I wonder. Great location, I loved the gramophone, really loved the shots. It was very well put together – nice!! My favourite bit was seeing your smile after you caught that knee trick!
Anah: Mmm… Sigh… I love love your video! The night gown and slippers, yes! So sweet and beautiful! I do wish you would have hooped on the core a bit more for such a long song and used your body to dance more also. But, all in all a really gorgeous, well done video with a sexy ending.
Rich: The hooping was solid and the video was nicely shot, but this ventured a bit too far into the cheesy realm for me.
Rebecca: Margaux your opening smile was stellar! I really loved the angles you chose in this video! The rooftops were a really lovely place to be taken to. Thank you for that amazing view! I feel like using the slow motion tool right at the beginning made me wince a bit. You were still hooping at a normal pace, but needed the illusion of slow and soft. I would have liked to have seen you actually hooping to reflect the music there. I feel like you really settled into the song around the 2 minute mark. I have to admit when the shirtless man came out of the door I wasn’t quite sure what was going on, but I liked the ending. I hope to see you again next week! Bon Chance!
Babz: I would have loved to see more emotion come through with your body language and maybe a little more extension or emphasis put on certain moves to really highlighting parts of the song and what you feel when you’re listening to it. The location and the hottie at the end were a nice bonus though and I loved that beautiful vertical arm wrap!
Marawa: Hahaha! Where are you?! On your rooftop? For the first half of the video I thought you were on a pier trying to tempt sailors. Yes Yes Yes! Slow jams central and so damn French! JAH DOOORE. I loved your outfit, the close ups and the topless man crawling out of a pipe to come and hold you – too much! Im very glad he had pants on. I think this is the most in theme video this week – super!
Anah: Max, I love the emotional quality of this song and your were definitely in the music! And the jump at 00:56 – love it! I do wish you had switched up the camera angle and location some. One note for your hooping, I would do some yoga to open up your shoulders and upper back. This way you can be a little more upright and keep a graceful line when you are doing your lifts and chest/shoulder hooping.
Rich: Your hooping is solid. At 1:14 you really go off. I think the track selection is sorta a cop out on a slow jam though. Overall I think the video is good, but it’s not inspiring me.
Rebecca: Max, I am completely jealous of your hoop space! It gives you the air of an already seasoned performer up on the stage. While I love the song, I feel like the mood gets a bit too heavy in the middle to classify it as a slow jam. Besides my silly ole opinion on that matter though, I feel like you captured the song well. Did the song stop and restart in a different place around 1:40? I felt a bit of a change and it threw my concentration off just a bit. I like that you switched up your hoops through the video, was there a reason why you went from lit LED to unlit? You have a great style, and I think this was all in all a great video.
Babz: Wow! What incredible movement and expression Max! I loved watching you move your whole body in so many really interesting and creative ways! and you used your space sooo well. Even though you were inside in somewhat of a small space you didn’t seem to be hemmed in in the slightest! Less so than others this week who shot outside. It was also great to see some close ups in there this time. I really enjoyed the feeling you put into your movement this week!
Marawa: Check out your lounge room wowsers!! Loved your outfit Max. I felt like I was visiting a very relaxing day spa watching this. Loved the ribbon hoop and a great background to use it with as it shows up so well. I loved the camera looking down on you too, nice close ups – and great to see your face! It would have been weird if you had been smiling through that song! I love Bjork, but where was your finale?! I want to see a finish to your videos please! Really nice video though – well done!
Anah: Super cute vid, Aidan! I liked the story and the scenes of your walking down the pier hooping. I would like to see more dance though. I know this song was slow, but I think you could have reflected the song a bit more with your movements at times. Keep rocking it though! Starting at 11 you have all the time in the world to advance your hoop dance!
Rich: Your videos keep coming strong. There was a story, you cut loose with your hoop, I feel connected to you personally. Really well done.
Rebecca: Did I just watch the trailer to the best movie about a boy and his hoop? I’m pretty sure I did, and I am pretty sure I want to see the whole movie right now! Aidan, I love your love for your hoop! There is no doubt you connect with it and the audience. I also adore your playfulness and charming goofiness. I only have 2 critiques of this weeks video. 1) The use of slow motion shots. While these are easy to run to for a slower song like this, I would rather see how you feel about the music lyrically in real time. 2) While I love the technicality of a good chest break I feel like you relied on them heavily in this video. It looks like you get tired of them by the end. Mix it up a bit next week. I loved the double play toward the end!
Babz: You always bring us such beautiful videos Aidan! But I still am looking for more emotion coming through your body language, like if you’re going to spin around, REALLY SPIN! More intention in each movement might help as well as working on keeping your planes clean and smooth. Loved your music and all of your beautiful locations this week. You have me dying to go to the English seaside!
Marawa: Yes! Every now and then this looks like a karaoke video – which is soo Slow Jam! Perfect Aidan. Thank goodness for your grip tape or I think we would have totally lost your hoop in a lot of the shots – white on white. And errr – hello! Who is your little hoop girlfriend then?! You cant just show her for 2 seconds without some explaining! You’ve just broken the hearts of every Hooping Idol fan! So shy! There should definitely have been a big smile on your face in that last cut! Super cute as always.
Anah: What a wonderful message Shannon! It is an experience many have and thank you for sharing yours. To prevail against challenges is healing for the soul and tempering for the spirit. Brava! Your hooping is smooth, but I would like to see you change levels a bit. Try stepping wider at times or getting low. Keep up the great work!
Rich: This week it feels like you invested yourself more than you had in previous submissions and I greatly appreciate that. The video leaves me wondering if this sensitive side is harder for you to express because the video pulls at heart strings, though it’s obviously staged in a way that doesn’t make it feel completely authentic. You have some really gorgeous shots, but keep it consistent! The Arby’s sign located the entire scene in a shopping center. Without that one shot with the sign, I could’ve imagined that you were in a much more serene beautiful location. That’s just a detail though. Overall this is my favorite video from you yet.
Rebecca: Shannon, You ARE beautiful! Great song selection for this weeks challenge! Your story line moved along very nicely with beautiful shots and angles. I would have liked to have seen a bit more technicality in your hooping. I know it can be a challenge to keep a tempo with a slow jam and stay technical. I think this showed a couple of times when you hesitated to move into your next motion. I think this was a well put together video Shannon! I think as far as inspirational hoop videos go, this one is in the top of its class! I loved the storyline. Next week lets see some more hooping!
Babz: Definitely your best video yet and I could really feel your frustration in the beginning of the song, so much so I nearly cried. The fountain was a great background, but in some shots those signs behind it were right at the same level as your face and those incredible cheekbones! They were a bit distracting. I really enjoyed that the song you choose had a strong emotion and a message that we could identify with through your hooping.
Marawa: Such a good story. Loved the start and the progression – your hoop journey in 4 minutes! A word of advice – when trying to look like a beginner, don’t pick the hoop up with your foot. Total give away! Ha! You have to pick it up off the floor for at least the first while! It was really nice to see your face. It really helps the story – great expressions! I feel like I have got to know you through these videos which means you must be doing something right in how you put them together!
Anah: Cute concept and I loved the wooded location but your hooping came across as somewhat stiff to me. I would recommend getting into Yoga or some kind of dance as a way to supplement your hooping. You could also just practice extending your arms and legs more. Just think of creating more graceful lines with your body. Add more commitment and energy to your hooping. It can still be slow, but with full commitment to each movement it will be more dance-y. When in doubt, hoop it out!
Rich: Cute ending! I loved the camera shot at 1:54. Very nice framing. I also appreciate that you connect with the camera throughout the video. I’d like to see you get into your hooping a bit more though. It’s always challenging to carry both the video aspect and simultaneously lose yourself to the hoop. I’d like to see more of you losing yourself in the hoop. Good job.
Rebecca: Roxanne, I think you are an amazing hooper and have a nice personal groove. I really liked your song selection, but feel like I could have put your video with a number of different songs and it would have conveyed the same thing. I feel like you didn’t harness all of the soul that was readily available in the song. I have no doubt you have it in you and we want to see it! I would love to see you blossom into your own space during this competition! Don’t hold back! And on a final note, the gold booty shorts, while I am not sure if they were the right costume choice for the song, they were smokin’ hot! Yowzah!!!!
Babz: I could tell you were really trying to connect with us by using that great smile of yours and with some great eye contact, but your body didn’t seem to be connecting with the music and I couldn’t really tell that you were hooping to your song choice. I did like your cute hand on hip hooping and your chillin’ on the bench to add a little more attitude.
Marawa: I get the idea behind this video, but I got a bit bored in the middle. Sorry! I liked your lying on the couch hooping, but I thought they were going to meet in the middle, but looks like they have been together for a while. Why did you walk up the stairs in such a bad mood? That confused me! Maybe they really have been dating for a while? Nice shot at the end though! I bet that took awhile to work out?!
Anah: Harlow, you are a goddess! I loved the beach scenes and this is a favorite song of mine as well. I think my favorite part was when the camera got close to you. I do wish you had slowed down a bit to match the song more in places. I would try breathing into the moment and relaxing in your hoop more!
Rich: I dig your ground work and your hooping continues to remain strong. Your video is nicely shot and edited pretty well. I think that a little more thought on the quality of your shots could help. Some were much stronger than others and the jumping between the construction site and the beach was a bit jarring. Overall I think the video is very good.
Rebecca: Harlow! Great song choice, great location, great hooping! Your plane changes are very clean and I love the combos that you use when you are in your groove! Your moments of stillness on the beach are lovely coupled with the higher intensity of the crumbling city. I would have liked to have seen more footage of the close up like at the 3 minute mark. You have a great smile and I felt you warmed up to the audience there. MORE MORE MORE!!! Really truly beautiful Harlow! Best of luck!
Babz: Some really beautiful movement using your whole body in this video and some great expression coming out through your body language on the beach, but couldn’t see it as much when you were out by the bricks and such. Man that little hoop must have been soooo hard to use on the beach where it looked super windy! You made hooping on sand look graceful and easy which it certainly is not!
Marawa: I really love your style of hooping. You really attack the hoop with your movement and I love it. So good! There is a lot of energy and power when you move and it is great to watch. I wish we could see more of the hoop in the water! Maybe a different colour hoop would have fixed that? Great location though. It is crazy how much destruction gets left behind after an earthquake and once it is out of the news places like Japan, and Haiti as well, are so far from being back to where they were. Meanwhile, a super finish and it was great to see your face for a bit too!!
Anah: I loved the video work, beautiful setting and great variety of shots and angles. Your hooping is smooth and fun to watch. I think you could clean up your chest roll if you keep your sending arm straight out rather than following the hoop with it. I had a little bit of a hard time getting into it because it didn’t match the theme, but still pretty and fun to watch!
Rich: Nicely shot and your hooping is strong. That Bassnectar track is hardly a slow jam though. I’ll give you that it touches in the emotional realm for Bassnectar.
Rebecca: You are a wood nymph! I love it! I will admit I had a hard time watching this video because I was so busy coveting your outfit! I think you have a great grasp on videography and camera angles. Your close up shots are always great! Coupled with your amazing hoops skills I think you can go far in this competition. While I do love your song choice, and the giggling sounds made me very happy, I would not classify it as a slow jam. I think we can pin hole ourselves as dancers into a limited place of expression by not branching out into other musical forms of inspiration. You dance and hoop beautifully to this style of music. I want to see you find new movement by throwing yourself into the musical deep end!
Babz: Absolutely stunning video! Your music choice didn’t seem to portray any particular emotion which I would have loved to see, but your smooth and graceful movement really paired well with the song. Loved the smiling and eye contact. This was just so beautiful I felt temporarily transported to that breathtaking woodland with you. An incredible pleasure to watch!
Marawa: Have you seen the childrens cartoon FernGully? This reminded me of it so much! Careful with your filming and edits though. I don’t want to see your bags on the ground. It distracts and ruins the illusion of wherever you are which is a very beautiful location! Really nice ending too!
9. LAURA ORCUTT of Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.
Anah: Oh wow Laura! You really brought it in this video and I could feel the love for your father shine through. You have some really original moves here as well and I am loving your seamless flow. It feels weird to give you any constructive criticism, but I would like to see you use your free arm more and adjust your positioning to the camera in your horizontal behind the back pass (2:27). Might look better from the side or even slanted? Some yoga to help open up your shoulders will help you flatten your back more through this move also. Oh yeah, and I am totally trying your move at 00:43… Sweet! More please!
Rich: Beautiful vid. This is the first time I feel like I’ve seen and identified with you and your hooping. The vid really got to the heart of making an emotional connection and seeing you expose vulnerability makes me like you more than I did before watching the video.
Rebecca: I loved this song selection. I think hoopers tend to gravitate towards specific music types, but I like that you chose a more mainstream, countryesque song that obviously means a lot to you. I could tell through your dance that you had your father on your heart, and I am glad you dedicated it to him. It was truly beautiful. The connection you had to the music came through very well, and the scene to song arrangement changes were executed flawlessly. With music like this it is very easy to go inward and forget to engage the audience, but you grabbed us a couple of times by drawing on some humor, and by using sign in your body language. I think this was an all around fantastic video and I look forward to your next!
Babz: Really nice movement with great expression and lots of nice extension. I wonder what it is about spinning that it makes us connect so much more to the music? Really liked that I could tell you were listening to this song and some great movement with you and your hoop really punctuating the highs and lows of the music. When the song soars I can feel you soar with it. Really great!
Marawa: I feel like this was a very emotional video for you to make. You looked very in the zone and as a tribute to your Dad it tells a beautiful story. I’m sure hooping for him when he was sick was a great thing to be able to do for him, and you do it very well. Glad you were wearing black or we would have lost the hoop in some of the shots. Great isolations, really smooth transitions between tricks. I loved the bit where you say strength and curl your arms! That is my favourite. Great to see you smile there.
Anah: Dude… Chad, there is no doubt that you have some bad ass hoop skills! I have to say though that I wish you had gotten closer to the camera, shown some emotion (I mean really… that is a super sweet song!) and perhaps given more thought to the outfit and settings. The top of a parking structure just doesn’t read as romantic to me, ya know? Seriously, you are my favorite… don’t make me get all Simon on you!
Rich: I dig that you slowed down a little, though not much. I feel like I saw more of your hooping than I have in past videos. The garage rooftop shot reminds me of old Lucian videos from back in the day. I think your hooping is top notch. If I were to offer a suggestion, it would be to try “extreme body positions”. It’s a term Grant came up with a few years ago. Basically, try the same moves but instead of standing there, bend over, extend your leg, get contorted… basically changing the shape of your body to make the hoop movement seem more dramatic. Well done.
Rebecca: I wanted to see what sort of ridiculous awesomeness you would bring this week and you didn’t disappoint with your unique flare and creative movements. While the mountains in the background are beautiful and the video is nice and clear, I get the feeling that you didn’t put a lot of thought into this. It kind of feels like you jumped out of the car, had an amazing spin session and moved on. In your description you talk about this song being sung for you, but I don’t see any emotional attachment to this one. Your moves, as always, blow my mind and I want to see a tutorial or go to a workshop where you teach those sick folds and spins! You have the talent to take this competition! Now I want to see your heart!
Babz: Ahh, there’s that great smile again! Great views from the parking lot? Perhaps a better location would have helped me feel your connection to the song a little more. There were times when you seemed a little distracted and looked a little bored, but beautiful hooping as usual and I really could feel you hooping with this song and loved some of the intensity that came through at certain points.
Marawa: Sandals?! Oh no. What happened to the buttoned up shirt Chad? Footwear aside, this is yet again another collection of great tricks. Do you always use a green hoop? Is that your favourite one? Or do you have a whole lot of green ones? Just wondering, but it is a little hard to pick up on the background in a lot of these shots which was a shame. Definitely going back to look at some of those hand combinations though.. nice one!
There you have it, your Hooping Idol 2 finalists and their Slow Jams Week video submissions. The time has come to cast your vote(s) and you can vote for as many as 2 of our finalists that you want to see continue on in the competition. You can only cast one voting ballot. Are you ready?
VOTING CLOSED AT 3:00 PM PST 5/9/12: Watch the Slow Jams Week Results Show Here.
Your Hooping Idol 2 Slow Jam Week ballots are being accepted for the next 24 hours only and voting will close on Wednesday, May 9th at 3:00pm PST. The three finalists with the least amount of votes this week will be eliminated from the competition and the remainder will be moving on to the next round. Stay tuned for the results here on Hooping.org along with the details for our next Idol challenge.