Hooping Idol Goes Country

Hooping Idol Goes Country Welcome back to our second week of Hooping Idol everybody, our award winning contest that is leading us all on an ever spinning search in our quest to find the planet’s next big hooper star! Are you ready for some country hoopin’? You better be, because it’s Country Week on Hooping Idol! So grab a beer or some sweet tea and sit yourself on down for a spell. For those of you just tuning in, here’s what’s happened on Hooping Idol 3 so far. We met our 21 finalists for season three and 4 distinguished judges. The first challenge was 90s Dance Hits Week and five hoopers were sent home – which brings us to Country Week. With this week being Hooping Idol’s first time goin’ country, we reminded our finalists that with a theme as big as the state of Texas that anything was possible. We told them to think outside the box, to be creative, to let their imaginations run wild. They each chose a Country Music soundtrack and made a video for you to enjoy. They were once again reminded of our Ten Easy Ways to Improve Your Hooping Video and to get their video turned in before the deadline. One Hooping Idol finalist failed to turn in a video this week as a result of a series of technological challenges and Lee Jeffries has been eliminated. Thanks for being a part of Hooping Idol 3 Lee and sorry you ran into problems. You will be missed.

Hooping Idol 3 Judges Panel

We’ve introduced you to our distinguished panel of judges. Seated at our table for Season 3 we have four amazing hoopers with incredible credentials: Anah “Hoopalicious” Reichenbach of Hoop Revolution, Babz Robinson from Canada, Marawa The Amazing from the UK, and the incomparable Mat Plendl. They’ll be sharing their thoughts this season on what all of our finalists are up to. So without any further ado, YeeeeHaw! It’s Country Week y’all and we are proudly presenting our 15 Hooping Idol finalists below, in randomly selected order, and they all knocked our socks off this week so enjoy! Keep in mind the page is rather video heavy and may take some time to load. Thanks!


1. Marion Papillon of Lyon, France. If for some reason this isn’t viewable where you live, try viewing it on Vimeo.

Anah: Awesome setting! I loved you coming in on the horse and the barn was really cool! I think your hooping is a little too careful. I would REALLY like to see you cut loose a whole lot more! Also, you could have cut this song down quite a bit. 4 minutes is a challenge to keep everyone engaged.

Babz: Fabulously country, but it seems like you are just going through the motions rather than really getting into the music. I liked the groove you seemed to be in around 3:15-3:30. Great job incorporating this weeks theme Marion and I liked that I could tell we were hearing the same music too.

Marawa: Location location location! Wow! So, it’s a big song – you got to sell it! The tricks are great – but your expression doesn’t change once! I love a face, try and get some in the next one – also it helps us to feel a part of whats happening! The soft mood lighting – so classy! I love that bit the best!

Mat: Great setting with nice use of livestock. Opening shot with the horse is very convincing Marion. Nice that you’re mixing it up with some trickier moves, but again here the connective tissue is repetitive and the isolations are imprecise. At more than 4:00 too, it’s a little long.


2. Laurie Brenneman of Charleston, South Carolina, USA. If for some reason this isn’t viewable where you live, try viewing it on Vimeo.

Anah: Laurie, cute song but again, it’s too long! I wish you had cut it down for more engagement. I like the beginning and your country moves were adorable. I think you could have told a little more of the story of the song somehow though! You definitely nailed it with that little tip of your hat at the end.

Babz: Love how you started your hooping and how it really let me know we were hearing the same music. Great incorporation of this weeks theme with lots of fabulous country stuff going on. Great dancing and eye contact, so so so important! But the shaky camera drives me ca-razy! The person walking though your background was a distraction.

Marawa: This is my favourite song. The hooping hayride is genial and
your outfit is adorable. So much giddyup – good one! How did everyone find horses and farms?! Amazing! Love your dancing. Love how you took on the song – I like it when the changes in the song are reflected in a routine – it makes a HUGE difference, GOOD ONE!

Mat: Great visual elements here, realistic setting, unobtrusive use of farm animals, hay bails, flatbed truck. Nice. The hooping here seems a bit self-conscious. I’d like to see you let go a little bit more and at the same time perform these moves with more precision. Still, there are interesting touches throughout, and I think you’re doing very well. Could use a closeup here and there and a smile or two!


3. Rosalie Fan of Hooptown, Pennsylvania, USA. If for some reason this isn’t viewable where you live, try viewing it on Vimeo.

Anah: Adorable Rosalie! I liked the storyline and the fact that you seemed to be “in” the music. I liked your pops and shoulder wiggles too I would pay attention to the lines you are making with your body in relation to the camera – your shoulder duck our was a little crunched rather then straight to the side and you did a nice little lean back, but because you were facing the camera rather than to the side, it’s kind of lost. I would practice in front of a mirror! I would have liked a few other settings and the song could have been shorter, but over all I like the video and that it had a definite beginning and end.

Babz: Cute beginning, but with the caliber of the other videos you need keep up by putting more effort in Rosalie, like using a better location to help you create a killer video that will help you to stay in this competition. I love your smile and enthusiasm and the attitude and it was great to see something of a story line.

Marawa: I REALLY love how you move – I didn’t see it so much last week – you are a proper little dancer! You have amazing expression in your movement. I had to watch it twice!
The setting and costume are super on point. The story is really sweet – these other hoopers better watch out for you!

Mat: Adorable opening with the “Wanted” poster. Love that you’re incorporating many tricky moves, but would like to catch more than a glimpse of some of them and fewer repeated elements. Watch those imprecisely performed isolations, and watch that POSTURE, young lady! Love the ending with the hoops roping you to the tree. Love your imagination. I think you’re cute as the dickens.


4. Courtney McCormick of Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. If for some reason this isn’t viewable where you live, we’re sorry. Courtney didn’t provide another viewing option.

Anah: Awww… so cute! I really liked all the different settings and that you chose moves you could add a little country fancy footwork to. I think your breaks could use a little cleaning up, they don’t have as nice an effect if they wobble! I LOVED the ending and big ups to your horse for not spooking at the hoop.

Babz: Man! I haven’t heard this song in forever!! This is so cute! Great background and great outfit. Loved seeing you up close and putting some attitude into it! Big improvement over last weeks video. I’d really like to see you vary the tempo of your hooping just for a visual break and maybe more moves that really tell us you’re hearing this song like at 1:29-1:39. Keep up that great eye contact and that killer smile!

Marawa: Heeled boots YESSSSS – and on grass, respect! The waterfall shots are genius. You have really put this together so well! The transition between the tricks is smooth which is nice to see and you have totally struck gold with the hoop lassoooo haha! and a horse? YES!

Mat: Great hi-def images here. Judicious use of equine atmosphere performers. You look great, there are some nice tricky elements, but also lots of repetition. Parting shot excellent. A very classy piece.


5. Maryève Gaudreau of Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. If for some reason this isn’t viewable where you live, try viewing it on Vimeo.

Anah: Heehee!! Classic… I loved the squirrel and your fancy footwork while hooping on the legs was great! I liked that you took your time to build a little story and kept your shots and locations varied enough to keep my attention. I also REALLY loved that you matched your hooping to the song and allowed it to build as the music did. SLICK three hoop work… totally loved it!

Babz: So happy to see way more dancing and flow this week! Thank you! Great country theme gong on in your video too, but I still want to see more of your face so I can connect with you and your hooping. The squirrel was funny, but I couldn’t quite tell where the story was supposed to fit in. I would love to see even more dancing and more passion in your hooping.

Marawa: Ooh – very classy outfit on the train tracks. HATE that rat! So glad you ate it. That was brilliant. DIE RAT DIE!! REALLY beautiful sequences – all the stuff around 3 min – I LOVE. Going to go practise those moves myself this week!

Mat: Another great setting with nicely composed shots. Amusing storyline with the little critter, but would love to have seen you incorporate the hoop into the story. Why didn’t you kill it with the hoop? Nice use of train tracks and tractors. Your 3-hoop section is truly bitchen – could have used a bit more of it. I dig your sense of humor and look forward to seeing more.


6. Cheko Cabrera of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. If for some reason this isn’t viewable where you live, try viewing it on Vimeo.

Anah: Holy COW, Cheko… you are my absolute favorite this week! I loved the story telling, it actually made sense that you were hooping rather then just hooping in a country setting. I mean all cowboys hoop after a hard days work on the farm, right? Your country dance moves were killing me.. so great. And the ending… aaah! Perfection. Thank you.

Babz: You capture this weeks country theme soo well and the story line is fantastic! Love the part where you ditch your chores and make a hoop. There is so much country flavour in your hooping and movement with you kicking up dust and getting into the music. I don’t know what it is, but there is something so incredibly sexy about a cowboy hooping in the sunset. Dios mios.

Marawa: VIVA MEXICO! VIVA CHEKO! This is beyond brilliant and you are raising the standards. Perfection! I love you.

Mat: Could this BE any more authentic? AMAZING setting, excellent use of livestock, great connection between the song and the scene. Great visual elements, and clearly an edge in the hooping department. I think you should go for some even trickier moves – you’ve got the precision and an ease with the hoop to pull it off. This is a very professional effort, and at a taut 2 minutes, 40 seconds, it has great replay value.


7. Sydney Malanaphy, aka Sydney Spins, of Madison, Wisconsin, USA. If for some reason this isn’t viewable where you live, try viewing it on Vimeo.

Anah: Oh my goodness… the outfit, SO cute! Love the song and thank you for using your FEET!! The setting was great too and loved that you seemed to be dancing to the song. The only thing I can say is there was just a touch too much repetition in your hoop movements for me, but overall great job!

Babz: Wow! What a great improvement from your video last week!! You rocked this weeks theme! I’m smiling already. Love to see you varying the pace in your hoping and using certain moves in your repertoire to really punctuate the music. Love watching you translate the twangs and lyric to the movement of your entire body. So important! I would have left the dark parts of the video out though and I want to see your face more!

Marawa: You are my favourite. This is 500 x more entertaining than your last vid!
boot scooting champion. I think you maybe are a real cowgirl.. Lip synch all the way! I think this actually might be one of your favourite songs, hmm? Somebody loves country for sure! The tricks are REALLY great and suit perfectly – GREAT JOB.

Mat: Another great authentic setting with train tracks. Lots of issues with focusing the camera. There are a couple of shots where you are “being the train”, and I would like to have seen more of that – maybe even going down the track. I’m not a fan of lip-synching to the song, especially when you get into some synchronization problems, so you may wish to avoid that in the future. Still, you look great, and tho there are a lot of repeated elements here, there is still much to recommend.


8. Kathryn “Ryn” Hooligan of Wellington, New Zealand. If for some reason this isn’t viewable where you live, try viewing it on Vimeo.

Anah: Oh man… Ryn, I am pretty sure there was some major bad-ass hooping happening in there, but it was so dark I couldn’t tell! If you had just a little more light, or even a spot, that would have been great. I like the story telling aspect and you had great energy. I liked that you added some close-ups, but again, it was so dark that it kind of defeated the purpose.

Babz: The bar was a good setting, but it was a little too dark for your camera. I could tell you’re hearing this music, but the editing seemed to get in the way of your flow as it chopped it up into small segments that didn’t really flow. Liked that there was a story line, but I really want to see you rock out with your hoop and not just show us tricks.

Marawa: Love a whiskey in the afternoon. This setting is RAD – I love the mirror ball – I love your hair out and long sleeves – it makes for some reckless looking moves which is all good. I don’t think you even needed the story – I just liked your moves in front of that backdrop!

Mat: Fun setting and story. Where in God’s name do you find these places? Some fun moves – nose hooping and such – but we only get a glimpse of these and lots of repetition of other moves. Story elements are solid, there’s a nice progression, great length.


9. Andie Asacker of Burlington, Vermont, USA. If for some reason this isn’t viewable where you live, try viewing it on Vimeo.

Anah: What a fun song! I liked all your outfits and glad you brought a little country class in with that dress… so pretty! I enjoy your strong dancer lines and energy so much! I do wish you had taken the opportunity given by this song to build the story more (I was picturing you dressed like a little girl on someone’s knee, would have been so funny!). I would love to see you vary your pace a bit more for contrast, but beautiful, really

Babz: Love your song choice! I thing a lot of us hoopers never fit into the “popular” or “normal” mold and I think that really helps us as a viewer relate to the story you’re trying to tell through your hooping. The attitude here is great and love that you’re really getting into the song. I thought the part with the ground hooping seemed to take away from the video as it seems to interrupt your natural flow and sort of goes into “look what I can do” mode and you’re no longer rocking out. Loved seeing you closer too, like at 2:10 which is a great example that shows we don’t need to see every inch of the hoop the entire time. You’re going to have to incorporate a lot more theme if we are going to keep seeing videos from you, which I really hope we do!!

Marawa: So many country outfits! There are some serious tricks in here. Handstands and all and all shot nicely too – the lighting is really beautiful too.. You look so happy! Nothing like a happy hooper to make everyone happy!

Mat: Great pacing, great timing (2:43 –Thank you, Jesus!), nice variety of elements – Back bend! Shoulder stand! HANDSTAND! (I myself introduced the handstand at national competition in 1973). Watch repeating too many elements though, especially at the top of the piece, and those pesky imprecise isolations. If you’re going to do them, they need to look like MAGIC or they add nothing.


10. Mari Cunningham, aka Merrily Spins, of Bella Vista, Arkansas, USA. If for some reason this isn’t viewable where you live, try viewing it on Vimeo.

Anah: Mari, you are adorable! I loved the story telling and this song is a fave of mine (yes… I grew up riding horses and listened to Garth Brooks.. sshhh). Thank you for throwing in a line dance and really working that cowboy hat! I also really like your smooth and relaxed hooping… Made me wanna go shake it myself.

Babz: Sooo much better than last week! I can finally see you! Great country feel to this video. Hooping in the back of a pick up, brilliant! I’d like to see more of your attitude in your body language and more dance in your hooping. Liked the parts with specific movements that told us we were hearing the same song.

Marawa: JADORE. Hh my goodness the rake. The rake! The rake! The bootscoot! The ute spinning, the tractor platform = WHAT A LEGEND! It’s no secret that I love a bit of expression. The snake! Far out, so good – but I want to see it even more on your face Mari. Everything in the bar is beyond commendable. The hat, I LOVE IT.

Mat: Another brutally authentic setting. Nice story elements, and bravo to you for some nice touches like the foot and the rake. I like the way you think! This is another one that stands up to repeated viewing. I’m looking forward to seeing more of what you have to offer.


11. Vanessa Ortiz, aka Vanessa Fae of Miami, Florida, USA. If for some reason this isn’t viewable where you live, try viewing it on Vimeo.

Anah: Well for someone with a hand injury, I certainly couldn’t tell! Good job. I wish you had included some close up shots and maybe even some shots with more motion somehow. Each scene was a bit too static for me. Your hooping was good, though I caught a few moments that were choppy (it took some time for you to find the placement to bring your leg back in after your three hoop split). Again, like most everyone this week, I wish you had cut the song down. 4 minutes can be an eternity in video land! I also would have loved it if you matched the intensity when the pace of the song picked up around 3 minutes.

Babz: Yay Dolly! Awesome change of pace through the whole video which really lets me and your audience know you are hearing the same song as me. Would like to see some hooping closer to the camera so I can see your smiling face! I like that there is some story going on but I think more of the theme needs to be incorporated so we can’t tell that its your local park.

Marawa: I love the double hoops in the tree roots! So nice. Dolly – what a legend. You seem quite into this whole country theme – your skills were clean and flowed really well.
your little boot scoot at the end was so good! I wanna see more of that.

Mat: Beautiful locations, nice hi-def image. You’re very talented and have a great look, but you are often very tiny on the screen. Move closer. 3-hoops: nice. Would like to have seen you ramp up in tempo and intensity to match the build of the song, and to have matched the ending visual with the end of the song. Could have used a few more elements in a program of this length (very nearly 4:00).


12. Jamee Campbell of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. If for some reason this isn’t viewable where you live, try viewing it on Vimeo.

Anah: Jamee, I LOVED the song choice, but it was too long. Sexy and cute! I felt like there were some noticeable sections where your hooping was kind of sloppy, and I am wondering why you kept it in? I absolutely loved the storyline with the pony and the humorous elements, I just wished you had condensed it a bit so you would not have had too many repeat hoop moves (as sweet and flowy as they are)!

Babz: Love the moves at the beginning and some great cow girl flavour in some of the hooping. Jamee, how do you dance to your favorite song with out a hoop in your hand? That’s what I want to see! You have such a beautiful clean style, but I feel like its going to waste because there seems to be a lack of you gettin’ down with your hoop. Having more of this weeks theme would have really helped as well.

Marawa: So. sexual. Jamee, there are children in this competition!! This is super. The unicorn is ridiculous. You have such beautiful lines sometimes I wanted you to hold those positions for longer – but that’s a selfish request no doubt. Your tricks are super beautiful, I love how you sequence them, KEEP GOING!! And I want those shorts, bad!

Mat: Love the wardrobe, especially the boots. You look adorable, and there are some cute prop elements here which make up for the lack of farm animals (Goodness, the bar has been set so high!). Cute with the lariat and stick pony. Could have used a bit more of the kangaroo rocker and less of the imprecisely performed isolations. Would like to see you work in a shorter format and be more disciplined about the elements that you include. Also, more closeups, please!


13. Ashley Long, aka IndigoSol of Columbia, South Carolina, USA. If for some reason this isn’t viewable where you live, try viewing it on Vimeo.

Anah: Hooping in church??? Brilliant! And where did you find that red robe? Haha… awesome. I really liked that you followed the changes of the song AND it was a long song that could have been cut down quite a bit. I think your hooping is good, though I would like to see a touch more energy come through you to add some pizzaz!

Babz: Loving the enthusiasm here! love the country moves you’re putting in to make the theme come out through your hooping and not just as a background and music. The church bit was great and worked really well with the lyrics. Great to see you changing your pace with the hoop and punctuating your hooping with moves like at 2:34-2:52. I really want to see you really let go in your flow more though as some of the hooping starts to look a little calculated.

Marawa: SISTER! I wanna tassle vest.. Wow. Hooping in a church! This competition is pushing some boundaries… Controversial even! Go girl – get that leg up! I think you could have cut a minute out of this and made it really tight – for me its too long – better to leave us wanting more!

Mat: Great authentic setting, and I love the church – what a surprise! Train track – divine! Thanks for giving us some new elements, but the length of the piece forces you to pad with a lot of repetition. Here’s an example of one that would have much more impact were it about 1:45 shorter (IMHO). Also, if you are going to include those isolations, they need to be executed with more precision, or just leave them out.


14. Jozette Boormann, aka Iso Insane, of Worth Center, New York, USA. If for some reason this isn’t viewable where you live, try viewing it on Vimeo.

Anah: What a cute country twang! I liked all the settings and this song is really great! I wish you had cut it down and I would have liked to see you follow the changes of the song a bit more. There was a spot where the beat dropped out entirely, but you were still hooping. Would have been a good moment to either go really slow or add some character work. Your hooping is smooth though, I think your body positioning could use a little variety. Over all I liked it.

Babz: Ahh good ol’ Wagon Wheel, such a great song! Great country settings, love the train tracks, but I wish we got to see your face more. I could kind of tell that you were hooping to this song, but I’d like to see more punctuating moves to really let me know that you are hooping to the song you chose – like at 3:08. Don’t forget to remove the audio from your video clips as I could hear your song playing in the background! Great to see lots of movement carried through the rest of your body.

Marawa: Apart from the fact that you have beooootiful skills, and have linked
them all so nicely into a great routine – this video is so well put together – its edited so nicely, the best I have seen – this is in New York? Who would have thought! And thank goodness for a wink! I have been waiting for one!

Mat: You’ve got a sound issue right up front, which I think should be avoided, but the tractor is a nice touch. You’ve got some cool moves, and I like your ease with the hoop, tho sometimes you are very small on the screen, and there’s a lot of repetition. At 4:09, I think it’s a little long, still there are lots of interesting things here. Keep going!

15. Kim Cuppett of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, USA. If for some reason this isn’t viewable where you live, try viewing it on Vimeo.

Anah: I loved the pink and the fact that you matched it with beautiful trees in the background. Over all your settings were great! Hoop wise, you could have varied your speeds a lot more, but super cool toss with a bounce and catch! I think you should work on your chest roll a bit so it is more of a roll and less of a toss. The “lasso” around the hay bale was super cute!! I liked that you attempted to make the hooping match the change in the song by slowing the video, but I would have liked it better if you had matched the song with your hooping rather then afterwards. And the song could have been cut down.

Babz: I think your hooping style is one of my favourites I’ve ever seen! You freakin loooove to hoop and that enthusiasm comes through in your hooping sooo well. It was nice to see more of your face this week in your video, but it’s not enough! I want to see some shots with more of you and less space around the background. 2:42 would have been a great spot to see some slower hooping with more intentional moves to go with the music, but you used slow mo instead = sad Babz. You upped the effort in your video this week, but you really need to make something magic so we can keep seeing more videos from you. Pretty please?

Marawa: Oh – the blossoms and you = perfection! This landscape makes me VERY happy.
LOVE your sequences. Really glad you chose hoop colours that were clearly visible too – so vicious – I hope we have a soca week so we can see just how fast you can hoop.. SHUT UP – lasso hoop? You win! Great composition and your jeans do fit just right.

Mat: This is a BIG improvement over your last clip. Love the t-shirt opening, great shot with the hay bale and flatbed truck. Some of the most beautiful shots submitted this week are in this clip: tractor/barn/van combo – divine! The shot on the road with the cherry blossoms and pink outfit – gorgeous! LOVE your speed and precision, and you’re doing some fun tricky things here. Again, though, if you’re going to include those isolations, they need to be performed precisely or not at all. If this were 3 min and shot in hi-def it would be stunning.


There you have it, your Hooping Idol 3 finalists and their Country Week video submissions. Our judges have already submitted their scores that will comprise 40% of our final vote. The remaining 60% of that vote comes from you – and the time has come to cast your ballot. You can vote for as many as five finalists that you want to see continue on in the competition, but PLEASE – please only cast one voting ballot because doing so more than once will not get you a second vote and only creates problems for others on our less than super high tech system. Thank you.

Are you ready? Let’s vote!

SORRY, Voting has already closed for Hooping Idol’s Country Week

Your Hooping Idol 3 Country Week ballots are being accepted only until Wednesday, April 24th at 3:00pm PST. The five finalists with the least amount of votes will be eliminated from the competition and the remaining Top Ten Finalists will be moving on to the next round. Stay tuned for those results along with the details of the next challenge for those continuing on and Happy Country Week everybody!

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