Last night, in a suspense filled Hooping Idol 3 Finale Results Show, we revealed the winner of the third season of Hooping Idol. Nearly two months ago, while watching sixty Casting Week video submissions, I had the pleasure of clicking play and was introduced to Maryève Gaudreau of Hula Hoop Québec. There was something different about her, something special, and I knew we needed her in the mix for Hooping Idol 3, only to have her wind up surprising all of us every week as she grew by leaps and bounds while revealing hidden talents we didn’t even know she was capable of. Yes, our new Hooping Idol Maryève Gaudreau has proven herself to not only be quite the contender, but a bit of an enigma as well, so with her Hooping Idol victory fresh on her mind we knew it was time to get the full story. So join me for a very special interview with our amazing new Hooping Idol winner, Maryève Gaudreau!
Philo: OMG, you just won Hooping Idol! Congratulations! How does it feel?
Maryève: I am so happy! I still can’t belive it! It is heartwarming to see many people who encourage me and believe in me.
Philo: What was it like for you being in the competition from the very beginning to the very end?
Maryève: The amount of time is short, and doing all this work quickly is really stressful. It was a lot of work. I am sometimes a perfectionist, when I do something I try to do it well and give 100%.
Philo: What made you decide to enter this year?
Maryève: I followed the two other seasons of Hooping Idol with great interest. I thought it would be a good way get out of my confort zone, being creative. And I like a challenge! I decided to enter my audition on an impulse and did not think it would be chosen. When I saw that I was selected it was like «oh shit!».
Philo: It seemed like you really took to heart what the judges had to say and just kept improving every week. How was it having the judges critique you? Is there something that didn’t sound right? Is there something you really took to heart that they said?
Maryève: It’s cool to have criticism and comments on what we do and it helps us to become better. The bad reviews just gave me a kick in the ass to do things better. I think my hooping style isn’t Babz Robinson’s favorite. So I wanted to make Babz happy! I took her comments to heart and I tried to remember them every week. Things like more dancing and more passion in your hooping (Babz from country week). And she said something about connection and more flow! And this comment fom Anah, “Maybe try to just let go a little more (Anah during 90’s week) and not stay in my mind all the time.
Listening and applying these comments rewarded me. Last Friday I improvised with my hoop on stage with live music. My friends said that my hooping changed a lot since the last time they saw me in a show. I was more smiley and confident. With this competition I learned to let go and shine more.
Philo: Do you have any thoughts or comments for your fellow Hooping Idol finalists Ashley and Cheko?
Maryève: Ashley and Cheko were both strong competitors. Ashley has such a big beautiful community behind her. She has evolved so much during the competition and she also added a lot of new movement. Her latest video is beautiful and it is my favorite from her, she looks so happy. Cheko is super charismatic. He has a good natural flow and nice video editing. His 2 first videos, 90’s Week and Country Week, were really awesome and I was sure that he would be the won to win Hooping Idol.
Philo: When did you start hooping and how did it happen?
Maryève Gaudreau: On a trip to Europe back in Fall 2004 I got excited about the circus arts. I was attracted to juggling and since I started to do some circus there have always been hoops around me, but without my actually really touching them. Then I saw this video in 2009 and I was like: “I want to do hula-hoop!” So I learned mostly on YouTube and Hooping.org and took some hoop workshop outside of my town. There wasn’t hooping yet in Québec city at that time.
Philo: What’s your current hooping life like? Do you perform? Teach? Sell hoops? Go to or host a local hoop jam?
Maryève: I love teaching, I have worked as an instructor of social circus at Cirque du Monde since 2008. I also give hoop classes now in Québec City with Hula-hoop Québec. I sell hoops, but it’s not a major part of my work. I sometimes perform in festivals in the summer. And I am working on a new fire duet named Les Jonglerettes with my friend Laura Benestan.
Philo: How has hooping changed your life?
Maryève: I think hooping changed my life in the sense that it allows me to dance. It moves much more than juggling, it’s more physical. Hooping is really addictive!
Philo: What advice would you have for someone just picking up a hoop for the very first time?
Maryève: Don’t give up! Try and try again. It’s 99% work, 1 percent talent. And 100% fun!
Philo: What are you going to be doing now that Hooping Idol is over?
Maryève: Relax! I’m always off teaching during the summer. So I will enjoy the summer, travel a bit. Must prepare my move to a new apartment.
Philo Hagen is the Co-founder and Managing Editor of Hooping.org. He’s been spinning things up online and off since April 2003. Co-Founder of the Bay Area Hoopers and LA Hoopers hoop groups, Philo has performed internationally and has won Hoopie Awards for Male Hooper of the Year and Video of the Year. He lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.