Welcome to the season finale of Hooping Idol 4 and our sixth exciting week in our quest to find the planet’s next great hooper star. The stakes have truly never been higher and our remaining three finalists are all spinning up something awesome for you and your votes. So far this season we’ve seen our contenders hoop to hip hop, rock out with their hoops, get all fancy with ‘em, spin up some musical theater, and serve up incredible performances. This week, however, is the moment in their journey they’ve all been hoping for and waiting for – the Hooping Idol 4 Grand Finale! Of the three you are about to see only one will be become our new Hooping Idol and hoop away with our Ultimate Hooping Idol 4 Prize Package, our biggest prize package yet!
For those who are just tuning in, here’s what has happened so far this season on Hooping Idol. We met our 21 contenders who all spun up something amazing for Hip Hop Week and six were eliminated. Then our remaining 15 rocked out for Classic Rock Week and five more were sent home, bringing us to our top ten. They spun things up with jet set style for High Society Week and though three were to be eliminated, only two were sent home as the result of a tie. Last week was Musicals Week and three were eliminated, leaving us five fantastic finalists for Performance Week. Two more made their departures, which brings us to the finale with our final three!
Our five judges for season four all have the most excellent credentials and they are Sharna Rose of Sharna Rose Hoop Dance in Maidstone, England, UK, Stefan Pildes of GrooveHoops in New York City, Lisa Lottie of LisaLottie.com from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Ayumi Mitake of Hoop Tokyo in Tokyo, Japan, and Katie Sunshine of Katie Sunshine Hoops from Conway, Arkansas, USA.
Our special guest judge for our season finale is no stranger to everyone either. It’s none other than Nick Broyd of Nick Broyd Hoop of Bristol, England, UK, the winner of Hooping Idol 1! Nick knows exactly what it takes to win Hooping Idol, because he did it first! We’re psyched to have him back and to have someone on the panel who knows first hand what it is like to share his thoughts this week as well.
Speaking of Hooping Idol winners, what will our Idol score for themselves this year? Our Ultimate Hooping Idol Prize Package has never been bigger and it’s worth more than $3200! It includes a Hoop Revolution teacher training, a pass to the biggest hooping event of the year – Hoopcamp 2014, and a pass to the big event in Europe this year – Hoopurbia in Berlin. Our Idol will be getting their hands on the Atomic Evoke 4 from Astral Hoops, two months of free advertising from Hooping.org, a $200 gift certificate from HoopSupplies.com, the fire hoop of their choice from Synergy Flow Arts, gift certificates from the good folks at OceanChildOrganics and Hoopclothes.com, as well as the brand new DVD of The Hooping Life and a deck of hooper playing cards.
A great big thank you to all of those in our community who have so generously donated prizes for this season, and to all of our judges for taking time out of their hectic schedules to share their thoughts with all of us this week.
There were no constraints or requirements for Finale Week, giving our finalists free reign to spin it up as they wished. After all, with a prize package like that on the line we didn’t want anything standing in their way. Are you ready? Here we go, one last time. We proudly present our final three contenders in an order that was randomly drawn out of a hat.
Sharna: Your entry is very sweet and touching with a really lovely message and I feel that it will inspire a whole new generation of hoopers to our expanding flock. Some stunning scenery in your video and some new hoop moves as well. Sometimes the framing was a little off, but I enjoyed how you made the video feel real. It has been a total pleasure watching your videos and I still am in awe of how much you have mastered in such a short time. I cant wait to see what your hoop future will be. Score: 8.5.
Lisa: I loved watching your videos over the past several weeks Sheri. You are a fantastic hooper, but I think your real magic lies in your manipulation of 2 to 4 hoops. You really are insanely good at that and it’s definitely something to keep in mind if you ever do a strength and weakness assessment! I think you can go really really far into that stuff and I encourage you to keep your eyes open and learn from the best – even more classical variety manipulators! You can also learn a lot from jugglers, it doesn’t have to be hula hoops, but you can still learn tricks that you can translate into hooping! I liked your video this week, it was very sweet with the storyline. Remember you can move as much as you want to! I know for some tricks it is important to stand on the spot, but as soon as that hoop hits your waist or anywhere on your body you can move your frame all over the place, step those feet in some different directions, keep things interesting and find other ways to perform the same tricks so you can breathe new light into them! Great work as always, but at the same time, it was more of the same. Score: 8.
Stefan: AMAZING! Exceptional work. Your story of personal transformation and the journey of your hoop path….wow, that is what I look for in a video, a student, a hooper, a performer. Your skill is bar none, but the thing that made me cry was the way you nailed this sappy song. You my dear, I will not forget your name. This is a completely PERFECT video. Sheri, you are my Hooping Idol. Score: 10.
Ayumi: I was really surprised that you started to hoop only 13 months ago. It was incredible. I was very touched that you fully expressed the love and joy of hooping. You are very potent. You have already got great hooping skills, so I think if you try to introduce other body expression (dance, pantomime, and so on) to hooping, or express feeling with your body movement, not only with the face, you can go to the next step. Anyway your passion stimulated me. Thank you Sheri. Score: 9.
Katie: What a touching story you created for your final piece and one that speaks to all hoopers. I found myself grinning ear to ear watching your video being reminded of my own hoop journey. You had some great camera angles, a great smile, but what I think made this video wonderful to me is that the viewer can really see that you have found your passion. It’s very clear you have found your sunshine, your purpose, and it’s always inspiring to watch people do what they love. This video not only made me happy watching it, but makes me think you are destined to go on and inspire hoopers and other alike in life. I wish you all the luck in the competition and to get your luck off to a head start you get a 10 from me. Score: 10.
Nick: Well done on getting this far. I liked the concept of this video, and the use of that beginners hoop at the start. In my opinion the best stuff in the video is the really innovative use of tricks that in some cases might be unique. This really comes across in the multi-hoop sections. I’d like you to have stuck more to these individual ideas as it makes you stand out. No-one can own a hoop trick, but certain tricks can be identified with certain hoopers and I reckon going forward stick to the really creative stuff that YOU are coming up with. That said, everything throughout was executed with a high level of technical detail and you are great to watch. One last thing – I wasn’t sure about singing to the music, it felt slightly like a cheese fest. Still, that might just be this British cynic speaking. Good luck! Score: 8.
TOTAL FINALE WEEK SCORE: 53.5
Sharna: Lisa, I really enjoyed letting my emotional side bask in your projection of zen whilst you spin in your element in such beautiful settings surrounded by colour and beauty. I loved seeing some new hoop aspects from you in this last entry also. It has been a pleasure watching all your videos and seeing your beautiful smile each week. This is definitely my favourite video of yours so far. Score: 9.
Lisa: What delicious tapes around your hoops Lisa. I know who all of us European hoopers have to thank for that!! I like that thing that you do where you isolate the larger and smaller hoop inside each other, there is sooooo many things you can do with mismatched hoops. You look really beautiful in your video this week, your hair is gorgeous and I love the forest settings! I want you to be careful with some of your lines here, it’s all well and good rocking out to your favorite music, but if you have an audience it’s definitely worth pointing your toes when you take a step and straightening your knee when you extend your leg. Also if you raise your chin a bit and focus your gaze upwards, you’ll automatically open your chest and your entire posture will have changed! Another tip for you, if you do a lot of spinning around, try and pick a point ahead of you with your eyes, turn your body and let your head be the last thing that turns, turn it quickly and IMMEDIATELY place it back at the exact starting position, this way you won’t get dizzy, you will always know where the front of the space (or your audience!) is and you will stay in the centre instead of wobbling off to the side! Nice work this week! Score: 7.5.
Stefan: Your skill is extraordinary. I really enjoy your style and your capabilities. However, there is no story in this video? No transformation? No beginning, middle, no end. I’m surprised considering how much I’ve loved your previous videos. However, I understand how there can be a certain amount of video making fatigue at this point. I will say your color work at this point is quite dreamy and saturated. You’ve done amazing work throughout this whole process and I think you are an amazing hooper. Score: 8.
Ayumi: Great flow. I really enjoyed your graceful moves. Especially the sustained spinning with mini hoops and twins, multiple hooping, and the Native American style hooping are very beautiful and inspiring. Above all, you looked full of glee, it touched me. I was grateful that I was made to realize the beauty of flow art once again. Your hooping skills are awesome, so I would love you to seek beauty of whole body moves more and find your unique move. Score: 9.
Katie: Congratulations for creating one of the most gorgeous hoop videos I’ve ever seen! This could be the official music video for this song as far as I’m concerned! Your outfits were perfect, your settings were beyond stunning, and your hooping was impeccable. I saw some moves from you I’ve never seen before, so you’re a smart girl to impress me with those in the final week. Plus, you included moments in which you really let go and hooped your heart out which really endeared this video to me. I honestly would prefer to watch a hooper who was a little sloppy, but obviously having the time of her life as opposed to a hooper who was polished, but disconnected. But with that said, you weren’t even sloppy! I just think this video was a perfect final entry. Score: 10.
Nick: Represent! So glad the sun came out for you! Actually I thought the music, location and style of hooping interacted perfectly. The editing is spot on as are the little touches like making the most out of different light and playing with delays and speeds that help this video stand out. I bet you felt a bit dizzy with all that spinning! I’m not usually a fan of sustained spinning, but your execution of it was really tight and seemed to have some nice individual slants on it. If anything, it was slightly repetitive, but the music held it together well. Nice use of multi-hooping and good to see a range of hoop sizes in use. I like that fact that you move fast, no faffing about – you just get on with it. However, be aware that going fast and hooping with control do not always go hand in hand and you could have done with slowing down a few of your movements. That said, brilliant video, reckon you’ve a good chance. Score: 9.
TOTAL FINALE WEEK SCORE: 52.5
Sharna: I absolutely adored your entry this week Esmeralda. I enjoyed how you mixed up street level hooping and then smashed it with fire hooping on stilts. I know the stilt hooping was very impressive, but I felt like that section went on a little too long for my personal taste. However, like I said last week, you are a very engaging performer and it’s a pleasure to have witnessed you during this competition. You have such a very large skill set that is presented with fire and passion and it is this that I love most about you. Score: 8.5.
Lisa: One of the most magical things about you Esmeralda is your smile and how it is so obvious that when you are hula hooping, there is simply nothing else in the world that you should be doing at that very moment, and that indeed is where the magic happens! You get everyone involved, you don’t care who is watching you or not and for that I think you must be a huge inspiration to a lot of people around you. Best moment in your video this week: I LOVE the 3 boys mimicking your arm movements halfway through the video! You look beautiful and you are going all out by doing all sorts of new tricks that I haven’t seen you do before. This is why you are a great contestant: you push your own personal boundaries every single week and this is why you score high! A couple of things though: If you are going to do a trick like the arabesque rolls (3.45) you *need* to work on your flexibility first because your body is just not in the right position to execute this trick yet, more stretching! And I think the fire hoop on stilts is nice as an image for a while, but there is very very little you can do with those two props before you just end up repeating yourself, so a little less of that would have been better. Still though, you have pushed yourself hard this week and have surprised me with some great stuff yet again. Therefore I am scoring you an 8.5. Score: 8.5.
Stefan: I love your style, your zest, your presence, your performance style. The reveal of the stilts was a really nice moment. That song is one I use in my classes and you nailed it. I really got a good feeling for your environment and your surroundings in this video. I get what its like to be a hooper in your country and your world. Great job, you’ve been so inventive throughout this whole Hooping Idol process. Score: 9.
Ayumi: I felt that you used your imagination fully and enjoyed every challenge throughout all of the weeks. That was admirable. Needless to say, technique is important. But it is more important how you surpass technique. I got really excited with fire hooping on stilts. Like this, physical performances with the hoop can be thought of in various ways, and you have shown us that through all your submissions with pleasure. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas and process of creation. Score: 10.
Katie: I loved the beginning of your video when you were showing yourself getting ready for a performance. That definitely reminds viewers that being a Hooping Idol isn’t just about being able to hoop well, but being a true performer. That includes putting the effort into your look, your style, your costume, and not just your technical skill. And my, my, Miss Esmeralda, you are certainly a true performer! Also, the fire hooping on stilts was mind boggling! The time of day you shot that footage was perfect: dark blue sky against orange fire = stunning! You have a lot to share with your community and a lot of people to inspire and this video proves it. Score: 10.
Nick: Congratulations on a job well done. You have a really energetic and entertaining video, although as I said to Sheri – I don’t know about the singing with the music. Most of us have been guilty of it at some time, but I really don’t think it adds to the hooping. The hooping itself was great, with my favourite section toward the end of the video from the ring rolling onwards. I felt that this was you at your most creative, although throughout there were times when you put an individual style to some well known tricks, which was exciting. This video has a good use of locations. I really liked seeing others in the video, particularly the lad walking around with that box, he looked very confused! One last slight criticism – although really skillful to do, I felt the section with the stilt/fire hooping was a little long given how far away this shot was from. It made me feel a little disconnected. All in all though a great video. Good luck to you! Score: 8.
TOTAL FINALE WEEK SCORE: 54
There you have it, your Hooping Idol 4 finalists and their Finale Week submissions. Our judges have already submitted their scores that comprise 40% of our final vote and as you can see, there is literally only 1.5 points separating all of them, so the rest is truly up to you at home. 60% of our final vote comes from the public vote and this week whoever wins the public vote will clearly win Hooping Idol 4. And the time has come for you to cast your final ballot. Vote for the one amazing hooper you think deserves to be the winner of Hooping Idol, and please keep it to one vote per person as to not crash our server. Thanks!
Are you ready? Let’s vote!
SORRY, VOTING HAS CLOSED FOR FINALE WEEK
Your Hooping Idol 4 Finale Week ballots are being accepted until Wednesday, May 21st at 5:00pm PST so there is equal voting time around the world and the winner of Hooping Idol 3 will be announced later that night, so stay tuned! We hope you’ve enjoyed our fourth season of Hooping Idol as much as we’ve all enjoyed sharing it with you. Thank you to everyone who submitted auditions this year, to everyone who was a part of the competition, to those who’ve given of their time and talent as judges, to those who’ve so generously donated all of our incredible prizes, and an extra special thanks to you for tuning in and being a part of our search for the next great hooper star. It wouldn’t have been the same without you.
Stay tuned for our Hooping Idol Grand Finale Results Show where we will who our new Hooping Idol will be and happy hooping everybody!