Hooping Idol 5: It’s Pop Music Week!

Hooping Idol 5 Spins Pop Music Week It’s Week 3 of our 5th exciting season of Hooping Idol and the competition is super tight in our search for the next big hooper star. Welcome to Pop Music Week on Hooping Idol 5!

For those just tuning in, we put out the Season 5 Casting Call, introduced you to our 21 contestants and our special guest celebrity judges, then kicked things off spinning our way back to the early 1980’s for New Wave Week. In our New Wave Week Results Show, six were eliminated. Next came Disney Week and 5 more were sent home.

The term “Pop Music” was originally derived as an abbreviation for “popular” though it has come to mean something a little more specific these days, even if the genre in and of itself can be extremely eclectic. What will our Idols spin up this week for a shot at making their way one step closer to the title of Hooping Idol and our Ultimate Hooping Idol Prize Package? All we can really say is you’re in for a treat, because everybody takes a step up this week and knocks it right out of the ballpark. Our Top Ten contenders have all been schooled on Ten Easy Ways to Improve Your Hooping Video, were told to think outside the box and let their imaginations run wild, and they were reminded to bring it – because at the end of Pop Music Week, three more of them will be going home.

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Seated at the judge’s table for season five are Rachael Lust of RachaelLust.com from Marion, Ohio, USA, Nick Broyd of Nick Broyd Hoop from Bristol, England, UK, Bunny Hoop Star of Hoop Empire in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, and Katie Sunshine of Katie Sunshine Hoops in Conway, Arkansas, USA. They’ll be sharing their thoughts and advice all season long when it comes to just what our Hooping Idol 5 contestants are up to.

philo This season our contestants will also be receiving mentoring advice publicly and behind the scenes from Hooping Idol’s host Philo Hagen. The Managing Editor of Hooping.org and two-time Hoopie Award winner for Video of the Year and Male Hooper of the Year will not, however, be scoring our contestants.

Our Ultimate Hooping Idol 5 Prize Package includes a Glamping Tent Package and performance showcase spot at Hoopcamp 2015 in Boulder Creek, California, USA, a coveted registration to the already sold out Austrian Hoop Convention in Vienna, Austria, an incredible registration to the German Hoop Convention in Hannover, Germany, as well as a registration to Australia’s hoop gathering – Hoopy Happenings in Sydney, Australia. Our new Hooping Idol will also be getting their hands on an amazing Atomic Evoke 4 Smart Hoop from Astral Hoops, two months of free advertising from Hooping.org to jumpstart their career or business, a $250 gift certificate from HoopSupplies.com, the fantastic fire hoop of their choice from Synergy Flow Arts, a $150 gift certificate to look great too from Hoopclothes.com, an Eco Hoop – the world’s first fully recycled plastic hoop – and a Hoop Revolution Core Foundation DVD from our friends at Hoop Revolution, plus the award winning hoop dance documentary The Hooping Life on DVD and a deck of super cool hooper playing cards.

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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.

So, are you ready for some Hooping Idol? Great, because it’s Pop Music Week on Hooping Idol 5 and we proudly present our Top Ten contenders in an order that was randomly drawn out of a hat.

*****

1. Lilly Hoopz of Los Angeles, California, USA. If for some reason the video isn’t viewable where you live or on your device you can try watching it on Vimeo.

Rachael: Everything about this is awesome!!! I love watching somebody get down when they are waist hooping. What I liked the most was that you pulled in the theme from your song, but didn’t let it overwhelm the video. My only minor critique is that you could have zoomed out just a teeny bit during the graffiti scene, but that’s minor. Score: 10.

Nick: This is my favourite of yours so far. It has some big energy in it and felt very Shakira like with the hip shaking, Latin American stylised movement at the start and again toward the end. Great interaction with the camera, you keep focused on this and don’t break from its gaze! Well done! I guess as the competition heats up you may find the technical level goes up a notch too, so keep surprising us. That said, with the trick base that you have maybe try to mix up your speed as it all feels very quick fire. You could slow down some of the isolation work, particularly during the twins section at around 2.14, so as to help the video flow better. Aside from that the quality of the video is great. Its entertaining, engaging and personal. Plus you look like you are really enjoying yourself and that also scored points. Score: 8.

Bunny: Lilly! Another radiant performance! Your light shines bright. Thank you! I really enjoyed this piece. Your transitions between the number of hoops flowed with the performance. I wasn’t thrown around between tricks because you took me on a movement journey. In any live performance this is essential and you really show that you know how to hold your audience. The longer edits worked. Kudos on the throw ins! I also love to see how people *get* their additional hoops. Your ending was perfect to simply bring it back to the one, throw it to the air and dance. My only suggestion is to slow your dance down. Take your time. Draw out your wildly expressive beauty and make room to explore your full range of movement and performance potential. Great video! Thank you. Score: 8.

Katie: Wow Lilly, what a perfect song for you! I loved your incorporation of latin-style moves with your hoop dance. You certainly kept those hips rockin’! You have wonderful awareness of your entire body and I love the movements you make with your hands, fingers, feet, shoulders, and above all, your facial expressions! You are a true performer. There is nothing with this video that I really felt needed to be improved, but I would challenge you to think more about your storyline in the future. All your videos so far have been wonderful, but I would like to see you begin to elaborate a little more on a tale you’re telling. My favorite part of this video was from 2:44 to the end. I loved that you tossed the hoop for a moment, showed off your bodacious hip-shaking, and then carried on with the hooping again without missing a beat! Also, you still look like you’re having the time of your life. At this point in the competition, I know it can be stressful and demanding, but you are a wonderful reminder to everyone that hooping is fun! Score: 8.5.

Philo: Yay to see Olivera Street! Last week we talked about endings and there was a lot of improvement, thank you! You didn’t let the energy drop in the latter part of your video, or anywhere at all. Next week let’s take it just a tiny step further and own that very ending moment with a Ta-Da finale moment too. Don’t just hoop off. Let us really see and love you. This goes in line with my note for next week which is simply about relaxing and owning how radiant and amazing you are. We already adore you, so breathe. Your dancing is amazing! Your hooping is excellent. And there are times you seem a little nervous in front of the camera, or a little uncomfortable wherever you are hooping in public – I am not quite sure. Your smile seems just a little too forced at times and relaxing into this a little can help us adore you 100% of the time. Be comfortable an let your beautiful spirit and light shine. Great job this week!

*****

2. Benjamin Berry of Alfred, New York, USA. If for some reason the video isn’t viewable where you live or on your device you can try watching it on Vimeo.

Rachael: You put together some really good videos. You really incorporated the Britney theme into this. Thank you! I think it could have been improved if you would have shortened it up a little bit. In today’s internet world, we only have about 15-30 seconds to grab a viewers attention, and people often only watch about 2-3 minutes of a video before they click on something else. Its not that its not all good, it is, it’s just the way of the internet. On a side note, I really liked your seventeen magazine and chalkboard clips. Had to pause those moments to make sure I caught it all and it was great! Score: 8.

Nick: Wow, that was very entertaining. I could see what was coming from the start and wasn’t sure if it would work, but it actually did! What I really like about you is that each week you do something different. Both in terms of the video and the technicality of the hooping. You get credit from me for that and I can see you are putting the work in. Just to pick up on a couple of things. Careful with the hoops you use against certain backgrounds. Sometimes I lost the white hoops against the wall in some of the settings. Also, think about the video frame a little more. With two hoops I want to be able to see both hoops in full at the top and bottom of the frame, so just step back a little when filming. Aside from that I loved the change at 2 mins, I thought that was great, it sat against a really well structured character play-out that gets noticed more and more at this stage. And oh yeah, I’m terrified of snakes so have nothing but praise for doing that at the end. Score: 8.

Bunny: Ben. That was outstanding! Held me to the end. I loved everything about this video including the storyline, your dancing, your musicality and tempo, the choreography, the transitions between multiple hoops, the locations, lip synching, the editing, art direction, your concept and quirk factor – not to mention the strip and snake! Really entertaining and well performed and produced. The only thing more I want is MORE! Score: 10.

Katie: Pop Music Week wouldn’t be complete without a song from Britney! And who better to channel the Queen of Pop’s energy and personality than you, Ben. Your hooping was awesome, as always, and your dance moves were wonderful! I loved that you went through a few of her songs and changed your style with each one. Plus, your backup hunks were perfect! I couldn’t stop laughing when they started ripping your clothes off! However, I was a little disappointed in your casual attire. When I think of Britney I think of her sexy moves and her over-the-top costumes. I mean, they don’t display her previously worn costumes in Vegas museums for nothing, right? We’re getting to the point in the competition that even little things like what you wear can make a difference. Other than that, I loved it, snake and all! Great Job. Score: 8.

Philo: Last week I said we wanted to see you to throw it down this week and you totally brought it hard. Yay! We got a few shades of Britney including the snake performance from the MTV Video Music Awards. I’d forgotten all about that! Way to keep things interesting by keeping it moving and switching it up. Great progression, thank you. My note for next week is simple video polishing, framing, not cutting your head off, not getting so close to the camera we can’t see your face and beautiful hooping, a little tighter editing here and there. You’ve got such great ideas and showcasing them just a little better will really make them shine. Great job this week!

*****

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3. Philosokitty of Bristol, England, UK. If for some reason the video isn’t viewable where you live or on your device you can try watching it on Vimeo.

Rachael: Holy handspins! Wow! Love your display of unique tricks! I did notice some “concentration face” a few times, but understandable with those moves. Great job! Score: 10.

Nick: This is such a better video than last week. For me the best you’ve done so far. First up, great song choice. It worked really well with your hooping. Speaking of which, I can see that you’ve slowed things down and introduced some new aspects to it. Its far less repetitive, not that the tricks aren’t there, just that there are less of them. It means I can take it all in better. There are new angles to the way you do certain things that I’d not seen in your other videos, such as some of the isolation work, some longer on body sequences and the hair hooping. There are quite a lot of edits so it made it a bit jumpy, and the storytelling aspect from the video isn’t really there and you’ll need to bring that later on. But to see that you’ve listened to what the judges said (well held back on the wedgies by the way!), slowing stuff down, bringing some new aspects to it too make this the best one from you yet. Score: 8

Bunny: Philosokitty! This was great! I love your opening sequences – you really hit some key points in the music. I’m also really enjoying watching you become more comfortable in front of the camera with more closeups and audience engagement. You have a gorgeous smile! I got a little lost towards the end as you started building your hoops and then returned to one hoop with footage that I felt like I had already seen. There were also a few too many costume cuts at the end. My suggestion for next week is to build your ending as though you are performing on stage. Intensify your movement narrative and save the best for last! I love your one handed helicopters! Great signature move. Great video! Score: 7.

Katie: Miss Philosokitty, I just cannot get over how cute your are! I like your allusions to Beyonce’s original music video for this song with your dance moves, your outfits, and your locations. Most of all, I like your smile. I also think you did a great job this week with incorporating more variety in your tricks and exploring more things to do with a single hoop. For example, the hair hooping trick was so much fun! We’re getting to a point in the competition where, as a judge, it’s getting harder and harder to offer tips for improvement because everyone’s videos are getting so good! Just remember to bring the energy and passion next week, just like you did here. Score: 8.5.

Philo: Last week my note was about editing and there was major improvement this week, thank you! This felt so much more deliberate and smart and on fire as a result. Next week I’m going to challenge you to take it a step further and combine that with progression and musicality. Relate your visuals to your music even more, like that slower section could’ve been a whole different scene in slow motion, something dreamy, and taken this to the next level. Be aware of where we start, because we are here too, where you are taking us, and where you want us to end up and keep that journey on target from start to finish. Perhaps more of a storyline next week will help you with that too. Great job this week!

*****

4. Dizzy Dynamic of Saint Charles, Illinois, USA. If for some reason the video isn’t viewable where you live or on your device you can try watching it on Vimeo.

Rachael: I love watching you hoop! You can really tell how much you’ve practiced. While I thought the graffiti scene were good quality, there could have been some improvements in the others. Specifically, the blank wall at 1:45 and lack of a costume. But your video skills have definitely improved. Also, I feel like your personality is starting to peak out a little bit more each week. I like that! So good! Score: 9.

Nick: This is a video full of upbeat and full on attitude! This time I thought your speed really did match the energy of the song and its rhythm. Great dancing and great energy. Of all the hip pop choices this week I thought yours hit the music the best. There’s some nice reverse step outs going on, and I really liked the cheeky little tap at 1.46. Maybe you could take some pauses, or just slow your hoop down in some of the patterns you get into. Isolations and linear moves around isolations are a perfect time for this, where you can slow and stop yourself and your hoops movement to really play with the track’s rhythms. But all good, and then a big change with a great backdrop into some great LED hooping. This was the best part of your video. It felt really pop. Really striking, awesome with that screen. Top video. Score: 8.5.

Bunny: Dizzy this was super cute! I love your vibe. Your street location had some really great colour and lighting which showcased your RAD moves perfectly. You are super sharp in transitioning and dancing and the song seemed like a perfect fit for your hoop ninja powers. The lighting at your indoor locations wasn’t quite ON and something I would pay attention to for future videos, except at your last location in front of the projection. I really loved your shadow dance and that whole sequence including the hoop throw in which was brilliant. For your final shot I would have got some overhead lighting so we could see your face and connect with you. Overall a very entertaining video! Well done Dizzy! Score: 7.

Katie: Wonderful video! Your choice of music is perfect for your hooping style! I felt this video, more than any of your other submissions, showed a real connection between you and the music you were hooping to. I loved the location with the graffiti wall and the hooping in front of the projection was absolutely genius! I also really enjoyed your dancing without a hoop, those clips were used just enough to keep your video engaging. Bring this same energy and enthusiasm next week. The competition is getting really tough! Score: 9.

Philo: Last week my mentoring note was on audience engagement and big steps up on that. It was super fun to watch. You’re an incredible hooper and when you connect with us too – Wow! My note for next week is about your editing choices and progression. Returning too often to the same location can get less exciting over time. I think it’s better to stay somewhere longer than to keep going back. It’s also next to impossible to create great energy in a big empty room. I would’ve saved it entirely for the really BIG moment later with the background video and the LED – so that could’ve made an even bigger impact. Little decisions, but we’re spinning energy with our videos and with a few little smarter decisions you’ve got all the elements to spin it even higher. Oh, just spin it with an ending next time though too – one where we can really see and appreciate and connect with you! Great job this week!

*****

5. Katherine Aurora Callahan of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. If for some reason the video isn’t viewable where you live or on your device you can try watching it on Vimeo.

Rachael: I think you do a really good job of putting a video together. Good lighting, nice mix of close ups and distance shots. Also, your smile was great and you have great energy. As we get further in the competition I think it could be really helpful to find a trick or two that is unique to help set you apart. Show us something we haven’t seen from you next week. Your hooping, however, is super clean! Score 8.5.

Nick: Katherine, its nice to see some new ideas being incorporated into your video. This shows you are adapting and trying to bring something new each week. Thanks for taking on the advice. I preferred this to last weeks video. I liked the song choice, the range of shots and the interaction you have with the camera. Also I noted that you have taken a lot of time, including multiple locations and costume changes, to bring the video out. I probably have to say there are others in the competition who are a little further down the road in terms of technical ability, so keep surprising us. Looking at the video as a whole this is a fine entry. You hoop with control and if you smile throughout it becomes hard to pick fault! Good work. Score: 7.5.

Bunny: Katherine this is such a feel good video! Thank you! As always your performance is seamless. You bring such a relaxed “realness” to hooping with a super colourful edge that I really like. I also really enjoyed how you told a personal story with the inclusion of your loves! The only thing I would work on more is your timing. I felt it was a little slow in parts – and your facial expressions – your connection with your audience seemed to drop off a little at the end. I also feel you have a broader range of expression to explore. Overall, super upbeat and gorgeous as ever. Thank you! Score: 8.

Katie: I wasn’t familiar with this song before your video, but it’s catchy! I can see that it’s a lot of fun to hoop to! I loved that you gave us a little peak into your life outside of hooping with your adorable dogs and hubby. As always, you had a smile on your face the entire video, and your charisma was undeniable, however I felt this wasn’t your strongest submission. Perhaps I was expecting more of a theme to come through, like it has in the past with makeup and costuming and that wasn’t really applicable with the song. You also used a clip in the beginning that I would have cut out – the one with the bike helmets crossing into the shot. However small, things like that can start to be make it or break it at this point in the competition. That aside, I always look forward to your videos and I hope to see what you come up with next week! Score: 8.

Philo: Katherine – I tell people it’s all about connecting and few things demonstrate that as well as this did. When we get to see your loves, and see you love your loves, it’s so intimate and real and so lovely that I think we all feel like we got to know the real you more, and loved you all the more for letting us in. Last week my note was on musicality. There was improvement, and there can still be more. This week my note is about letting go. What would happen if you lose the constantly pleasant facial expression? Now that we’ve seen how glorious your big smile is with your loves, I’d personally prefer more of that – more real live emotion. Let your shoulds go. Shake yourself loose. Let your mind, your body, and your hoop dance go and be free. Spend half an hour just dancing without a hoop and really feel the music before you pick it up, and when you do – let go. It might just be the key to unlocking that next level of magic to keep you in this. Excellent job this week!

*****

6. Courtney Fagras of Bellingham, Washington, USA. If for some reason the video isn’t viewable where you live or on your device you can try watching it on Vimeo.

Rachael: Wow! Super entertaining! I see you definitely brought out that funky personality. What I would really like to see from you is a little less cuts with some longer flow sessions in there though too. I really liked that spin-kick thing you do. I’m definitely going to be trying that myself. Score: 7.5.

Nick: Loving this. So much effort in it too. Brimming with character and creativity, I’m loving the pop diva/crazy character running through it. Much better than last week and the music really works this time! The location is a perfect setting for your character play and the edits are really tight. Its the first time I’ve said this in the competition: that’s some innovative use of costuming, with some interesting poi/rope dart crossover with your hoop and shirt. There are one or two moments it got untidy, but actually that might not be fair because it seemed to hit with your character well. Good change this week and sticking with just the one hoop. You’ve got to keep it versatile and you are doing that. Footwork and movement is top notch as always. A high standard this week, definitely a contender for this competition! Score: 9.

Bunny: Courtney! WOW! Talk about high energy in motion. This was such a powerful story of release, freedom and expression. You nailed some very lovely sequences. The location is divine and had some magical light going on that framed you perfectly. Nice art direction and colour palette! I LOVE that you find the rainbow in the end! The only thing I would be mindful of is editing between differently lit locations. I know its super hard with outdoor locations, and sometimes it means cutting shots you really want to keep despite the fact that they don’t quite match. But, lady – you moved me! This was really powerful and beautiful. Thank you. Score: 9.

Katie: Courtney, you have a very distinct hoop style that I believe will serve you well in this competition. Your flow is dramatic, eccentric, theatrical and very expressive and your choice of song was a great compliment to your style. I really enjoyed your exploration of throwing your hoop on the ground and playing with the bounce-back, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do that quite like this before. I also was enthralled with your shirt hooping. I may be borrowing some of those moves in the future! Continue to bring your vivacity and enthusiasm. Score: 8.

Philo: I wanted you to reel everybody in this week with something we all could connect with and all I have to say is wow – a hoop star is born! This is so powerful, so raw, so intimate, so funny, so inspiring – it’s still the kind of art we’ve come to expect from you Courtney, but it’s the kind that reels us in too. Bravo! My note for next week is about relating to the actual music more. While you captured the swinging from the chandelier feeling brilliantly, if the key points of the song were matched with your higher speed flow and drama, I think it could’ve been even more powerful – and it was powerful indeed. Fantastic job this week!

*****

7. Fay Ferrihsoon of Puebla, Mexico. If for some reason the video isn’t viewable where you live or on your device you can try watching it on Vimeo.

Rachael: The video quality this week was majorly improved! Glad you fixed your autofocus issues. Thank you! It did take awhile before we saw any hooping. I would try to grab attention right from the beginning. Although once you got going, you just kept going like the energizer bunny! I believe you dropped your hoop a couple times. I know its all part of the learning process, but for a competition like this I would have edited those parts out. But overall, I think this video is the most improved one from last week. And I still REALLY like that cartwheel kick. Score: 7.

Nick: After last week I had no idea what to expect from you for Pop Week. But clearly the videography skills have improved. A clearer picture and the editing level has gone up too. You’ve made some really good changes there. It is still quite long, although Jacko is such a great idea for Pop Week and you kept that going throughout. In the future keep the character running, just make it shorter. Maybe think about at what point you could cut some of the longer single shots. Anyway, enough of the technicalities, you are great. Your videos make me smile and your personality comes through each time. And apparently you stop traffic and hoop. Plus there are some great combos, particularly some of the transitions in from throws, and again – excellent contact rolls. The isolation work continues to be innovative. So much more polished, little shorter next time, but overall excellent. Score: 8.5.

Bunny: Fay! Thanks for inviting us into your world. It’s so very colorful and full of humour. Your opening shots, while a little long, are vibrant. Then, hold on world! Fay needs to hoop! STOP the traffic. I love all your locations – they are really colourful and well lit. You’ve really stepped up your production quality and your performance sequences this week. What was that cartwheel into hoop kick?! Also, love your sequence from 2.22. Go Fay! Next week I would love to see even longer edits of your performance sequences. Well done! Score: 8.

Katie: Fay, brownie points to you for picking my absolute favorite pop star of all time! I thought you did a wonderful job of sprinkling some iconic MJ moves in with your hoop choreography. Also, there were zero distracting editing mistakes and that made for a much more cohesive and polished hoop video. My one criticism this week is that it was just a little long. I found myself about the four minute mark checking to see how much video I had left. I would suggest with a lengthy song to find a good spot to chop it down a little and then edit your video accordingly. Other than that, I thought this was your best video so far! Score: 7.

Philo: My note for last week was on raising your video production value, simply so we could see you and enjoy your hooper better. You did that this week and it really paid off. Thank you! I loved seeing more of where you live and I’m sure everybody else did too. My note for next week is on editing. Within your six minute video is a really great video that is about 3.5 minutes long. Next week, choose a shorter song and edit your video down so all the moments are great. You made a big step up this week Fay. Nice work!

*****

8. Crystal Smith of Jupiter, Florida, USA. If for some reason the video isn’t viewable where you live or on your device you can try watching it on Vimeo.

Rachael: I love that you addressed this issue. Hooping is healing in so many ways. And you always do such a good job with your production and making sure the video comes out with good quality. And we saw some body hooping this week which is always a plus! But as we get further in the competition, everyones video skills are getting better so you might need to stand out a little more than you did here with your hooping too. I want to see you get down with your bad self! Overall, very good! Score: 8.

Nick: You are a really clean hooper, one of the best in the competition. Of the style and trick base you approach with, it’s all executed with super clean planes and at a controlled speed. Combining with your body movement which is very fluid and holds a really strong pose. It all links together well. Each week you are delivering very well made videos, excellent locations, shots and editing. Its very polished, both hooping and video. I would say this week at times I found it a little bit cheesy, just a bit much for my slightly cynical British palette. I’d love to see something more funked up or rawer next time. For the theme its not my favourite hoop video, but from an objective point of view the execution is good, I just found it a bit OTT. The second half was the strongest and your style reacted to the music and brought the video a crescendo at the end. That seemed well intentioned and well executed. Nice work again, just a little more rawness next time please. Score: 7.5.

Bunny: Crystal, this is a beautifully shot video. Your transition from black and white to colour told a story in itself. The framing was beautiful, the lighting was great – it really showcased your beauty. The message was powerful and strong! I think you really hit why we all love to hoop so much – it makes us feel beautiful. My favourite sequence was at 1.08 – it really drew me into your personal space with so much freedom, intimacy and flow. The spell was broken for me from the go-pro footage onwards. It felt like your narrative shifted from a powerful emotional story told through movement and dance to a stop and watch trick display which has a whole different vibe. Be careful of breaking the atmosphere that you set up. You have the power to create a powerful and emotional response from your audience which I feel has less to do with your tricks, and more to do with your dance – which is mesmerising. Thank you! Score: 7.

Katie: Spectacular video this week! You quite eloquently illustrated the very real power of hooping that has touched many people’s lives and I’m sure many hoopers can relate to. Your storyline was simple and succinct, yet extremely powerful. Your sophisticated editing definitely helped. I loved the way your video took on more and and more color as you found more and more confidence inside your hoop. I also thought the choice of a yellow hoop and matching sundress was subtle and smart – yellow is a very uplifting color that represents happiness, hope and fun. Crystal, I think you hit the nail on the head this week and I can’t wait to see what you create next! Score: 10.

Philo: Last week my note was to give us a solid ending to your story and you did that here beautifully. Thank you! Great job this week spinning up a video with a story to tell that started and ended strong. My note for you for next week is simple – surprise us. For the past two weeks you’ve spun truly beautiful tales we’ve all enjoyed, but I’m a little concerned you might be playing it just a little too safe if you want to stay in the mix until the end. Again, great job this week!

*****

9. Sarah Schireman of Seattle, Washington, USA. If for some reason the video isn’t viewable where you live or on your device you can try watching it on Vimeo.

Rachael: So good! The camera could have been focused against the brick wall a little bit better, but it wasn’t a huge deal. I like how all of your little “extras” in there didn’t take too much time away from actual hooping. And you really pulled the Thrift Shop video theme into it. Very nice. Score: 9.5.

Nick: Yes! Really good. One of my favourite videos this week. Much better. I watched last week’s back again and then realised that the music works so much better for you with this kind of track. Lots of bouncy beats and rhythms to play with here. It seemed more controlled than previous videos and I loved the cuts in and out of the thrift shop. I could see more of the tricks you execute too because you have better control, some really interesting twists and folds using the mini hoops. One little point though, please try to film in landscape not portrait as we lost the frame a little. And even if you do all your filming and make that mistake there are still software solutions to that problem. Away from that aspect of the video its wicked. Great energy, setting and a real hit for pop week. Really like this! Score: 9.

Bunny: Hi Sarah! WOW, this was a super cute and well shot video that had a lot of quirk to it. Your hoop style is super sass and your backup crew added charm and character. I found the story a little limited to your dance, which I loved (catch and spin at 1.44 was killer), but at this stage in the game concepts are powerful. I would have loved to see you develop the storyline further. At times it felt a little repetitive and more about tricks than telling a story. Having said that, I really enjoyed watching you. You are a powerful hoop dancer. Next week I would love to see you flesh out your narrative more too. Thank you! Score: 7.

Katie: Sarah, this is my favorite video from you yet! I loved your costumes. Props to you for pulling off such amazing hoopin’ in that big ass coat too. I know that couldn’t have been easy. You not only chose your locations accordingly, but you did a wonderful job interacting with your surroundings: running your hoops through the racks of clothes, sitting on the tricycle, hooping amongst the dingy couches. Most of all, you seemed to be enjoying yourself. This is the part of the competition where it can be frustrating because you have to keep outdoing yourself each week and that gets harder and harder to do. When all else fails, do exactly what you did – have fun! There were just a couple of shots in front of the brick wall that I wished were a little closer, but that is a minor critique. All in all, this was one of my favorite videos from this week! Score: 9.5.

Philo: My notes on speed changes and audience engagement have seen big steps taken up in both, thank you! There was a lot to love in your submission this week. I think I actually shopped in that Seattle thrift store when I lived there. LOL. My note for next week is about progression. What if you started in the thrift shop, hooped all over everything, tried on LOTS of different outfits, ultimately scored a cool outfit of Grandpa’s clothes, then rocked some killer hoop dance in it outside with the store as your backdrop. With things as tight as they are now little things like context and progression might be the thing that spin your super personality and sweet moves up another notch. Take us on a movement journey and we’ll follow you everywhere. Great job this week!

*****

10. Tea Bowie-Ford of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. If for some reason the video isn’t viewable where you live or on your device you can try watching it on Vimeo.

Rachael: Total commitment – doing this when its rainy and slippery! I think my favorite thing is that you really have some tricks in here that we don’t see a lot of (if at all). One thing that has a little bit of room for improvement would just be polishing up certain skills. Being able to keep your arms and legs straight and the hoop on a flatter plane can definitely help the overall presentation, but nice moves and great personality as usual! Score: 7.5.

Nick: I had no idea Chumbawamba made it outside of Europe. Not that they made it much in the UK either. Just this instantly recognisable pop hit in the 1990s. Overall this is a good video, you have a range of solid hoop tricks and a style akin to circus hoopers. For that you stand out in this competition as there aren’t others with that style left in. The theme is great and you tell the story of getting knocked down and up throughout, good points to stick to that. I do slightly worry for you as the competition has really stepped up this week and at times I felt you needed to bring a bit more wow to what you are doing. Try to avoid repetition in the patterns and try to hold the interaction with the camera. Away from that criticism I really enjoyed the hair hooping, giving it a good head bang with the hoop and you are the first stack hoops this year, so points for originality go to you there. Good luck for the vote, thanks for a solid video. Score: 7.

Bunny: I love seeing more of your flow this week! You really rock it with your Roller Derby dudettes. Your costume choices are excellent, moving between your classic burly babe to derby diva. I love how you play out this duality of cute femme and fierce vixen in your performance. Your closeups and audience connection are stellar. You tell a really great story of courage, determination, versatility and play. It’s like your tricks and story hold the perfect balance as neither outshine each other – they both exist in harmony. Thank you! The only thing I would polish is the sequence of multiple hoop moves and perhaps more visibility of how you get your additional hoops. Well done! Great video. Score: 9.

Katie: Wonderful video this week! Your costumes are always so perfect and I look forward to seeing what you’re going to wear each week. I also commend you for making the most of some rainy weather. I actually think it made your video really interesting with everything looking shiny and reflective. There were a few tricks you did that I felt looked a little awkward, but other than that your story was great and entertaining as always. Score: 8.

Philo: Last week my note was to see some longer flow sequences and you brought them this week, even in the rain and while being roughed up by a roller derby team! Nicely done Tea, thank you. My note for you for next week is about progression. While I loved everything about this video, I really did, I was disturbed by what was happening with your mouth for awhile, only to see later it was the mouth guard. The team kept rolling at you, but it could have been clearer why and what was happening. You’ve got all the elements of a total hit on your hands and it was super fun, and with a little more attention to story progression with a solid start, middle and ending, this would be total gold. Great job this week!

*****

There you have it, your Hooping Idol 5 contestants and their Pop Music Week submissions. Our judges have submitted their scores that comprise 40% of our final tally. With 40 points possible the total scores from our judges for Pop Music Week are:

Sarah Schireman: 35
Lilly Hoopz: 34.5
Benjamin Berry: 34
Courtney Fagras: 33.5
Dizzy Dynamic: 33.5
Philosokitty: 33.5
Crystal Smith: 32.5
Katherine Aurora Callahan: 32
Tea Bowie-Ford: 31.5
Fay Ferrihsoon: 30.5

This is, however, still anybody’s game and the remaining 60% of the vote comes from you, our viewers. The time has come to cast your ballot. Vote for the contestant you want to see continue on in the competition, and please please please – keep it to only one ballot per person. Thank you!

If you get a message saying you’ve already voted and you haven’t – or if the voting ballot should fail to appear, please close your web browser entirely, relaunch it, and try again in a few minutes. Thanks.

Cast your vote for one of our finalists below.

[yop_poll id=”4″]

UPDATE: Here’s the results: THE POP MUSIC WEEK RESULTS SHOW.

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