Hooping Idol 5: It’s Our Season Finale!

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Welcome to the season finale of Hooping Idol 5! It’s our sixth exciting week in our quest to find the planet’s next great hooper star and the stakes have never been higher. Our three remaining finalists have all spun up something amazing for you and your votes and it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for – the Hooping Idol 5 Season Finale!

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 we 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 up came Disney Week and 5 more were sent home. After that we had a great time with Pop Music Week and thanks to a tie only 2 more were eliminated. Then came Science Fiction Week which resulted in 3 more contenders were eliminated, followed by Performance Week and 2 more were eliminated.

Our final three had one last video to make and their Finale Week entry was entirely up to them. After all, if they’re going for the title and a shot at winning our Ultimate Hooping Idol 5 Prize Package, they should be doing so at this point entirely on their own inspiration. There was no theme for this week, nothing to guide them or restrain them. We couldn’t be more proud of all of three our contestants and wish each of them the best of luck.

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Seated at the judge’s table throughout season five have been 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’ve been sharing their thoughts and advice all season long when it comes to just what our Hooping Idol 5 contestants are up to.

idols And joining us at the judge’s table for the Season Finale are three incredible ladies who know exactly what it takes to win Hooping Idol, because all three of them did it themselves. Let’s give a great big welcome back to the winner of Hooping Idol 2: Hannah Carter of Green Fairy Hoops from Bristol, England, UK, the winner of Hooping Idol 3: Maryève Gaudreau of Hula Hoop Quebec from Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, and
the winner of Hooping Idol 4: Esmeralda Garcia of Esmeralda Garcia Performance from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. We’re so excited to have them here sharing their thoughts on our season five finale as well!

philo This season our contestants also received 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.

There were no constraints or requirements for Finale Week, giving our finalists free reign to spin it up just as they wished. After all, with a prize package like that on the line we didn’t want anything standing in their way. So, is everybody ready? Here we go for one last round! We proudly present our final three contenders, presented in an order that was randomly drawn out of a hat.

*****

1. 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: Dizzy- Oh my gosh! This video was unbelievable! You pulled out all the stops here and you picked the perfect time to do so. When it first started I was attracted to the “True Life” theme and thought it was a really cute idea. Then the music started off slow while you were doing isos and I thought, “Something major is about to happen” and you just went hoop crazy and it was awesome!!! Your skills, speed and precision are just out of this world. I got goosebumps more than once. So glad you took the time to travel to get some good backgrounds. I think your earlier videos not being as well put together really work for you here, because this one shows your progression. Awesome job! Score: 10.

Nick: Dizzy, well done! You’ve nailed a lovely finale video. Now its just those nervy days of having to wait to see how you did. All the way through this competition you’ve carried lots of energy and brought high octane hoop videos to us. Its been a huge effort and I hope you are proud of all the work you’ve put in. You should be. I have to say I love that behind the back / reverse roll you do. This week you seem to have added a new twist to it getting the head in and out there. Love it. Its a great finale video, the shots and the locations were great. The start was really smooth building up with the music and then it gets going, as do you! Great energy and groove, with some super background settings for the LEDs. Its all going to come down to the public vote, as its so close between you all. Thanks so much for being here and taking part. Enjoy a restful week! Score: 9.

Bunny: Dizzy! The sound of Nina Simone on vinyl is like medicine for this digitally aged soul. BOOM! Thank you. I’ve really enjoyed watching your story with the hoop unfold throughout this season. Your passion and high energy is electric. Last week I mentioned the tempo of your hooping meeting the music which you nailed this week. The kick at 1.45 – hello! With every performance you have created there is always one stand out mega move and that’s IT here. I did find the production quality a little wanting in this video. Your camera didn’t seem to handle the low light so well. Light is such a delicate balance that experimenting outside of stable high light always comes with a risk, but you handle the risks well. Your silhouette against the blue light ROKD! Super cool shapes!! I think this is really an area that you can take to the next level – matching your performance light with your hoop light. Dizzy thank you SO much for all your gorgeous spinning vortex hooping. Shine your light across the planet! Thank you! Score: 8.

Katie: Dizzy – First off let me just say how much I have enjoyed watching your videos throughout this entire competition. Your hooping style is precise, fluid, and (aptly so) a little dizzying at times! Yet it is also so beautiful. You have an awareness of your movements and motions that is professional, yet passionate. Plus, you have shown us in this competition that you are not only an immensely talented hooper, but also a beautiful soul who uses her talent to give back and put a smile on everyone’s face. I enjoyed the concept of this video. I suppose if hooping is what you’re addicted to, then consider all of us enablers! You had some beautiful locations and editing, switching from the green hoop to the LED hoop was perfectly timed with the music. And as always, your hooping is always spectacular to watch. I congratulate you on making it this far in the competition and can’t wait to see where hooping will take you! Score: 10.

Hannah: A bit of a slow start, but I think that actually worked really well because it just kept getting more and more exciting as I watched. You match the speed of the music perfectly and the colours and locations were so rainbow and shiny! The way you move is great and I really get the feeling you were lost in the music and enjoying yourself so much, yet still performing for us. You pulled off unusual and tricky combos at super speed too. Fantastic! Score: 10.

Maryeve: I liked watching you evolve during Hooping Idol. You have excellent technique, your tricks are clean and you do smooth transitions between them. You have a beautiful energy. At the beginning of this video, I really liked the story you established and it’s sad that you did not create a conclusion in the end. However, it’s a good video, nice editing, with a great location choices (very nice city shot!). Be careful though, sometimes your feet are cut from the frame. During the competition I had the impression that you did not always use the music. That is less obvious in this video. I like that you chose to do something with the slow part that made a nice contrast with your fast style. I think going slow allows you more eye contact too, to take time to feel the music and express yourself. Score 8.

Esmeralda: Primero que nada: ¡Wow! que estilo y que energía tienes para jugar! Es un frenesí tremendo, acompañado de una excelente gama de trucos. Cuando veía el inicio de tu video (cada video lo ví 2 veces) me encantó verte jugar un poco más despacio, porque pude observar otro matíz en tu juego y hacia allá va mi recomendación para tí que es es el que te permitas mostrar más esa otra parte de tí, una más cadenciosa y más contínua, sobre todo si harás visuales, ya que ya la rapidez le quita ilusión. En cuanto al video, buena historia, excelentes locaciones pero el final lo sentí un poco flojo. Te deseo el mejor de los éxitos!! Calificación: 9.

Philo: Dizzy, I love that you spun up your best video to date for Finale Week, just as you should have! I’m super proud of you for making it here and my only note for you this week is I would have moved on just as soon as the music picked up, but other than that, from one hoop addict to another, I’m so glad to see you high on hooping! Here’s to the joy of hooping, the joy of watching you rock some killer moves, the joy of LED hooping scenes we could see well this time, and the joy of doing it all while showing off Chicago. Applause!

*****

2. 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: Crystal- So many hoopers can relate to this video. We all know the feeling of being at work or school when we really just want to be hooping. I liked this video because you stepped back from the fancy video editing and just focused on the hoop. I think the video had a calm, relaxing vibe to it, and you looked really happy throughout. But I was kind of hoping to see a collection of your best moves in this final video. I’m guessing you didn’t want to get repetitive with the same skills, but for the finale I would have tried to include some of your more difficult things (I know you have them because I’ve seen them). But aside from that, I have really enjoyed watching you grow. I’m still stuck on you being able to learn those foot isos in less than a weeks time and then get up and perform it in front of hoopers! That alone is HUGE! Finally, I like seeing your baby in there from time to time. Trying to find time to even hoop with a baby is a challenge itself, but you show people that we really can have it all! Looking forward to watching you in the future. Score: 8.5.

Nick: Crystal, I want to live where you live! Each week I see sunshine, clear blue water and palms. Jealous! You’ve gone out each week and made the most of that. I think you have consistently been at the top or near the top in terms of the effort you’ve put in each week. You’ve got some finely edited videos demonstrating your smooth, clean hoop style with one and two hoops each week. This week is all about getting that last little push to get you over the finishing line. The only small criticism this week is that it felt a tiny bit tired, like you were just pushing through to the finish. But that’s cool, I remember what the last week felt like when I did this. And actually, it doesn’t really take too much polish off the video. Lots of cool twin moves, some nice clean work with one hoop, and great music, shots and edits to stick with it. Thanks for putting in the effort each week, its been great watching you develop! Now go and relax. Score: 9.

Bunny: Crystal, once again you take us to the depths of why we love to hoop – it brings us the freedom and joy that just doesn’t come with a 9-5 desk job. You really take it home with a relaxed ease that points to an affinity with your hoop journey. I was a little confused why your sound dropped out around the 1.24 mark – was it intentional? I’m not sure. It left me wondering and distracted. The energy towards the end is a little flat and made me feel distanced from you at times. But you pulled me right back with the second hoop throw in and your gorgeous ballet moves. Over the season I can see you’ve really been moving toward letting go in the hoop. Your dance is obviously very powerful. I am looking forward to seeing you get wild girl. Thank you so much for your all your sweet hearted videos! Score: 8.

Katie: Crystal, week after week, you’ve not only shown us your remarkable hoop talent, but you’ve also entertained us with well-made videos, touching and engaging storylines, and creative and innovative concepts. But best of all, you’ve kept that beautiful smile on your face this whole competition! It’s quite clear watching you throughout the past few weeks that you are truly a wellspring of positive energy and inspiration to others. Is there anything more uplifting than watching someone do what they are so passionate about? And speaking of passion, I thought the message of your video this week was very stirring and so true. What possible purpose could life hold for any of us other than the pursuit of what makes us ultimately happy? Love and happiness is what it’s all about and your finale video did a great job of illustrating this. Wonderful job this week and look forward to all the future projects your passion yields. Score: 10.

Hannah: I’m a big Alan Watts fan, the concept for this video was really lovely. I feel all warm and fuzzy after watching it! Your ability to tell a story in this video (and the others) is incredible too. I think your hooping is quite careful, it would be great to see you really let go and change tempo a bit more. That said, your style really suits you, it fits well with the music and is beautiful to watch. Great job! Score: 10.

Maryeve: I liked the message of your video. It reminded me of your video The Healing Power of Hooping. You’ve brought great sensitivity to the competition this year. Small note: It is a bit long before you hoop and I would have liked to see more intensity or passion when you began hooping. And Oops! We can see the reflection of the camera in the door at 0,57. In this video, you dance very well, you are very gracious (even with the small loss of balance). You dance very well in the fountain, but I wonder why you did not do it with your hoop? You have a beautiful smile and you seem to have fun. You have beautiful moments too. I especially liked your hooping in the traffic jam. It looked like time had stopped. Score: 8.

Esmeralda: ¡Amo tu juego de dobles y tu aíslamiento con parado de cabeza! dicho esto, que manera de jugar tan limpia tienes; es muy rico verte jugar y algo que haría aún mejor tu juego es agregarle más corporalidad, jugar con todo el cuerpo. Corrí a practicar un truco que me encantó, al ver tu video! en el cual planteaste claramente tu historia, que es muy buena, no nos queda duda de lo que quieres proyectar, tu energía, el juego y tu hijo. Lo único que me faltó es ver más de ti en este video final, me pareció cortito y creo que pudiste explotarlo más. Que lindo es ver cómo integras a tu hijo en todo, mis respetos y el mejor de los éxitos. Calificación: 9.

Philo: Crystal, you’ve consistently spun up some of the best submissions every week on Hooping Idol 5, and for that alone you truly deserve to be here in the finale. From your beautiful Disney Week mermaid hooping to your Science Fiction time travel, it was always clear that you knew exactly what you were doing and you had no problem delivering it. This week, however, your progression and vision later on may not be as strong as the beginning, but it doesn’t stop this from being super enjoyable with a strong message I can totally relate to. Very nicely done!

*****

3. 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: Courtney- I’ve enjoyed watching you over the past few weeks and seeing all the funky moves you can come up with. There’s been a few things I’ve seen you do that I really want to incorporate into my own hooping. I’ve watched your videos get stronger each week and the tricks I saw you do with your fire hoop were probably the best I’ve ever seen. But I like watching you with 3 hoops more than anything. The stuff you do is always so unique, I would love watching you during one of your practice sessions and see what happens. I’m not as much of a fan of the non hooping scenes. Its probably hard to tell a story through a hooping video and not have those scenes, but they take too much time away from your actual hooping for me. It was cute that your brought Ben back into it as a guest, but I would have rather seen you getting down. That said, your video presentation was great! It was a nice changeup of scenery and I like how your personality really shined this week. Score: 8.

Nick: Amazing last video! Just fantastic. In my mind you’ve peaked just at the right time. What’s the unicorn thing this year?!?! Although it was great to see Benjamin back in there! Throughout the competition you’ve been one of the 2-3 most innovative hoopers, both trickery with the hoops and with the storytelling. This week I’ve no idea quite where your mind has taken us, but its just awesome. I love that you’ve devoted a little bit of time to each of the different techniques you have throughout this video, with a number of hoops, sizes and styles. That’s a really great touch and a good way to summarise your skills! You’ve got some really cool stuff going on, and I love the rope dart crossover and the mushroom hooping with three hoops was top drawer. There’s not really a criticism in it this week as I think you’ve left your best video until last. Really good luck with the vote and thanks for keeping me entertained over the last month and a half! Score: 10.

Bunny: Courtney, this video WINS the competition in my mind. You just brought it in every department – great concept, gorgeous art direction, clean lighting, RAD costumes, awesome song, smooth and successful experimental hoop moves, lyrical and poetic body movement, character driven expression – and an all round magical and kooky energy. I love that you became a Shroomper! Everything in the Shroom sequence was amazing and just got better as you discovered and captured the inter-dimensional Rainbow Humanoid Unicorn! Over the season you have simply gone from strength to strength in all areas of performance and video production. Your creativity is a total stand out. Thank you so much for all your great videos! I wish you the very best for future hooper adventures! Score: 10.

Katie: Wow, Courtney, I think this is your best video yet! You’ve always stood out to me in this competition with your distinctive and dramatic hooping style. You don’t just flow with a hoop, you dance, you act, and you engage, all of which is absolutely captivating. I believe you’ve always done this, but in the beginning there were some editing mistakes that detracted from what was going on between you and your hoops. Now that your editing skills are honed to near perfection too, we can all sit back and watch in awe at the amazing things you do with a hoop! I think based on what I’ve seen from you over the past few weeks, that your future is certainly on stage. Your performances are truly enigmatic! As for this video specifically, the cinematography in the beginning was just gorgeous! I also loved when you turned into the mushroom! As always, your costumes were perfect and your characters well-played. I especially enjoyed the reappearance of the infamous unicorn humanoid from sci-fi week. It was entertaining, exciting, and beautifully filmed and edited. Good luck and I hope to be attending one of your live hoop performances soon! Score: 10.

Hannah: Well, that was weird, haha! You are so wonderfully inventive, I don’t know how you manage to come up with so many creative ideas and I love how we have no idea what’s going to come next from you. You express yourself really well and move in a very unique way too. Very impressed! MUSHROOM! Score: 10.

Maryeve: I really enjoyed seeing all of your videos throughout this adventure. You are really creative in your tricks, artistry and the way you move. You paid nice attention to details: the locations, costumes, camera angles, accessories etc. I am happy to see all of this again in your video this week, and you still have surprises for us. I like the authenticity of your videos. In this video, you have magnificent scenes. It’s very magical and poetic. I like the jump at 0.54. And I love the mushroom part, there are really interesting moments in that. The way you move is really unique. Score: 10.

Esmeralda: Siento que no pudiste elegir una mejor música que representara lo que tú eres, The knife es tan mágico como tú. Desde que ví tu primer video, pude observar lo creativa que eres. Tu juego es único, muy creativo, propositivo y atrevido. estuve un rato pensando que recomendación darte y lo único que puedo decirte es que sigas siendo tú. Lo que único que veo es que si tu en un futuro deseas trabajar presentándote en shows (ante público general) te recomiendo el uso de vestuarios a según el personaje, y agregar a todo ese mundo de imaginación que tienes, elementos más escenicos, incluyendo una corporalidad también escénica.En cuanto al video, muy bonita idea, excelentes elementos: el baúl, el honguito, la cuerda, el unicornio! solo el final lo sentí un poco flojo. Al igual que tus otras compañeras, te deseo lo mejor de lo mejor. Calificación 9.5

Philo: Courtney, nothing but applause for spinning into the finale with your most polished video to date! You’ve done a great job this season of learning how to keep your own whimsically odd edge and artsy perspective, while making it accessible to everyone and it’s because of this that your finale week video is so fantastic. We may not understand exactly what you’re up to, but we love simply being able to witness it. A small note about hiding your face under your mushroom hat for a little too long, but easily your best work to date. This week you were in it to win it and it totally shows.

*****

There you have it, your Hooping Idol 5 contestants and their Finale Week submissions. Our judges have submitted their scores that comprise 40% of our final tally. Here are this week’s totals.

Courtney Fagras: 67.5
Dizzy Dynamic: 64
Crystal Smith: 62.5

The remaining 60% of the vote, however, comes from you, our viewers, and this is clearly still anybody’s game. The time has come to cast your ballot. Vote for the contestant you think should be the winner of Hooping Idol 5 – and please please please – keep it to only one ballot per person. Thank you!

Cast your vote for one of our finalists below.

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Your Hooping Idol 5: Finale Week ballots are only being accepted until Wednesday, May 20th at 2:00 pm PST. Stay tuned for our very special Finale Week Results Show where we will announce the winner of Hooping Idol 5. Thanks for tuning in everybody and we happy hooping one and all.

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