Hooping Idol 5: It’s Performance Week!

Performance Week 5

It’s Week 5 of our 5th exciting season of Hooping Idol and we’re down to our 5 fantastic finalists in our search for the next big hooper star. Welcome to Performance 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 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. And last week as Science Fiction Week which resulted in 3 more contenders were eliminated.

dj-noodles-1 For Performance Week on Hooping Idol 5, our five finalist will all be hooping to the same exact soundtrack and will all be sharing a single-shot unedited video of their performance. The challenge this week: perform in front of real live human beings, not just in front of a video camera. They needed to find an audience of at least ten people to perform in front of or create one of their own – and to put a little extra spin on the reality of performing professionally, our finalists were told that they were hired to perform at a big Spring Break celebration party in Miami Beach with DJ Noodles. Using his new single Burn, their performances were to be filmed from the perspective that the video camera was just another audience member, preferably one with a front row seat, so that whatever takes place can be seen by all of us just as if we were sitting there too. Our final five were given extra performance tips behind the scenes and now they’re ready to take the stage and the stakes have never been higher! At the end of Performance Week two will be leaving and three will be heading to Hooping Idol 5’s season finale!


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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The Hooping Life

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 Performance Week on Hooping Idol 5 and we proudly present our five finalists in an order that was randomly drawn out of a hat.


1. 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: Fay – I think you have some amazing wizard-like hoop skills! You have inspired me with new moves a lot over the last few weeks and I cant thank you enough for that. However, your video was not a continuous unedited performance and that was critical for the challenge this week. I hate to give you a lower score when your hooping is so good, but it would be really unfair to the other contestants to score you high when you didn’t follow the same rules. I thought the idea behind it was really cool, but you should have waited until a crowd formed and then filmed 4 continuous unedited minutes in front of your audience. But again, the hooping itself was great and you had great presence. Score: 5.

Nick: Fay, this is really tricky, because part of me thinks it’s really brave to go out and find random people and perform in front of them. The other part of me has concerns about the way you’ve presented this. The rules are pretty clear that it needed to be one unedited take. For that I had to knock some points off. From then on I’ve judged this on how you perform and present. I thought your performance skills were really fun and engaging, you have a good rapport with the audience. The tricks were great too. I would love to have seen the same, but in just one clip. Overall I commend you on being brave and putting out an alternative idea on performance week, with great hooping throughout, you just need to be clear about your performance brief though, follow the guidance and know exactly what is expected. Score: 7.5.

Bunny: Fay! As ever you shine your bright light. It was so great to see you engaging your community with your performance in the streets and parks of Mexico. Ariba! Your costume was great – very “Spring break” high vibe – and your tricks are really cool. Your flips, rolls, transitions and energy are all stellar! Because this was a one shot no editing performance challenge, I would have targeted your audience around the 2.45 minute mark since there were so many interested observers and used only that clip. While I loved seeing all the different responses to your performance in various settings, I’m afraid I have to deduct a point for missing the instruction on one un-edited shot. It’s so tight right now in the competition every little detail counts. Apart from that, I just love everything you do Fay! Ariba! Score: 9.

Katie: Fay, your energy and charisma always put a smile on my face, and obviously a lot of other peoples’ faces too! I loved the concept of taking your performance to the people, getting up close and personal and introducing hoop dance to many who may not know about it. I loved seeing the little girl’s face at 2:43. You probably just inspired the next generation of hoop dancers right there! I feel compelled to point out, however, that a stipulation this week was to submit one single-shot unedited performance, and your video is obviously edited. There were also a few angles, 1:25 for example, that focused more on the audience than you. I enjoyed seeing their reactions, but watching you hoop out of frame right there took away from your performance. But so many of your previous videos felt more like a live performance, so I know you are a true entertainer! Score: 7.

Philo: My note for you from last week was about context and progression and your performance video progressed really nicely, but not within the context of the challenge presented. Applause for being a risk taker though and we’ll see how it plays with the viewers. You’ve brought a lot to Hooping Idol 5 and I hope to see you in the finale.


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- Wow! I got goosebumps watching you in person and got them again watching the video. You captured your audience right from the start. That foot hooping isolation was perfect for you! Stll in the isolation family, but totally different than anything else I’ve seen from you. One other thing I would like to note was that you were performing in front of hoopers which is waaay scarier than performing in front of regular people because you really have to bring it! I think you did a great job. The only reason I didn’t give you a ten was because of the drops. But don’t focus on those! You did great! Score: 9.5.

Nick: Crystal, I was really pleased you got to hoop to this track. Having watched you in this series I’m pretty sure its not something you would normally hoop to. But you hit it so well. Its all the high energy I’ve been wanting to see from you. Its so hard to hit all the right parts during a performance with all those eyes on you, but you executed it really well. The only thing I would say that made this a 9 and not a 10 is just a small point around structure. The start was perfect, the twins were outstanding, maybe sometimes you could have played up to a little more with the single hoop, perhaps with a longer on body section as you dance really well on body. But I totally get that you were going with the music so its a minor detail at this stage. You could be a performer no problem my friend, great engagement with the audience and super clean planes with the hoop. A top job to a punchy, high energy tune. Score: 9.

Bunny: Crystal – just WOW! This is by far my favourite video submission from you. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone isolate with their feet before – not to mention in shoulder and head stands!! Brilliant. You really let go in this performance which paid off. I could really feel your joy and energy as did your audience – thank you for that transmission! I loved seeing you *get* your second hoop so seamlessly and you just ROKD the fast beat with your twins. Your receptivity to the shift in tempo was spot on with both single and twin hoops. I really loved those big windmills! My only suggestion (and I’m getting super picky now but I have to because the bar is so high) is that when you drop a hoop you either have to let it go instantly or pick it up with a trick that makes the audience forget the drop – like a kick-up or something that says, “I meant to do that.” The second drop where you just gave it to the look and moved on was superb. Really great submission! I would love to see this performance in a club on stage with lighting. Thank you! Score: 9.

Katie: Wonderful job! The foot hooping in the beginning was not only gorgeous, but that’s something I’ve never seen from you! Performing in front of a live audience is always a little stressful in and of itself, but you didn’t let that hinder your beautiful performance one bit! It was fluid and effortless. There were just a couple of mistakes, which of course once expects to see in an unedited video, but I’m just going to deduct a half a point for that. Had it not been for those drops it would be a 10. Your double hooping was superb and you kept that smile on your face the whole time! Excellent work. Score: 9.5.

Philo: My note for you from last week was about letting go and getting to see your wilder side a little more and it was fantastic to see your precision meet your passion, and you did in a performance no less. Applause! You’ve brought some truly memorable videos each week to Hooping Idol 5 and I hope to see you in the finale.


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 love how you can bring so much personality into everything! Plus you captured my attention right away with your hoops. I don’t think we’ve seen that move yet. In fact, there were a lot of moves that I don’t think I’ve seen. My suggestion for future performances would be to do things that you are already comfortable with, especially if you are performing for a general audience of non-hoopers. I wouldn’t necessarily try to pull off the fanciest moves during performances because chances are, they don’t know what is difficult for us and you risk messing up and fumbling. For example, you can do just a basic isolation in front of a non hooper and they might think its the coolest thing they’ve ever seen. Edited videos are a good time to bring the fancy stuff. It needed to be cleaned up a little bit, but overall your moves and creativity are amazing! Score: 8.

Nick: Courtney, What I love in this performance is how experimental you got with what you were doing. It looks like you had a good think about what would work with a piece of music that is fast paced and you found some great ways of hooping to it. I loved all the work with 2 and 3 hoops, particularly with some of the orbs and mandalas you presented. I guess occasionally they got slightly messy, but that’s to be understood given the technical difficulty. I did notice that when it got messy you stopped interacting with the audience. Try to hold that engagement throughout no matter what happens with your hoops. Away from this, there are some great tricks and moments when I had to pause and rewind, because I couldn’t work out what you were doing: it was high level trickery. Its going to be tight this week, but I reckon you’ve got a very good chance after seeing that. Score: 9.

Bunny: Courtney – this was so great. Your stage, your makeup, your audience, your choreography. Very strong opening! The globe into your on body hoop transition was amazing! I appreciate how difficult a split like that is in a loose fitting costume. Well done! You made it look effortless and your timing was great. You certainly have a Circus Hoop Diva in you. Respect! You had some really tricky multiple hoop transitions going on which feel like they could do with a little more polish, but kudos on experimenting and taking risks – that counts, and with some intense training could really take you to the next “standout” level. I would also make it a training rule never to pick up the hoop with your hands if it drops. You have so many great “tricks” that could speak to drops that they need to come into play. Thank you! This was thoroughly entertaining. You are a fantastic performer. Score: 9.

Katie: Wow, Courtney, the opening of your performance was so engaging, I was completely hooked! I loved the interaction with your hoop globe in the beginning. I also quite enjoyed how you went to progressively fewer and fewer hoops in your performance, not typical for a live performance, but I loved it! There were definitely a few moments where I felt your tricks weren’t coming together quite right, 1:09 for example, but you did a wonderful job of adapting your performance and continuing on. And despite some of the moves needing a little more finesse, I still found what you were doing fascinating and creative. For example, at 3:13, I don’t know if that was exactly how you envisioned that combo going, but it was so interesting I actually watched it three times! The bottom line is, you had some wonderfully creative moves I’ve never seen from you before! That knee hooping to wedgie at 2:50…wow, just WOW! Of course, I understand that in this competition you don’t have much time to prepare, but I feel like with a practiced routine and a little more drilling, live hoop performances could be your forte! Score: 9.5.

Philo: My note for you from last week was to fine tune and keep doing what you’re doing and I think we really saw you do your thing this week in a performance. Thanks Courtney! And thank you for being a part of Hooping Idol 5. You’re personality and passion and precision are a joy to watch and I hope to see you in the finale.


4. 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: Ben- that was hilarious watching you “break” all over that woman. I think what was really outstanding about this video was that even though it was a continuous performance you still managed to tell a story within it. And hooping with handcuffs had to be super challenging, but you always manage to do something new and it was great. I think maybe you could have pulled the handcuffs off a little sooner, but it was still neat to see you do all of that crazy multi-tech stuff with them on. And did you even mess up? If you did, it didn’t stand out. I’d give you a 10 even without the wig and pants. Score: 10.

Nick: Brilliant Benjamin, I think this is the best performance of the week. I thought the concept was really well conceived, but that isn’t what I loved most about it. It’s that you actually thought about what moves would work with your hands tied and how to execute them. You have the natural performers gene (as if the unicorn didn’t tell me that already!). There is interaction with the audience, there’s a calmness that is allowing you to present slowly and controlled; there is also natural progression with your hoops in number, that for right or wrong is the accepted model of a hoop performance. The end got slightly messy, but no problems – you kept it calm, got the cuffs off and had a final rock out with your hoop and handcuffs. Excellent work. See you in the finale. Score: 10.

Bunny: Ben ~ I do believe hooping handcuffed is a first! Congratulations! Yet again you bring a lot of humour, character and originality to your performance. I really enjoyed how you stripped the technical side of your hooping right back (Wedgie extraordinaires aside) to hone in on your signature moves and the bound impersonation. I’m left wondering what the deeper message of this piece is. I do feel that this narratorial “effect” restricted your performance a little, so I would take care of that in future. I would have loved to see you GO FOR IT a little more, but you couldn’t for the most part as you were committed to your concept, which is noteworthy and valuable. Next week I want to see you unleashed. Your choreography punctuates your performance well and you really give your audience a lot of love, which is returned generously. A high level of engagement with the work and your audience takes this submission into Turbo Town. Well done and keep it coming! Score: 9.

Katie: So usually during performance week I don’t expect to see much of a storyline come through, but you did just that! And talk about introducing something unexpected – hooping with your hands tied behind your back – LITERALLY – that was just wonderful. I’m really stunned at the risks you took this week and how well they paid off! There were a few little spots where your double hooping seemed a little impeded by the handcuffs, but you never dropped the hoops, so I’m sure no one in the audience could even tell. I thought this performance was spectacular and couldn’t have gone any better. Bravo! Score: 10.

Philo: My note for you from last week was to have fun, be happy and have a blast and you brought that to the stage this week and it was great to see. Your engagement level with viewers went up a few degrees as a result too. Yay! You’ve kept Hooping Idol 5 surprising, dynamic and entertaining while challenging your competitors to bring it. I hope to see you in the finale.


5. 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-Get it! Solid performance. You didn’t look the least bit nervous and your hooping looks just as clean and mesmerizing here as it does in an edited video. My one critique for you would be to try and match your hooping to the music a little bit better. The music slowed way down and you were still hooping really fast. Other than that it was pretty flawless. You added some new stuff that we haven’t seen from you too and you recovered well from your drop. Finally, I think it was cool that you gave back to the community for this. Score: 9.

Nick: Nice work! From the opening it was a really well structured performance. I particularly love the start, using the space, playing with your height and punctuating those opening tricks. I’m not a huge wedgie fan, but I really liked the way you presented those with great body posture and body awareness: important aspects in being a performer. The progression into two hoops and the range of twin hooping styles were really well structured also. Because you hoop at a high pace and with lots of energy I would definitely have taken a pause or two, although its a really hard track to find those pauses. Maybe you could have done so when the beat dropped out. Without this it created a slight issue around repetition. But that’s the only reasons for marking you down from a 10 to a 9. I loved the audience too, I really hope they enjoyed it. I imagine it definitely brightened up their day. Thanks for a great performance Dizzy! Score: 9.

Bunny: Dizzy – I’ve never been to Miami, but I got the vibe purely from your costume. Well done on incorporating the theme into your wardrobe! A costume really speaks with a performance and yours said – super cute! I nearly died at the end when I saw your audience. You are adorable! They must have loved YOU! As we all do. Your elongated bird wing arms on the Wedgie was a standout for me of how to add the dance to this super popular move. Nice one. You are a sensational hooper! The only thing I wanted more was a receptivity to the music tempo – you’ve got the fast beat down (and chest roll on 2.47 BOOM!), but the slower points in the music weren’t met so well. I would have loved to see you contrast your high speed mega hooping with some slower drawn out moves to match the downtempo. I actually really enjoyed your drops – they said to me you know how to let go and that is something that hooping is here to teach us. This is my favourite performance of yours all season. Thank YOU!!! Score: 9.

Katie: Dizzy- Well, Miss Dizzy, I already knew from your previous videos with the long edits what a seamless hoop style you have and this week’s performance was no exception. I have to say what really sold this video to me was the last panning shot of your audience. I really had no idea where you were performing at first and then when I saw it was a performance for what appeared to be a retirement home, I was so touched! I’m a huge proponent of giving back to the community and using hooping in any way possible to do so, and I can see that you do the same. I think you did something really special here in using the competition as an opportunity to give back and I just cannot even begin to tell you how much that warms my heart. I’m sure your audience was captivated! I would give you a 10, but I’m going to deduct just a half a point for the couple of drops that were in there. All in all, wonderful performance! Score: 9.5.

Philo: My note from last week was to really focus on production basics and this was really nice to watch thanks to your attention to the details. So great to see you not just bring it this week, but to really be able to see you while you’re doing it. Fantastic! It’s been awesome seeing you spin your hooping talents up on Hooping Idol 5 all season long and I hope to see you in the finale.


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

Benjamin Berry: 39
Crystal Smith: 37
Dizzy Dynamic: 36.5
Courtney Fagras: 35.5
Fay Ferrihsoon: 28.5

With the remaining 60% of the vote coming from you, our viewers, this is clearly still anybody’s game and the time has come to cast your ballot. Vote for the contestant you want to see continue on in the competition and make it to our season five finale – and please please please – keep it to only one ballot per person. Thank you!

Cast your vote for one of our finalists below.

[yop_poll id=”6″]

UPDATE: Hooping Idol 5: Performance Week Results Show

Your Hooping Idol 5: Performance Week ballots are only being accepted until Wednesday, May 13th at 2:00 pm PST. The two finalists coming in with the lowest scores this week will be eliminated, and the remaining three will be moving on to our season five finale and a shot at our Ultimate Hooping Idol 5 Prize Package. Stay tuned for those results and a very happy Performance Week to one and all. Happy hooping everybody!

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