Hooping Idol 5: It’s Science Fiction Week!

sciencefictionweek It’s Week 4 of our 5th exciting season of Hooping Idol and we’re down to 8 amazing finalists in our search for the next big hooper star. Welcome to Science Fiction Week on Hooping Idol 5, and with a theme like Science Fiction Week it’s pretty exciting!

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.

The term “Science Fiction” deals with imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life. As we said last week, “While their skills and creativity have allowed each of them to make it this far, it’s time for them to really develop a good story for us too. With Science Fiction Week anything is possible, and we’re expecting the unexpected. Think outside the box. Put calls out for support if you need it. Let your imaginations run wild. Spin up a hooping tale like none we’ve seen before.” They were reminded of our Ten Easy Ways to Improve Your Hooping Video, and they were reminded to bring it – because at the end of Science Fiction Week, three more of them will be going home.


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.

IdolPrize 4
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 Science Fiction Week on Hooping Idol 5 and we proudly present our amazing 8 finalists in an order that was randomly drawn out of a hat.


1. 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: Tea – I think the location you chose definitely had a scifi feel to it, but your hoops kind of blended in and weren’t that easy to see – a darker hoop might have made those your moves even more visually appealing. I think some of the camera shots could have been a little closer, but I like that you’ve continued to bring personality to your videos – and your skills are cleaner here than last week too. Also, your 3 hoop tricks were pretty great! Score: 7.

Nick: Score: I loved the theme and the message about going out and playing. Great idea. And the location in the tunnel with the quarantine costume was excellent. It felt very science fiction so I applaud you. Sometimes I felt you got slightly too far away from the camera and/or your hoops were a little tough to pick up. Particularly the yellow against the white background, that was quite hard to follow. Some really nice hooping on show though. I loved the robotic style you brought this with, incorporated into footwork, body movement and facial expression. It carried the video really well, particularly in the first section. For me this was the best video you’ve made since week 1. Thoroughly enjoyable! Score: 8.

Bunny: Tea! SUPER COOL video! Your intro was awesome. I love how playful this song was and I can tell you had a lot of fun with it. I was a little thrown around by your trick sequencing around 1.30 mark, but you pulled me right back in with your twins. The transition to LEDs was really cute too. I love your hoop videos! Great submission. Score: 8.

Katie: Wow, Tea, this is my favorite video of yours yet! Your locations were superb, your costumes were amazing, and I love the quarantine theme. It’s really difficult to come up with anything that could have been done better. If I had to say one thing, I might say that the double-speed editing, although it worked beautifully in some areas, may have been used a teensy bit too much. But back to the things I loved about this video. I loved your footwork in the beginning, so fitting for the music and very interesting to watch. I enjoyed that your hoops matched your costumes – little things like that which really make your video feel cohesive I certainly do appreciate it. Well done, Tea, can’t wait to see what you come up with next! Score: 9.5.

Philo: Last week’s note was about progression and this week you had that down. Everything was clear and built from start to finish. Yay! Thank you! My note for you for next week is a little reminder about connection. You’ve really made an amazing connection with viewers already, so don’t worry too much, but this week you did feel a little more distant. Between the amazing goggles and hazmat outfit hiding all your gorgeousness, and the later distance from the camera, we missed having a bigger serving of Tea. Even a few quick close ups tossed in will solve that. It’s a minor note, however. This was awesome! Great job this week.


2. 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- Did you really just do a dirty pizza toss with a fire hoop? That’s insane! In fact, everything you did with that fire hoop was great! It was like the fire didn’t limit you at all! I’m so glad I really got to take in your hooping this week. The only reason I didn’t give you a 10 was because I feel like your video execution has a teensy bit of room for growth, but everything else was great! Score: 9.5.

Nick: Great story, always good to have a hero and a villain with this kind of theme. Some brave fire hooping to boot: breaks, rolls and a crazy knee step out! Excellent work and you score high with me for that. You seem to have a very creative mind, which is what is needed in this competition, both in terms of your hoop style and your video making abilities. At times though I wasn’t quite sure what was going on with the story and you could have moved that on a bit quicker, because of that the hooping was a little slow to get going. Outside of that though – you again display some really cool tricks and body movement, coupled with a great playful character that endears you to the audience. Keep bringing the versatility, style and creativity and you’ll be a sure bet for the final in a few weeks. Score: 8.5.

Bunny: Courtney that was out there! I loved it and laughed a lot. I felt like I had time travelled to a time when movies were made cool through the use of props rather than special fX, which I always find a thousand times more interesting. That kickup at 3.00 minutes was stellar! With fire nonetheless. Your selection of thrill seeking moves with the flame took the edginess of your story to another level. My only suggestion is not to give it away too quickly. I would have held off on the twins until the sequence that starts at 1.13 and built suspense. Otherwise, great job! Score: 8.

Katie: Courtney, I thought with your theatrical hooping style you would really flourish this week, and you certainly did! Your storyline was clearer and more cohesive than in any of your other videos. Your dramatic hooping flow worked great for your battle scenes and I was stunned to see the moves you were doing with a fire hoop! Rolls and breaks with those wicks so dangerously close – I was on the edge of my seat! It’s really difficult for me to see anything that could be improved, just keep bringing the energy and passion each week! Score: 9.5.

Philo: My note for you last week was about relating to your music more this week and you most certainly did. Your moves and movement built and really went right along with it the whole way, it made it even more exciting to watch! Yay! I loved your attention to details too from the hoop emblem on your uniform to maintaining your sense of terror when the hoop was being destroyed. I loved it. My note for you for next week is just to fine tune your production even more. We could see the rope. Someone else could’ve been in the box when we first see it for continuity. Really minor stuff though. This was superb! Keep doing what you’re doing.


3. 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: Sarah – Wherever you filmed with was a great location! It seemed like a real action scene. While the hoop battle was pretty great, I did think the moves started to get a little repetitive. Your hooping is so clean and so good, but I’d like to see you add something a little more unique too. We’ve seen hair hooping, backbend hooping and a really crazy cartwheel kick – anything out of the ordinary is great at this point in the competition. And you looked great in your costume too! Score: 7.5.

Nick: Superb! Excellent idea and execution. It almost felt like a video game it was so sci-fi! The song, location and theme worked splendidly. You’ve really got your style controlled now. Maybe in a few earlier round it felt a little rushed, but you seem to have tidied a lot of that up. Two things quickly though. First you’ve got it in portrait again which does make a difference, especially in the night scenes as we’ve lost quite a bit of the screen. Can you look into that? Also, it probably didn’t need to be 5 minutes long. Cutting this down to 4 could have helped the video too. That said, its very science fiction, very skilful hooping and a great idea. Score: 8.

Bunny: Sarah this is very cool and my favourite so far of what you have created. I love your drop in at 0.36. The art direction and editing is very striking in this video. The battle scenes kicked A and your transition to night was smooth with great lighting. I found some of your moves toward the end a little repetitive and your energy seemed to be dropping off. I’m guessing this was a very high energy video to make and we are heading towards the end of the season, so my suggestion from here on is to slow it down and soak it up. All in all, this was a powerful submission. Well done! Score: 7.

Katie: Sarah, this video was absolutely amazing! It was like watching a mini movie! Of all the vampire characters I’ve seen, I’ve never seen an ass-kicking hooping vampire before and you completely epitomized the roll! Your costume was perfect, and your slow-motion edits really added a lot. I thought your fight scenes were very professionally choreographed, I know that takes just as much planning as a dance, and your backup hoopers played their roles wonderfully too. I really enjoyed the edit at 1:25, that was very well executed. Your night shots were also well done, dark enough to get the mood but light enough I could still see your hooping very clearly. Lastly, once again you did a great job with your body language and hoop style matching your videos theme. You definitely kicked ass in more ways than one this week! Score: 10.

Philo: My note from last week was about progression and you spun up a solid storyline from start to finish. Thank you! And I totally believe werewolves could come after you at Freeway Park late at night too. Loved the shot of you looking down on them and then jumping in. Chills! Great stuff this week. My note for you for next week is simply about production. When you’re camera is in focus and we can really see you it’s so powerful. You’re such a great hooper. And when it’s not it can cause a little disengagement in your audience. Thank you for lighting your LED hooping so we could really see you too – so important! Great job this week!


4. 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: Oh you did so good this week with your hoop skills! You do some really neat stuff that I haven’t really seen. My biggest critique was that you didn’t really have a storyline. Personally, I would rather watch good hooping over a good story, but for this project a good storyline really helps. Hopefully you still have some awesome tricks up your sleeve for next week too! I love seeing what you come up with. Score: 8.

Nick: This week Fay I love that you got on with the hooping a lot quicker and that the video is shorter. I like the innovation you have with the hoop. I say it every week, but really top level contact rolls and a general playfulness with your hoops that helps you stand out. This week lots of people really stepped up their storytelling narrative though. I found it a little hard to see how your video was science fiction. A change of location or just being a little more engaged with the camera (particularly in the first half) would have helped. I enjoy the energy you bring each week though. Clearly you have a huge bag of tricks and techniques and I always find you entertaining to watch. Score: 7.

Bunny: I just love this. It had so much energy and creative expression. You had me convinced from beginning to end that you had just landed from another planet! I’m not quite sure what that move was around 1.23, but it definitely said: Alien! I enjoyed watching you move from multiple hoops back to one. It doesn’t always work, but you did it! Everything was ON this week- your tricks, camera work, lighting, movement. You told a story of freedom of expression and pure hoop energy without any pretence. Your rock out around 1.45 was so fun and your final shot was just pure sweetness. I have no criticisms of this video. Score: 10.

Katie: Wow, Fay, every week I see some new moves from you and every week I am more and more amazed. I believe this video, more than any of your others, really showcases what a talented hooper you are. Your costume was so cool and I loved when you hooped on your big furry head! I said last week was my favorite video from you yet, but now I have a new favorite! With that being said, when I compare your video to the other submissions this week, I don’t see as clear a storyline developing in yours as I do in others. Other than that, your locations were gorgeous and it was all around an excellent video. You’re getting better and better each week and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next! Score: 9.

Philo: My note for you last week was about editing and you made major improvement this week. Sure, there’s more you can do to make this cleaner and more seamless, but in terms of making smart content decisions and really only sharing “the good stuff” – this certainly did that and it made it a real joy to watch. I have two notes for you for next week though. 1) You’re such a joy to watch don’t allow yourself to be too hidden by your costume. When we could see your smile it was amazing and left me wishing we could see more. 2) Next week think about context and progression too. If you gave viewers a little more context about who you were and what was happening, they would have been cheering for you even more. Great job this week!


5. 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: Lilly – Really glad someone chose Star Wars. The battle scene was perfect. You brought such great personality, an awesome costume and super clean hooping. But as we get further into the competition, everyone’s videos are getting better and their tricks are getting really unique, and some are really difficult. If we haven’t seen it yet, we’d like to. Maybe balancing, foot hooping, anything to set your hooping apart from the others. Score: 9.

Nick: Hi Lilly, May the 4th be with you! Tis the perfect week for putting out a Star Wars themed video. I loved that opening sequence, fighting another hoop jedi! You were a very convincing Darth Maul, which was really well communicated through your hooping and expressions. I did feel a little like the middle section lost its way a bit. I think it was down to the music, which didn’t quite reflect your hoop style. Its a really tough track to hoop to and I commend you on doing it, just careful you don’t lose the rhythm in what you are doing. On the plus side I think this type of video will resonate with lots of people. Star Wars is such a universal theme that people can identify with and I think we’ll be seeing you again next week. Score: 7.5.

Bunny: Lilly, this was fantastic. Your engagement with your opponent in battle so sweetly transformed into some lovely partner movements. And then, you just went on ahead and owned IT! Your art direction was super solid this week – beautiful colours, lighting and shots. I really loved your music which you matched well with your movement and your costume. Nice ninja powers on the staff too! WOW! Amazing. My only suggestion is about repetitive movements toward the end. Keep on mixing it up! Other than that – brilliant! Score: 8.

Katie: Wow, Lilly, your makeup is absolutely spectacular! It really added a lot to your video. Your fight scenes were very well choreographed and I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but your lighting was perfect. There was a shadow falling across the steps in exactly the middle and illustrated the dark side and light side quite fabulously! Although you did a great job embodying your character, I found myself really missing your beautiful smile and bouncy, happy hoop style too. However, I know that’s a really subjective criticism and if I’m being objective, you captured the week’s theme really well. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next! Score: 9.5.

Philo: My note for you for this week was that I wanted you to bring a stronger Ta-Da finale ending and you did, thank you! My other note was to really get comfortable and let your light shine and that really wouldn’t have worked very well with your choice of character. Great job making your intensity play in your favor. My note for you for next week is again to just relax a little more and let your light shine. You have such a beautiful spirit. Let us in a little more and we’ll follow you anywhere. Great job this week!


6. 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 – Throughout most of the video the background looked good, but there were a few times when it kind of blended into the wall. I love your style, but as I’ve said to others I would like you to try something that’s different for you. Step out of your comfort zone a little. Multiples, a headstand while hooping, nose hooping, anything we haven’t seen from you yet. Also, I could watch you hoop against a blank wall all day, but you know that they want a well put together story too. I think your storyline is where you could improve the most, if you dug a little deeper into that area. Score: 8.

Nick: Dizzy, I really like some of the tricks that you have, there are some cool throws and contact rolls that I’ve seen you put into your videos, they look great. There’s good energy and some great movement. I do think this week that you might be a little short though. Lots of people have upped it with their videography, particularly in the narrative, and I’m worried for you that by just running 2-3 long edits as you have here you may struggle. You could have done with a different location and some shorter clips so it didn’t just feel like the same sequences on loop. That said I still think you have the skill and creativity to get through this week as you are one of the most innovative hoopers in the competition. I hope the public sees that. Good luck with the vote! Score: 7.

Bunny: Dizzy! This was such a high vibe video. The track really pumped. I loved your background and colour palette. I gotta say, I really wanted to see more of your face though. I felt like I really missed out on connecting with you or appreciating your mask, makeup or facial bling – I’m not sure because I couldn’t see! I most enjoyed your sustained spinning around the 3.00 mark and your awesome rock outs. Super engaging. I just wanted to see more of YOU! You are a powerful hoop dancer. Thank you! Score: 7.

Katie: Wow, Dizzy, another fabulous video this week! If you’re mission was to find your flow, I’d say mission accomplished! I really liked the long cuts of video that showed how truly fluid and seamless your hooping really is. Do you have a background in dance? Because your movements are so professional at times, it’s really quite beautiful to watch. Once again, great use of the projection as your background. Although it worked great in this video, I wouldn’t use it again, because you want to be showing us something new each week. I think a third time using the projection would be too predictable. But that’s not a criticism for this week, that’s just something to keep in mind for the future. Wonderful video! Score: 9.5.

Philo: My note for you from last week was about your editing choices, progression and having a stronger ending and you really took those notes in and did that – thank you. My note for next week, however, is to really focus on production basics. It breaks my heart that we couldn’t really see your avatar, and it would’ve made this even more spectacular. I was so into the final two minutes based on your moves and musicality, and going forward if you light and showcase what you do so we can see and connect with you too, it’ll be golden.


7. 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 – Really liked your video! You always put together such awesome work and your “extras” are the most fun to watch. I also like how you don’t get repetitive. I think Nick might have commented on that last week and I noticed it myself too. You always seem to pull in some new tricks!! Score: 10.

Nick: Boom! This is so cool. What an amazing effort you put in each week. You’ve really got the hang of this. Creative hooping and creative idea. Love the changes in the scenes, the hoop types in mixing LED and regular, plus the unicorn is great. Tops the snake for me. I got a little lost with a bit of the storyline, but I guess that’s science fiction! All your moves are really tidy and clean and the work with 3 hoops and some of the contact rolls were ace! Getting better each week. Great entry, one of the best this week. Score: 9.

Bunny: Ben. You have done it again. This was really wonderful. Your story had a lot of variety and holding power. The different characters were pulled together well by the investigator and ermahgad the stomach hoop alien EEEEW!!! I was scared. Smooth edits, great concepts, very cool tricks and transitions (chest roll at 1.52 hello!) and as ever, great makeup! I particularly enjoyed the lighting and textures of your opening performance in the spooky forest. Kudos on the political message. What a great opportunity to convert the fluff that the hoop can be into a meaningful avenue of advocacy. You nailed it! Score: 10.

Katie: Ben, this was hands down my favorite video this week! Not only do I respect all the amazing things you can do with a hoop, but I love a hooper with a sense of humor as well! When your Rainbow Unicorn character was laughing menacingly with his gay agenda, I literally laughed out loud! I loved your storyline and your X Files theme which allowed you to play with several different characters. Your makeup and costumes were perfect for each one. I can definitely see the work that went into making this video and let me tell you, your hard work paid off! There were just a few scenes with your “Stomach Hoop Alien” that looked a little blurry, but I know that was out of your control. The rest of your video was so amazing, I can’t even count off for that. Wonderful job! Score: 10.

Philo: My note for this week was about video polishing and you did that and then some. Y’know, I think this just might be the most solid entry of Hooping Idol 5 to date. Congratulations! The end result is that there’s nothing left to focus on other than you, your story and your hooping and you showcased all three beautifully. I don’t really have a mentoring note for you for next week other than an idea. We’ve been seeing the many faces of Benjamin and I think it’d be cool to see yours genuinely happy, so have a blast!


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: Crystal – I really like watching someone work with isolations and multiples when they have control of their hoop. You definitely do a good job of that. While I thought the hoop portal scene was cool, I think it went on a little bit longer than it needed to and you could have used that time to show us some more hooping. I’m sure its challenging to come up with new stuff every week that we haven’t seen yet, but I would like to see you step away from isolations for just a little bit and try something different as well. I’ve said the same to other people this week, but after watching dozens of videos the last few weeks its always nice to see something out of the ordinary. But overall, your hooping is super clean and you are good at what you do. Score: 7.

Nick: I don’t know where you find the time and energy to come up with these videos each week. You bring a high level of technical videography week after week! Well done! I loved the characters and the narrative, with some video trickery to go with it. I notice you are using some smaller hoops this week and there was some really nice stuff going on in there. I like the versatility, but personally I prefer your videos with larger hoops where you demonstrate controlled, fluid and clean on and off body hoopdance. Aside from that slight criticism, the narrative and storytelling really pulls your video up with the scoring from me this week. I appreciate that you upped the energy on last week too. Congrats! Score: 8.5.

Bunny: Crystal! WOW I love your inter-dimensional journey! There were some really crazy edits in there that made for quite the visual experience. Well done! Cool story and RAD special fX. I felt your range of moves could have expanded a little more in the “other” dimension. I feel like I watch so many hoop videos these days with the intense shoulder break sequences and I wanted to see you explore the “other” Crystal more and get really weird. Having said that, you are always a joy to watch on screen. Thank you! Score: 7.5.

Katie: Score: Crystal, once again a great storyline and it was very well executed. A successful storyline was something I’ve always felt put your videos above the others in this competition, however, the competition is starting to catch up! This week has been hands down, the hardest week to judge. Your hooping was, as always, amazing. Your costumes were perfect, and I liked the locations you chose as well. There’s really nothing I can criticize, but keep thinking of ways each week to show us something new and keep on amazing us! 9.5.

Philo: My note for you was to surprise us and you did that this week! Yay! I loved so much about this including your characters, locations, and especially your hoop portal. That was a killer effect Crystal and it really transformed your Science Fiction Week video into something special – thank you! My minor note for you for next week is just about letting go. Precise hoop tech stylings aside, we haven’t really seen your wilder side since New Wave Week and a little of her too would be delicious!


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:

Benjamin Berry: 39
Courtney Fagras: 35.5
Fay Ferrihsoon: 34
Lilly Hoopz: 34
Tea Bowie-Ford: 32.5
Sarah Schireman: 32.5
Crystal Smith: 32.5
Dizzy Dynamic: 31.5

With six of our finalists only 2.5 points apart, this is clearly 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=”5″]

UPDATE: Hooping Idol 5’s Science Fiction Week Results Show

Your Hooping Idol 5: Science Fiction Week ballots are being accepted only until Wednesday, May 6th at 2:00 pm PST. The three finalists that come in with the lowest scores this week will be eliminated from the competition, bringing us to our final five who will be moving on to the next round – the always popular Performance Week! Stay tuned for those results and a very happy Science Fiction Week to one and all. Happy hooping everybody!

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