by Philo Hagen
With casting currently underway for our fourth exciting season of Hooping Idol, we thought it was time to finally take a good look back at the very best moments from our first three seasons. Though the award winning competition and world wide hooping community celebration just keeps getting bigger every year, and 2014 promises to be no exception, that’s because some of the most mind blowing hooping videos the world has ever seen were spun up along the way. Having watched all of our previous finalists grow in such amazing ways over the course of the competition, let’s revisit some of the greatest hits of Hooping Idol past, noting that in most cases these gems came late in a season. With the most kickass ultimate prize package annually, and this year promises to be no exception, and a panel of judges that are ready to help take all of our competitors to a whole new level and beyond, here are Hooping Idol’s 15 greatest hits.
15 (tie). When we decided to spin up Country Week, little did we know that everybody would rise to the occasion so brilliantly. People even rode in on horses and were hooping on moving tractors (Hello Laurie). Meanwhile, Kim Cuppett and Mari “Merrily Spins” Cunningham both took it even a notch higher with lasso hoops that nailed their target, rake hooping, country line dancing and chicken fried. Kim lives in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, USA, and Merrily lives in Bella Vista, Arkansas, USA.
14. There were so many wonderful hoop stories that were spun during Fairy Tales Week of season two, but Jozette Gordon’s take on Beauty and the Beast with an angry torch carrying village out to stop the madness remains indelibly etched into our Hooping Idol memory. She lives in Worth Center, New York, USA.
13. When Harlow went home early during our second season of Hooping Idol, everyone was shocked, including us. We’d all been so captivated by her videos each week and her Slowjams Week submission found her spinning up serious hoop dance drama on the beach in an earthquake ravaged Christchurch. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.
12. Lila Chupa-Hoops dazzled us throughout our second season and spun it up all the way to the finale, and her spin on Slowjams Week was the moment that hit the nail on the head. She did it so softly and beautifully too that people are still talking about it. Sweet, intimate and completely personable, this little tale of rooftop romance was Hooping Idol gold. She lives in Paris, France.
11. One of the funnest moments of Idol came during our very first season with Kay Dent who transformed herself from groovy hooper chick into the hooping superhero Hoopergirl. Knocking out villains with style and ease (and hoops, of course,), this one remains one of Idol’s most memorable. She’s currently living in Auckland, New Zealand.
10. Ashley Long’s Hooping Idol story was one of those that captivated all of us as she took her critiques each week and just kept getting better and better throughout the competition. In fact, she took it all the way to the finale and did so in part thanks to a Tribal Week submission for season three that gave many of us goosebumps.
9. Chad Forsberg may not have spun up the most creative submissions during his Idol run, but his mad hoop skills kept him in the competition from start to finish and catapulted him into being a hooping household name with Hoopie Award nominations. His Finale Week submission from season two with his hoop dance in the rain was his absolute best.
8. Aidan Jeavons delivered a whole series of excellent videos during his run on season two of Hooping Idol and though he didn’t make it to the finale, he did score himself the Hoopie Award for Youth Hooper of the Year as a result. How could he not have? The hooping world couldn’t help but root for him. Here he is spinning up something adorable for Slowjams Week. He lives in Brighton, England, UK.
7. Rebecca Morning-Phipps brought something truly unique for her Persona Week submission of season one and battled herself in a dual role that left everybody wanting more. A battle between the inner forces of light and dark took place and it ended up winning her a Hoopie Award nomination. She lives in Florence, South Carolina, USA.
6. Sam Resnicow spun his way to the finale of our first season of Idol with solid moves and personality that came together most effectively during Persona Week. Even though our hoop genie was under the spell of someone special, this was when we all really fell in love with him. He currently lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.
5. Hooping Idol Hannah Flett surprised everyone in season two and went from an underdog early on, all the way to the finish line. One of the reasons for that included her fun and most impressive finale during season two that cinched her the Hooping Idol crown and a Hoopie Award nomination along with it. She lives in Exeter, England, UK.
4. Hooping Idol Maryève Gaudreau blew all of us out of the water when Tribal Week arrived during season three, submitting one of the most creative Idol visions ever we’ve watched countless times. It spirals into something truly other worldly with such attention to detail that repeated viewings reveal even more, rightfully earning her a Hoopie Award nomination and putting her at the front of the competition. She lives in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
3. Cheko Cabrera won the hearts of everyone early on in season three of Hooping Idol and spun up so many great videos a few of them could have made this list. Many thought the finalist was certain to win it with videos like his Country Week submission sealing the deal. Every moment in this is perfection and it’s no wonder it earned him a Hoopie Award nomination too. He lives in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
2. Anossens blew everyone away with what amounts to the most technologically advanced hooping video we’d ever seen before Idol or since. It all happened during Future Week of our very first season of Idol and with this game changer she hooped her way into virtual reality, a Hoopie Award nomination, and found herself a legion of world wide fans in the process. She lives in Strasbourg, France.
1. Although his PIMP finale sealed the deal for him becoming our first Hooping Idol, our most memorable Idol video to date from any season came during Persona Week on season one. Nick Broyd not only took on the role of James Bond to Live and Let Hoop, but played his evil nemesis as well, spinning up a hilarious hoop battle that was nominated for a Hoopie Award too. He lives in Bristol, England, UK.
There were so many more amazing contestants and captivating moments that we couldn’t even begin to name them all. In fact, 63 hoopers have made their way through Idol during our first three seasons and soon we’ll be announcing a whole new platoon of brand new contestants for our fourth season in our quest to find the next great hooper star. So if you’re thinking about throwing your hoop in the ring, we say go for it. What have you got to lose? You have until late Sunday night to turn in your Casting Week submission. If this didn’t give you enough of a taste to whet your appetite you can always watch our first three seasons and thanks for joining us for this incredible Hooping Idol trip down memory lane.
Philo Hagen is the Co-founder and Managing Editor of Hooping.org. He’s been spinning things up online and off since April 2003. Co-Founder of the Bay Area Hoopers and LA Hoopers hoop groups, Philo has performed internationally and has won Hoopie Awards for Male Hooper of the Year and Video of the Year. He lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.