That’s a wrap, and season 8 of “So You Think You Can Dance” now has a winner of its $250,000 top prize. A deserving winner. And a winner that we predicted would spin, twirl and leap her way to victory.
All season executive producer/judge Nigel Lythgoe, the media, and your faithful SYTYCD chronicler have predicted the winner would be female. It wasn’t brain surgery. There were two obvious standouts. Most of the season we thought 19-year-old contemporary dancer Melanie Moore was our front-runner, and when we weren’t sure about her, we had our eyes on 23-year-old contemporary dancer Sasha Malloy. They were so strong the dance community affectionately dubbed them “the beasts.”
So which one finally came out on top?
Melanie Moore. The 19-year-old Georgian powerhouse (she’s from Marietta) with the pixie haircut amassed 47% of the 11.5 million votes and cried tears that looked 100% genuine as she said, “Thank you.” The runner-up was Sasha Malloy, 23, from Bakersfield, California, who came in second with 32% of the vote.
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Clearly impressed, host Cat Deeley took a moment before the announcement to say, “You two are both exquisite dancers. You have both been amazing.”
Marko Germar came in third, and Tadd Gadduang came in fourth.
Additional Finale Notes:
*I’m Sorry, So Sorry! Before the show even started, Nigel said he was “insensitive” to the guys for “dismissing” their talent by saying a girl was definitely going to win. “I publicly want to apologize to both of you for that,” he said, rather sincerely, to Tadd and Marko.
*Grand Opening: The top 20 – looking mighty fierce in black “leathers” duds – opened the show for an exciting opening performance (taped Wednesday night after the performance show – yes the top 4 were t-i-re-d! Marko even told us Wednesday night that “everything” was hurting.) Oh, and yes, that was Alexander with a freshly dyed blond ‘do. Jarring.
*Modern Judge: Jesse Tyler Ferguson (“Modern Family”) returned to sit at the judges’ table. My favorite Jesse moment? When Nigel jumped on his lap and wouldn’t get off. Also at the judges’ table, along with Nigel and Mary, were Pussycat Dolls boss Robin Antin and “SYTYCD” mainstays Lil’ C, Tyce Diorio and Sonya Tayeh.
*”Judges Pick” Dances: Out of all of the dances the judges’ picked as their season faves, the ones that were even better the second time around were the “wall dance” with Sasha and Kent to “Fool of Me,” Sasha and tWitch’s “breakfast table” hip-hop routine, and Melanie and Marko’s statue dance to “Turn to Stone,” and Melanie and Sasha’s jazz routine.