Eliana Girard of West Palm Beach Wins So You Think You Can Dance
We've known for weeks that the next female winner of So You Think You Can Dance would be from South Florida. And in last night's finale, ballerina Eliana Girard was given the title of "America's Favorite Girl Dancer."
Eliana beat out nine other female contestants, including fellow finalist Tiffany Maher of Plantation, Florida, to win the show's ninth season alongside male champion Chechon Wespi-Tschopp.
Girard and show veteran Alex Wong, formerly of Miami City Ballet.
Earlier in the season, judge Nigel Lythgoe called Girard his favorite dancer of the season. He echoed that sentiment last night, praising Girard's versatility in styles from contemporary to hip-hop. Before it was announced that Girard had won, Lythgoe also surprised her with news that Desmond Richardson -- the co-founder of Complexions Contemporary Ballet whose career includes working at companies like Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre and American Ballet Theatre -- wanted to hire her as a dancer when she'd been voted off the show.
"The only problem," Lythgoe said with a smile, "is that you were never voted off."
Last night's two-hour finale revisited the judges' and finalists' favorite routines from the entire season. Girard's opted to perform a contemporary duet with show veteran Alex Wong, who left a job at Miami City Ballet to join the show's seventh season.
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