One of these highland flingers popped, leapt and emoted his/her way into the hearts of America and waltzed off with the title on tonight's So You Think You Can Dance finale. But that wasn't the only surprise...
Just imagine how high Joshua Allen will be able to leap now.
The 19-year-old street dancer from Ft. Worth, Texas—who before wowing audiences week after week with an endless array of tricks and stunning musicality used to have to do chores at the local dance school in exchange for lessons—has been named the winner of the fourth season of So You Think You Can Dance.
Joe Viles / Fox
"I just want to say that, never let anybody tell you you can't do anything, because no matter what you do, you can always go forward. The sky's the limit!" Joshua said after sharing a big, fat bear hug with runner-up Stephen "Twitch" Boss and wiping away some of those signature man tears he tended to spill.
Joshua, who along with Twitch had no classical training coming into the competition, wins $250,000 and a part in the upcoming Step Up 3D, being produced by Hairspray director and SYTYCD guest judge Adam Shankman.
But while emotional powerhouse Courtney Galiano and the judges' golden girl, Katee Shean, had already exited stage right earlier in the evening, there was more than one celebratory moment Thursday.
Host Cat Deeley was pleased to inform Katee that, for the first time, the top girl/guy who didn't win was waltzing off with a $50,000 consolation prize. (Cue the Mary Murphy scream.)
The crowning of Joshua capped off a two-hour finale that, unlike most competition-ending time-killers, was just as fun to watch as any regular episode of the hit Fox series—assuming you like that sort of thing.
Aside from performances by the Jonas Brothers (Mary's scream multiplied by a thousand fangirls) and Cirque du Soleil and a pop-off between b-boy Robert Muraine (who dropped out when he feared he couldn't do choreography) and Philip Chbeeb (who caught pneumonia before Vegas), we were treated to live repeats of some of the judges' favorite routines.
So, once again, we got Gev gripping Courtney's bum during the rumba, Chelsie trying to stop Mark from going to work to the tune of "Bleeding Love," Will and his eight-pack simultaneously auditioning for Alvin Ailey and dancing one of the most exquisite contemporary numbers in four SYTYCD seasons with Katee, and Comfort going hit for hit with Twitch in their futuristic hip-hop routine.
And it was all great. Again.
Take note, American Idol: This was oh-so-much better than having to revisit the most "memorable" rejects from auditions or sit through one long commercial for The Love Guru.
Meanwhile, Twitch had to dance four times and Katee had to bring it thrice, with two of her numbers—the "No Air" hip-hop from week one where she ends up wearing Joshua's shirt at the end and the door-banging contemporary routine with Twitch—coming after she learned she was out of the running for the top prize.
What can we say—incredible grace, stamina and flexibility impress us.
Sorry to say, though, that SYTYCD is over for the year. Until the Emmy-nominated show returns next summer, fans can get their fix in person during the 41-date live tour that will stomp across North America starting Sept. 20 in Tacoma, Wash.
This year, 11 dancers made the grade—Joshua, Twitch, Katee, Courtney, Mark Kanemura, Chelsie Hightower, William Wingfield, Comfort Fedoke, Gev Manoukian, Kherington Payne and Jessica King, who was forced to pull out of the show with an injury after making it into the top 10.