By PETERSON GONZAGA
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—It was long road for the final four contestants of Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 9 as they danced their hearts away to await that final announcement of the winning male and female contestants. This season was the first time the show had two winners, one male, the other female. The road was made longer as the two-hour show featured favorite performances of the season by the judges and the contestants themselves.
Joining in the finale were Carly Rae Jepsen performing her new single “The Kiss,” as professional dancers surrounded the “Call Me Maybe” crooner.
After one last performance of the top 10 contestants and the All-Star dancers, Cat Deeley was ready to announce the first winner of the night. Holding hands, Eliana Girard and Tiffany Maher already had tears welling up in their eyes before they heard the name for female winner. After a moment’s pause, Girard was chosen as the winner.
Backstage, Girard spoke with Front Row Features correspondent Maryss From Paris about what she was thinking before the announcement of her win.
“While watching the video package before the announcement, my mind was all over the place,” she said. “I just couldn’t believe how far we’ve come. We’re all winners because this will help us in the next chapter of our lives.”
For the male winner, it was a slight surprise as Chehon Wespi-Techopp’s name was called out by Deeley. Even the young ballet dancer was a bit surprised as he heard his name announced as the winner. Many thought Cyrus Spencer, who was favored to win, would have been crowned the winner especially with the comment that judge Nigel Lythgoe made during last week’s performance finale , when he called Spencer a “non-dancer.” The outraged hip hop dance community went to Twitter in support of Spencer.
For Wespi-Tschopp, he already had resigned himself to being runner up. Even after his name was called, he was dubious.
“I thought was it a possibility she said the wrong name,” he recalled backstage. “I was least expecting it and I didn’t know how to deal with it. After I got offstage I obviously broke down.”
This is the first time in “SYTYCD” history that two ballet dancers took the top spot of the show.
Wespi-Tschopp, Girard and the top 10 girls and boys will have no time to rest as the “So You Think You Can Dance Tour” kicks off on October 23, in San Diego and will wrap up December 1 in Hollywood, Fla. For ticket information, visit dance.aeglive.com and www.axs.com