'So You Think You Can Dance' winner Melanie Moore on being 'out for blood,' taking on the world of ballroom, and what's next


Image Credit: Adam Rose/FOX

Less than 24 hours after So You Think You Can Dance frontrunner Melanie Moore received 47 percent of the vote to be named America’s Favorite Dancer, she shared her feelings with EW. “I feel so blessed,” she says. Then in uncharacteristic fashion, the Georgia pixie admitted that she was confident going in to the finale because she was “out for blood.” So what else did Melanie have to say that will surprise you? What was her one complaint about the show, and where does she see herself after the tour (hint: there may be a watermelon coming her way!)? Read Melanie’s interview after the jump.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Hi, Melanie. Congratulations!
MELANIE MOORE: Thank you very much.

You won by quite a margin. What do you think it was about you that captured people’s hearts and got them voting?
I don’t know. I’m honestly just so grateful. I can’t wait for the tour so I can meet a lot of the people who voted for me every week and kept me safe every week. I really still can’t even believe it. I feel so blessed, and I hope that dance has touched people the way that dance touches me… or just made people smile. I hope people enjoy it.

How were you feeling going into last night’s finale?
Along with everybody else, I was confident in what we had done on Wednesday. I think all of us were sort of, like, “Well, we did the best that we could, and now it’s out of our hands.” Standing up there next to Tadd and Sasha and Marko, I honestly don’t know how people picked because I don’t have a favorite out of all of us. I did agree with Nigel — I thought it was going to be a girl because Sasha and I have just been go-getters. We’ve been out for blood, I felt like. We’ve been trying to take on every challenge that we can, as quickly as possible, and as hard as we can.

As the eliminations were rolled out, it seemed like you were especially emotional when Marko was told he’d gotten third place.
Marko and I are super-close. He was my partner for five weeks, so you develop a connection with somebody. When we were able to dance together again, we were able to revisit such great memories of where we had started the experience. I know how bad he wanted it, and I know how hard he worked for it. I definitely attribute my win to him, because without him as my partner, I don’t think I would have done as well.

Do you think there’s a trip to Guam in your future?
Maybe! Who knows? He says good things of it, so hopefully.

What was the highlight of the season for you beyond dancing?
I really loved all the guest judges this season. I feel like having them come in and critique us was like a party every week! I was so grateful that I was able to get such amazing choreographers. I had the best time.

What was your favorite routine?
Either [Mandy Moore’s ] “Total Eclipse of the Heart” with Neil, just because it was so free and I felt like I was jumping around the whole time, or maybe the statues [Ingrid Michaelson’s “Turn to Stone,” choreographed by Travis Wall]… [or] “Game On” with Sasha. I think those are probably my top three favorites.

What were some of the other contestants’ dances that stuck out for you?
I loved the Argentine tango that Caitlynn and Pasha did. I was so jealous because I got the Viennese waltz with Pasha, and Caitlynn got the sexy Argentine tango. I was, like, “Caitlynn, why do you get to be so sexy with Pasha?”

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced this season?
The hardest thing was really putting myself out there for the judges. You put everything you have out there, and they can tell you that they don’t like it and that it didn’t look good. It’s really scary, and that was a challenge: to be very open and let myself get that criticism.

The tour is coming up, as you mentioned. What are you looking forward to about hitting the road?
I can’t wait to just really perform these routines for America rather than compete them. I can’t wait to get into them and really enjoy them and be able to let loose!

After that, what is your next step? Have you talked any more to Kenny Ortega about Dirty Dancing?
No, I haven’t. I think I should because that would be an amazing opportunity.

You could be the next Baby. You could carry a watermelon!

Was there anything this season that you were excited about doing that didn’t happen?
I really wanted to do a Latin ballroom, and I never got to, and I’m very upset. I thought I was going to get to in the finale, but we all ended up getting our own styles with the all-stars. I was so jealous of everybody that got to do Latin ballroom. It’s my favorite, and I want to train in it so bad.

Something to conquer next!

Read more:
Mary Murphy on the uneven finale
‘SYTYCD’ finale recap: The Complete Package
Melanie LaPatin: And the winner SHOULD BE…

Comments (90 total) Add your comment
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  • scarlett

    Just as a heads up, a spoiler alert in the headline would have been nice.

    • Fred


      • Tom

        Nice spoiler. Good job!

      • lasher

        the only way I would see a remake of Dirty Dancing would be if Melanie was Baby, and even then it would be begrudgingly..I am an Air Force and single at present .I need a woman who can love me
        back ..I also uploaded my hot photos on —-Military’Loves .C óM— under
        the name of mason66..It’s the largest and best club for seeking Army, Navy,
        Marines, Air Force, Police Force, and the admirers of those who wear the
        uniform.I just hope you don’t mind me being a soldier …Please Check it
        out!I’m serious.~

      • PIMB

        Hands off my Pasha Mel.

    • Jen

      Yeah the finale was last night so don’t blame EW! It’s your own fault for not watching it live with the results were announced!! And BTW Melanie as the winner has been on EVERY entertainment/news website today!!

      • @Jen

        This is the only entertainment site I’ve been to today where the winner was named in the headline. And some people have busy lives and can’t watch everything live, thanks.

      • @@Jen

        Well you must not go to TVline, People, or TV Guide. Or also just general news sites like MSNBC, Huffington Post, CBS, CNN, Yahoo News, AOL News, or a myirad of other news sites. Just saying this news has been everywhere today not just EW.

    • Scarlett and Fred are Idiots

      Hey Scarlett and Fred if you weren’t such jerks you would have watched the results with the rest of the world last night when it aired!!

      • ps in seattle

        No need to be so rude. Not everyone has evenings free. I had to work until 10:30 last night, then unexpectedly had to nurse a very sick dog through the night. Since I don’t know when I’ll be able to watch the episode I came to EW to find out who won. Calling people jerks is totally uncalled for.

      • @PS In Seattle

        I agree it’s rude to call people jerks but I also think it’s rude for people to complain that this is a spoiler when it was announced that Melanie won almost a full 24 hours ago. The fact that people don’t watch it live or work nights or whatver isn’t EW’s fault. If people didn’t want to hear who won they shouldn’t have come onto an entertainment site whose job it is to keep up with these things as they happen.

    • Scobes

      Um, it’s not like this was a headline minutes after the winner was announced. Anyone who wanted to watch the finale could have done so by now – or at least known not to visit EW.

    • B.

      Reporting on an event that happened yesterday is not a spoiler.

  • whatevs

    Seriously, would it kill you to keep the name out of the headline?

  • Ems

    the only way I would see a remake of Dirty Dancing would be if Melanie was Baby, and even then it would be begrudgingly

    • mmex

      What if tWitch was in the Swayze role? Yum, and would give it a very modern take.

      • Dr. Chim Richalds

        Nah, there are already too many “street dancer”/trained dancer date movies, like Step Up series etc.

        I was thinking Neil and Melanie have great chemistry, and Neil can act, so…

    • Lily

      But in the movie, Baby is not supposed to be able to dance. Melanie needs a part where she can really dance! I hope Lady Gaga hires her ;-)

  • Gabe

    Am I the only person who thought she wanted to be on The Amazing Race after the hint about a watermelon coming her way? Anyone?

    • gemapet

      Chuckle… Completely pictured that scene from AR!
      First thought at this headline was Rocky Horror Picture Show – don’t know why, haven’t seen it. Is there a watermelon featured in it?

  • Holly

    The world doesn’t revolve around those of you who chose not to watch the finale live. Don’t come on an entertainment website until you watch the show. Problem solved.

    • Shannon

      Thank you Holly!! Geez if you people were real fans you would have watched it LIVE! I mean this news has been everywhere today! If people didn’t want to know who won they should have stayed off the Internet!

      • Lisa

        It is unnecessary to say people who are real fans would have watched it live.

        People have lives outside of television and it’s not always possible to have free time every week. That doesn’t mean they aren’t fans of the show.

        Although I do agree you should avoid websites where it could be spoiled until you get a chance to watch it.

  • lori

    So happy it’s over.

    • Scobes

      It was a pretty tragic season, glad it’s over with.

      • LD

        I wouldn’t say tragic, but it was far from a good season. There was no variety. If all they are going to do is contemporary so their pet can win, then it is not enjoyable any longer. They NEED to get back to challenging the dancers. IF they are as good as they say, make them do dances outside their comfort zone and prove they are worth it. Mel’s disco was so sad, that she should have lost just for that.

    • yawn

      You two should hook up.

  • D

    Pretty pathetic that they couldn’t have given her a “Latin ballroom” the whole dang season. Maybe if she had fewer than NINE contemp/jazz pieces they could have found the time for it. Though I don’t know if she would have pulled it off looking at her disco.

    • Scobes

      That’s true. I really like Melanie but she doesn’t exactly seem… versatile.

      • Dr. Chim Richalds

        None of the girls were really versatile. Maybe Jordan came closest? Jess and Tadd were the most versatile of the guys, and probably the whole show.

    • Mickey

      I’m not all that sure what disco is supposed to indicate about a dancer’s ability to do latin ballroom. The only real commonality they have is a lot of lifts or partnering. The rest is totally different technique.

    • Skye

      Yeah, because disco is so close to latin. You’re an idiot.

    • yawn

      Pretty pathetic that you can’t remember that Melanie & Marko did a tango during the 6th performance show when it was down to 12 contestants..

      • Threatdown

        I guess they were just as pathetic as Melanie, not to remember that she had actually been given a Latin Ballroom in the course of the show.

      • @yawn and threatdown

        tango isn’t ballroom latin…

        latin is samba, chachacha, rumba, jive, and paso doble

        standard is waltz quickstep foxtrot tango viennese waltz

    • Abbey

      c’mon the choreo in that disco routine was horrible

  • LD

    I think what D meant was, she was given her own style 8 out of 13 dances, and that is not showing she is worthy of a win. If she would have done that disco the first week, she “would” have been in the bottom without a doubt. She was never really challenged like that past seasons contestants. She may be good, but ONLY at her own style. She did not deserve that win. Tadd was not great, but he pulled off more styles than she did. Sasha wasn’t near the best we have seen, but she had more challenges than Melanie did. They wanted Mel to win from week one, so they gave her easy dances (until she couldn’t get voted out, disco) until she won,.. as they planned.

    • yawn

      The only dancers that were never in the Bottom Three throughout the season were Melanie and Marko. Either of them winning was the right thing.

      • LD

        I said, she would have been if she would have done that disco week one. She never had anything challenging. IF Tadd had gotten B-boy style every week, if Jesse had gotten jazz every week, if the tapper had gotten tap every week, etc.., then they would be in the top. MY point is, she got her style way too often and never did anything challenging to fall in the bottom. She was handed that win.

      • yawn

        @ LD For all the people complaining about Melanie having danced mostly contemporary performances, here’s the list of styles she did while paired with Marko: contemporary, jazz, lyrical hip-hop, jazz, tango and contemporary. The list after she was paired with All-Stars and the other finalists: Viennese waltz, contemporary, hip-hop, Broadway, disco and contemporary.
        It’s hardly mostly contemporary. If you’re unable to remember what were pair, group or solo performances, that’s your own issue to deal with.

      • LD

        @yawn, I have the list, and I admit I should have been clearer. Yes her style is contemporary (she had 5), but how much of a stretch is; jazz (3), v-waltz, (an easy) lyrical hip hop, broadway. The hip hop with twitch was very little dancing for hip hop, and her disco was “bad”. I guess I should just say, over all she had very easy styles for her. They need to make it a rule, once you have done a style, it is no longer available to you until you have done them all. That would be the only way to be fair and make it a real challenge. And prove who is really the best.

      • yawn

        @ LD I really like your idea about not being able to repeat a style once it has been done; I wish the show were open to suggestions like that. I’ve said this in previous posts but they seriously should allow only one dance per choreographer per show.

      • ashley

        @yawn stfu.. who cares if someone doesn’t remember all the routines? Hmm? Exactly your dumb.

      • yawn

        @ ashley You’re obviously 12 years old or someone with the maturity of a child. Try to stay out of adult conversations and go back to learning how to spell “you’re” and admiring the smurfs.

    • Threatdown

      And of those that were supposedly out of her style, the Viennese Waltz wasn’t one. And she sucked at the hip hop and her Tango wasn’t great. So super. She was okay in her field. Alison is a better contemporary dancer than she is. Along with many, many others in the show’s history. I wouldn’t even put her top 5 for me.

      • Mickey

        I’m sorry, but how is standard ballroom like the Viennese Waltz in the same wheelhouse as contemporary? Not everything with fluid movement takes the same sort of technique. Also, Melanie was great in her first hip hop routine (lyrical elements be damned, I saw isolations, tutting, and popping, doesn’t sound contemporary to me), it just so happens that the ‘Roman’s Revenge’ piece she got later in the season was terrible choreography. I will reserve judgment on the tango.

      • mick

        the waltz had no closed hold which made it look like contempary

    • Savona

      Melanie hunched her shoulders too much. Sasha had more powerful moments this year. But, for me, Caitlynn was the girl who handled all styles with equal aplomb. She couldn’t correograph HERSELF at all, but nailed some very difficult technical routines.

    • MathGirl

      I agree that the variety of dance types (for the show in general, not just Melanie) has diminished horribly from the beginning of the series. I was revisiting some season 2 and 3 stuff a while back and only 2 dances a week were either hip-hop or contemporary/jazz! All the rest were broadway, waltzes, latin ballroom, etc. I really think they need to get back to this habit and really challenge ALL the dancers, not just the non-contemporary ones.

    • Roomformany

      Most of you guys are way off base. The disco act was good, the music choice was bad. @ Dr. Chim and Scobes…Melanie was great with tWitch in hip-hop and Sasha in their “GaGa-ed” contemporary and absolutely NAILED her jazz solo…versatile…uh, yeah! In Sasha’s “emotional” dance on the wall, was there any dancing? Sasha did not do a soft, technical dance until the last dance with Melanie, is she capable, yes, was she assigned it, not. They don’t get to pick their genre, dances, songs, partners or choreographers. They were all four great dancers and, bottom line…America voted! Thank you, those of you who have an eye for dancing and a memory for what really happened. Maybe everyone else should watch Dancing With The Stars, they only have to do one dance every week!

  • Jefffro

    All of the routines in the finale seemed to lack energy or excitement. I think the dancers were all exhausted from the weeks of competition.

    Melanie has had this in the bag for the last month though…..no one else really came close. No matter how the judges tried to prop them up.

  • AJ

    it’s hard to imagine Melanie as Baby because she’d have to pretend to not be able to dance (for a while).

  • Jefffro

    They actually tape the dancers selecting their dances randomly. I know everyone wants to think they set this up…..but it is a game show and there are certain rules they have to follow to keep it fair.

    • LD

      They did not show that at all this year, and who’s to say that isn’t staged. It IS TV. They can sway it anyway they want,.. and they did.

    • Lisa

      Yet all the dances that the finalists did with the all-stars were in their own styles. Doesn’t seem very random to me.

  • Rob Grizzly

    I wanted Sasha to win, but Melanie’s cool.

  • Cogs528

    EW, thanks for ruining the results for me. Some of us don’t have the time to watch it live and it doesn’t come on to hulu until the following Monday. Please, use a little more discretion when posting spoilers!

    • Fog cue

      Don’t blame EW for your mismanaged schedule.

      • ltchy

        You’re totally right, Fog. Cogs should have arranged their schedule to actually watch this Live, like you, than take advantage of using their DVR and utilizing that time in another way (like work and support themselves). l may have to re-visit MY decisions, too, change jobs, give away the DVR and plunk myself down in front of the TV when the show actually airs so that we can all avoid The Headline.

  • yawn

    For all the people complaining about Melanie having danced mostly contemporary performances, here’s the list of styles she did while paired with Marko: contemporary, jazz, lyrical hip-hop, jazz, tango and contemporary. The list after she was paired with All-Stars and the other finalists: Viennese waltz, contemporary, hip-hop, Broadway, disco and contemporary.

    It’s hardly mostly contemporary. If you’re unable to remember what were pair, group or solo performances, that’s your own issue to deal with.

    • Mom

      @yawn, I replied above, but I’ll repost the most important part, They need to make it a rule, once you have done a style, it is no longer available to you until you have done them all. That would be the only way to be fair and make it a real challenge. And prove who is really the best.

      • yawn

        I concur.

  • Anne

    She deserved to win. She was amazing. Almost every routine she did gave me goosebumps…

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