That Melanie Moore was crowned the So You Think You Can Dance winner of Season 8 wasn’t a huge surprise to anyone — except the 19-year-old herself!
The dancer from Atlanta was the frontrunner the entire season, with judges, audience members and Lady Gaga equally enraptured every step of the way. Still, the humble Melanie was surprised to take the title over runner-up Sasha Mallory when Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with the newly-minted champion right after the confetti settled.
Wetpaint Entertainment: What was going through your head up there when they were calling the names?
Melanie Moore: I was ready to take second very graciously. In my head, I really thought Sasha was going to win because she has improved so much over the competition and she showed so many sides of herself and she's such an inspiration to me and getting to dance with her was such an honor that I was ready. And I think all of us had a really even chance. Just being up there and being named one of the final two, I was like, 'Wait, is this really happening?' When she called my name, I just started crying.
How do you think your life will change?
I hope not that much. I still want to be dancing. I'm still going to be working hard and taking class. I'm hoping that it won't really affect me. If it does, you guys can tell me, because I don't want to turn into one of those people.
But you must be excited about the Dirty Dancing talk …
Yeah. Kenny Ortega: Give me a call. I'm down for that.
Lady Gaga also offered you a gig. Those are some pretty good job offers.
Leave them on the table. I'll take them!
We know you've said you'd take either gig, but what is your ultimate dream job in dance?
I don't know. Honestly, I can't even say that I have one because I just want to make a living dancing. If I'm dancing I'm happy. Put me in a random costume, in the background dancing, I’d be so happy, because it’s what I love.
What will you do with the $250,000 prize?
Hopefully, go back to school. That's what I really want to do … There’s so much to learn. I think I'm probably going to end up back in New York.
What was the hardest part of the competition?
The hardest part about the experience was definitely the criticism because you don't want to get up there and lay your complete heart out on the line and the judges say, "Well, we hated it. You were bad and it was awful, so great job." So you have to mentally prepare yourself. And there’s always going to be blogs tat say “She’s not a good dancer, she’s not technical.” As long as you don’t read them and stay true to yourself I think that’s what gets us through.
What dances do you want to do on the tour?
Definitely both of the ones that I did tonight ["Turn to Stone" and "I Got You"]. Hopefully, I get to beat Tadd [Gadduang] up with the shoe because that was super fun.