Credit: Adam Rose/Fox Photo: The SYTYCD Season 8 Finale Judges Panel

Nigel Lythgoe thinks Melanie Moore deserved the title of “America’s Favorite Dancer,” but believes it could easily have gone to runner-up Sasha Mallory.

“I was happy with either Sasha or Melanie … if Sasha had done her breakfast routine [to "Misty Blue" with All-Star tWitch] for the first time last night it may have been a different result,” he said backstage after season finale results show. But all along he believed one of the ladies would be the final dancer standing.

Ultimately, he thinks Melanie was able to connect with the audience every single time, whereas Sasha had a few setbacks in the competition. “I think possibly that Melanie has this ability to perform, she dances from her heart … whether she likes the routine or doesn’t, or likes the style, she still finds a way to project the performance,” he said. “If the routine doesn’t allow [Sasha] to dig down deep, then sometimes, she doesn’t find the performance.”

As for the gentlemen’s final performances, Nigel commented, “I genuinely didn’t like a lot of last night, and yes, I took it out on them to a certain degree.” Looking back at his comments, felt he was too hard on the guys, but still believes the girls deserved the top two spots.

Judge and choreographer Lil’ C felt everything ended as it should. “Yeah, things played out how I thought they would … I thought they all were extremely phenomenal from the beginning of the competition.”

Tyce Diorio was a man of few words backstage, but he was definitely supportive of the Top 2 ladies. “I love Melanie. I love Sasha … both are warriors,” he said. But when it comes down to why Melanie beat out Sasha, he felt that it was simply a matter of preference. “It’s called 'America’s Favorite.' There is no ‘best’ … it really is your opinion.”

It was difficult for him to pick just one favorite Season 8 routine, but a few of Tyce's standouts include Sonya Tayeh’s Top 10 ladies routine and the season finale tap trio, featuring Nick Young, Jess LeProtto, and the “UK’s Favorite Dancer,” Matt Flint.

Source: Give Me My Remote