So You Think You Can Dance season 9 was an odd one. With only a few of the top 10 identifying as the standard contemporary dancers, it was anybody's season. And in the finale, ballet dancers Eliana Girard and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp took the titles of America's Favorite Dancers. Why did they win?
Ballet Is AwesomeSo You Think You Can Dance
doesn't get a lot of ballet dancers. Whether they're too busy or don't think about TV competitions or just don't make it onto the show, it's an unusual style.
But this season had three ballet dancers. And they made us wonder why there haven't been more.
It quickly became clear that the discipline and skill necessary for ballet served Eliana and Chehon well. Even in the routines that didn't go totally smoothly, the technical aspects were always close to perfect. Eliana Dominated
It was clear from her initial audition that Eliana Girard was a dancer to keep an eye on. Even the very occasional misstep only highlighted how incredible and versatile a dancer Eliana is.
The real shock would have come if Eliana had not
won.Ballet Boys Can Jump
Every time Chehon was close to elimination, he jumped. Those ballet leaps will not be denied!
The judges didn't even try. No matter how many problems Chehon had with his Latin routines (will he ever be able to cha-cha?), his solos were incredible.
Chehon even put some of that athleticism and grace into his other performances. Keep in mind, after all, that this is the guy who accomplished a beautiful one-handed lift!Cyrus' Struggles
He was popular -- and rightly so -- but Cyrus Spencer was never the best dancer on So You Think You Can Dance
. With significantly less training than the others on the show, Cyrus couldn't quite manage the same level of routine. "I hate to say it, but yes," Eliana replied when asked by reporters if the routines were made easier to accommodate Cyrus.
Cyrus' interesting style and extreme charisma carried him to the finale, but everyone knew he wasn't the better dancer. In the end, that mattered.Tiffany Who?
Tiffany Maher may be the ultimate poster child for the importance of publicity. She was a brilliant dancer, totally rocking just about every routine she tried. Bright, cheerful and totally adorable, Tiffany is the kind of girl So You Think You Can Dance
But not this time. We never saw Tiffany in her auditions. She wasn't especially notable in the first few weeks. And even at the end, when she was obviously the dancer to beat, Tiffany didn't get a lot of screen time.
This certainly hurt her chances of beating Eliana. Could Tiffany have won with more publicity? It's debatable, but Tiffany would have been a more dangerous opponent for Eliana if the cameras had turned her way a little more often.Peaking Late
While it's very arguable that Tiffany Maher peaked late and rode that to the finale, both Eliana and Chehon are notable for having come into their own in the second half of the competition.
Sure, Eliana was great throughout the entirety of season 9, but she only seemed to get better in the final few episodes -- talk about someone who partnered well with the All-Stars!
Chehon's peak was even more noticeable. He struggled early on in the season, finding himself on the bottom more than once. Honestly, he came close to being eliminated. But then thing changed. Chehon still had problems with a few dances, but his overall level of performance was much higher during the Top 10 half of the season.
Whatever the reasons, Eliana Girard and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp are very worthy So You Think You Can Dance
champions. Why do you think they won? Leave your comments below!(Images courtesy of FOX)