Filed under: At the Center
The fifth season of the 11-time Emmy-nominated hit So You Think You Can Dance came to a magnificent conclusion this month as South Florida’s own, Jeanine Mason, was named the champion. “I never ever imagined this… I never thought that auditioning for the show would lead me to such amazing people,” Mason said.
Having auditioned in February on the Knight Concert Hall stage at the Adrienne Arsht Center with the hundreds of others in hopes of boogieing their way on to the hit Fox show, Jeanine shined bright. Mason joined 32 others who were selected to go on to compete in Las Vegas for a position in the top 20. Cat Deely, the show’s charismatic host, commented while standing on the Thomson Plaza for the Arts, “We were expecting Miami to bring the heat, and I think it did!”
Jeanine won $250,000, an appearance on the cover of Dance Spirit magazine, and the title of “America’s Favorite Dancer.” “Dancers have always been in the background,” says the effervescent 18-year-old from Pinecrest, Fla., “This show takes these talented people and pushes them to the forefront for America to see. The dance community is very grateful for what the executive producers of this show have done for dance.”
Joining her in the top ten were Janette Manrara and Brandon Bryant, both also from Miami- and some of her toughest competitors. While all the finalists received positive feedback to their finale performances, Jeanine and Brandon received the strongest praise from regular So You Think You Can Dance judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy and guest judge Adam Shankman. Veteran judge and world-renowned dancer, Mary Murphy told Jeanine, “From the first time I laid eyes on you, you have always been a stand-out. I saw you coming girl!”
It was the first finale in the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood and featured the return of the season’s Top 20 dancers as well as performances by the Rage Boyz Crew and the winner of So You Think You Can Dance Australia. Next month, the process starts again with a sixth season of “Dance,” which will bridge the gap for Fox until next January, when “American Idol” returns.
The 2009 ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Tour will showcase the Top 10 favorite dancers in Miami at the American Airlines Arena on October 22nd.
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