Melanie Moore's dancing on "So You Think You Can Dance" won over viewers and judges week after week, but it was her grace and love for dancing that made her a great competitor. Moore, 19, was even ready to take second place at the season finale Thursday night, saying, "I really thought Sasha was going to win, just because she has improved so much over the competition and she's an inspiration to me."
Tears were flowing when Cat Deeley announced Moore had won and as the dancing teen thanked the audience. Moore also thanked her family, People reports, crediting the show with bringing them closer together. "We haven't really been that close with my dad's side of the family – especially after he passed away when I was 12 – but we've heard so much from them and they've been so supportive."
The Georgia teen acknowledged how much the experience taught her, reinforcing her love for dancing and motivating her to go back to school to study dance and learn to choreograph. Winning the competition has also opened many doors for her, including the opportunity to act in the "Dirty Dancing" remake or dance in Lady Gaga's tour. Whatever she ends up doing, Moore knows how to make herself happy. "As long as I'm dancing, I'm happy," she said.
According to USA Today, Moore won 47 percent of the vote during the season eight finale, beating out second-place finisher Sasha Mallory, 23, and Marko Germar, 22, who took third. Along with the title of "America's Favorite Dancer," Moore is an official Gatorade athlete and will receive a $250,000 cash prize.
Check out a recap of the finale with videos at Entertainment Weekly here.