Wednesday night's So You Think You Can Dance finale brought another shocker, as "diamond in the rough" - according to host Cat Deeley - Russell Ferguson won after being injured during the episode. TVGuide.com caught up with Ferguson backstage after his Season 6 win to find out how he triumphed through the pain. Also: The judges give us their take on the final two and what's next for Dance.
"It feels crazy. It feels like a dream come true," Ferguson says. "I was hoping I'd be standing here, but I never would've imagined this day." First up on the Bostonian's wish list: a new car. "[I want to] get myself around Boston to help these young kids. That's all it's about, it's getting around the community and seeing what project you can get into and how you can help somehow. If you just keep it to yourself, it means nothing."
The 20-year-old dancer is the first krumper to break the Top 20 in Dance history. "I'm just honored to be in a position to tell other krumpers you can do this and they believe me," he says. "If you know how to dance very well, just do it. Don't focus on the style, just attack it the same way you attack that dance you love. That's what I did. I love krump so much that I wasn't afraid of the movement."
Of course, the night wasn't perfect for Ferguson. During his number with Jonathan "Legacy" Perez and Kevin Hunte, he pulled a muscle in his leg while jumping back on stage. "It hurt, but I was fine enough to walk, so I felt like I could dance," he says. He wasn't able to complete the other two exhibition dances the judges had requested.
"This is what happens in real life," says Deeley, who had to improv when her microphone cut out on live television during the incident. "It's like, OK, let's get you on, let's get a doctor, let's take care of you, let's carry on with the show and let's do it as smoothly as we can. And then the lucky little thing went on to win the whole affair."
Jakob Karr, a contemporary dancer, was perhaps the fan favorite to win. "I wouldn't have minded Jakob or Russell," says executive producer Nigel Lythgoe. "America will look at the charismatic performer that Russell is and think, 'Well, if he's done that, I can do that.' Remember, he didn't win by krumping. He won on doing other styles and that opens up for street kids to go, 'Oh, I should do a little ballroom, or maybe I should do this or that.'"
"We always say it's about America's favorite dancer," adds Deeley. "It's not necessarily about the best dancer. To be honest, I know Jakob will go on and do incredible things."
Judge Adam Shankman, on the other hand, says he and former Dance choreographer Mia Michaels knew Russell would be crowned the winner back at the Vegas auditions. "He was so good in all the different styles back then. He surprised us. We recognized he had extraordinary charisma."
Shankman, who is also producing the Oscars, says that both top girl Kathryn McCormick and top boy Russell, will be given a dance role on the awards show. "Because these kids blow me away so much, I would like to give them the opportunity to have the same chance that I did," he says.
So what's next for So You Think You Can Dance? Lythgoe says he's not sure when the next season will air, but he's aching to try something new. "I personally would love to put a show in Vegas," he says. "I would love to take all of the American Idols that are terrific, that didn't win, but are still fantastic; take these people and the So You Think You Can Dance dancers and do a really great show there. I think it would be fabulous."