- Associated Press - Thursday, August 11, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Melanie Moore easily clinched the grand prize on “So You Think You Can Dance.”

Viewer votes overwhelmingly awarded the pixie-haired 19-year-old college student from Marietta, Ga., the title of “America’s Favorite Dancer” and the $250,000 cash prize. Moore bested fierce 23-year-old runner-up Sasha Mallory of Bakersfield, Ca., and powerful 22-year-old third-place finisher Marko Germar of Los Angeles on the Fox dancing contest’s finale Thursday.

“Thank you,” Moore told viewers while weeping under a confetti storm.

Moore picked up an impressive 47 percent of viewer votes, according to host Cat Deeley. The spirited contemporary dancer was long considered the eighth season’s frontrunner, dominating the competition by mastering artful contemporary routines set to tunes such as Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and Ingrid Michaelson’s “Turn to Stone.”

The show’s judges never put Moore in the bottom of the pack. For the first half of the final rounds, Moore was teamed with Germar. The duo impressed as dancing statues and grabbed attention with a smooch during a hip-hop routine. Moore later wowed the panel on her when she was paired with various veteran dancers during the second part of the finals.

“I would push myself to the front of the line to work with you,” director Kenny Ortega told her Wednesday.

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Online:

http://www.fox.com/dance/