‘So You Think You Can Dance’ crowns Anthony Curley Season 18’s winner over Dakayla Wilson

Reality

So You Think You Can Dance judges Allison Holker, Maksim Chmerkovskiy and JoJo Siwa crowned Anthony Curley the Season 18 champion during the finale episode that aired Monday night on Fox.

“I can tell you that your amazing solos split the panel [of judges],” So You Think You Can Dance host Cat Deeley told the two finalists before announcing the night’s results.

“It’s the closest result we’ve ever had in the history of So You Think You Can Dance. The winner of So You Think You Can Dance Season 18 is Anthony!”

Anthony, an 18-year-old contemporary dancer from Phoenix, AZ, won So You Think You Can Dance and the $100,000 grand prize, defeating runner-up dancer Dakayla Wilson, an 18-year-old contemporary jazz dancer from Tampa, FL.

Last season’s So You Think You Can Dance winner, Alexis Warr, handed Anthony his trophy.

“If you told me that I’d make it to the finale during auditions week, I’d probably laugh in your face,” Anthony said.

“This has been the most eye-opening experience of my life. Just having these challenges and working with choreographers week after week… I’ve worked so hard to get to this moment.”

Given Anthony and Dakayla had begun dating and fell in love during the competition, Anthony added, “I can’t believe [I competed] against the love of my love, like, that is absolutely surreal… I’m just very blessed. [My mom] pushed me to do this show. Winning [will] finally give me the opportunity to give back to my mom, like, I’m taking her on vacation!”

Madison Alvarado, a 21-year-old jazz funk dancer from Las Vegas, NV, finished So You Think You Can Dance in third place.

The competitive finale began with the Top 3 finalists each performing a duet with a previously-eliminated member of the Top 10. Anthony, Dakayla and Madison got to choose their own partner.

Madison danced a jazz/funk performance with 18-year-old Braylon Browner.

“You’ve been our most consistent dancer and you’ve never been in the bottom, and you just showed why… That was an amazing routine,” Allison gushed.

Anthony impressed with a hip-hop duet alongside 21-year-old Mariyah Hawkins.

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“You’ve delivered every single time. You are a true dance warrior and you’re ready to get hired right now!” Maksim declared.

And Dakayla performed an emotional contemporary routine with 19-year-old Easton Magliarditi.

“I’m so in awe of you right now,” Allison told Dakayla, before JoJo was temporarily speechless and then blurted out, “I am so insanely proud of you.”

Following the duets round, Allison, Maksim and JoJo narrowed down the field and eliminated Madison in third place.

“Looking back to audition day, I did not think that I would make Top 3. I’m not someone who expects to get something, so I truly gave my all in this competition,” Madison said.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been in so much pain, but I think I’ve shown how strong and powerful I am. I’m very grateful that I made it this far, to be able to show that.”

Anthony and Dakayla then squared off in the final round of competition in which the Top 2 finalists were tasked with performing a solo.

Anthony left it all on the stage, as the judges noticed his feet were bleeding after the performance.

JoJo told Anthony he has “the potential to be the best of the best,” adding, “I feel honored to have gotten to witness that with my own two eyes.”

And Maksim told Dakayla after her powerful dance, “I’ve never seen someone go through a 10-week transformation such as this.”

The Top 10 dancers on So You Think You Can Dance this season also included 19-year-old Avery Gay, 20-year-old Jaylin Sanders, 22-year-old Olivia Alboher, and 26-year-old Roman Nevinchanyi.
About The Author:
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski

Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.

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