We Have Our Winners!

America's Favorite Dancers: Chehon & Eliana!

The ninth season of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE came to a conclusion Tuesday night when Eliana Girard and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp were crowned the winners during the live two-hour season finale on FOX. Girard, 21, from West Palm Beach, FL, and Wespi-Tschopp, 23, from Zurich, Switzerland, received the most of America’s votes and danced off with the cash prize of $125,000 each. Fellow finalists Tiffany Maher and Cyrus Spencer were eliminated as host Cat Deeley revealed the voting results.

“What I have imagined winning would feel like was like winning the lottery,” said Eliana Girard. “I hoped for it every single day and when it actually happened I felt like my life was complete. Whatever happens afterwards doesn’t matter because all my dreams have come true! And I want to take the time to thank all the fans for their support, because they don’t realize how much they helped me get through this! And of course my family too! I love you guys and thank you a bazillion times over!”

“Winning SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE gives me the most unbelievable and rewarding feeling,” said Chehon Wespi-Tschopp. “It is a truly special ending to my journey, far beyond anything that I thought possible. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment that all the hard work that I’ve put in since starting ballet at 13 was completely worth it. I’d like to thank this show for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime, and to all my supporters who have made me believe in my talents, and most importantly, my parents, who have always been there for me and sacrificed so much for me to pursue my dream!”

In addition to naming America’s Favorite Dancers, the Season Nine finale of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE featured performances by this season’s Top 20 dancers. The celebration also showcased the judges’ favorite routines from the season – including a special performance by Dragon House Crew, who were introduced, along with fellow member and runner-up Cyrus Spencer, in the Atlanta audition episode. The season finale also featured a special appearance by Carly Rae Jepsen who performed her new single, “This Kiss.”

Last week, Nigel announced the SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Experience, a three-day dance convention filled with classes, seminars, a mock audition and performances during which participants can learn, watch and be inspired by their favorite SYTYCD dancers and choreographers. The first clinic will take place from Sept. 21-23 at the Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. For details, please click here.

Also, this season’s Top 10 dancers will participate in the 30-city SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Tour 2012. Tickets are on sale now for the tour, which kicks off in San Diego, CA, on Tuesday, Oct. 23. More details can be found right here.

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE was created by Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe and comes from 19 Entertainment and dick clark productions. The series is executive-produced by Simon Fuller, Nigel Lythgoe and Barry Adelman. Become a fan of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/soyouthinkyoucandance. Follow the series on Twitter at @DANCEonFOX and join the discussion at #sytycd.

View photos from the Season 9 finale.


20 comments on “We Have Our Winners!“

  1. Judith Martin - wrote:

    Congratulations to Eliana and Chehon. I do think you are wonderful dancers.
    However, I do think the comment made by Nigel Lythgoe at the end of the final dance contest was a TERRIBLE disservice to Cyrus. He, in saying that he would never vote for Cyrus, influenced many voters. That was a mean spirited comment and he meant to influence the voting. I think that Cyrus should be given an equal share of the money. Just think, if Cyrus had had the privileges that Chehon had, but no he did this all by himself. He is a genius and should be given every opportunity to further his art. And maybe MR.LYTHGOE should pay for it!

    9/19/2012 11:27 AM UTC

  2. Max Alberici - wrote:


    9/19/2012 11:42 AM UTC

  3. Sally Herstine - wrote:

    SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE is my favorite TV show. The excellence of the dancers is amazing. Each year I think the dancers can’t be better the next year but this tears group excelled all others. I am so happy that Eliana and Cheon won. Ballet has always been my favorite and both were great.

    Congratulate all Top Twenty dancers. They were wonderful.

    The choreographers are all top-notch.

    Great, Great show. Thank you for hours of pleasure.

    9/19/2012 5:05 PM UTC

  4. Kerilyn - wrote:

    I agree that Nigel screwed the pooch on this one. Cyrus deserved it and Nigel essentially fixed the votes for who he wanted to win! I hope he gets raked over the coals!

    9/20/2012 6:31 AM UTC

  5. Steven Williams - wrote:

    Congratulations to Eliana and Chehon. After season 5 I felt the quality of the show dropped but season 9 was outstanding. I’m a little disappointed that no mention was made of Courtney Galiano’s medical condition. She was one of the best dancers that ever graced the stage and was part of my personal favorite routine, The Garden.

    9/20/2012 8:43 AM UTC

  6. Walker7 - wrote:

    First, I want to say congratulations to Eliana and Chehon, who are America’s favorite dancers! They really deserved it! This season’s finale was nothing short of excellent.

    The level of talent this season was excellent, but I do agree with a lot of fans that the format was not right. Here are some changes I suggest for next season. Please forward these suggestions to the producers:

    (1) The obvious: Go back to having two seperate shows (performance on Wednesday, results on Thursday). Some contestants we never got to see solos from before they were eliminated. And it would be better if the results show was 30 minutes long, instead of an hour.

    (2) Every week, there should be one guy and one girl eliminated. Two guys and two girls eliminated in one week is too much.

    (3) New eligibility rule: Anyone who makes the Top 20, but NOT the Top 10, can still re-enter the competition. After all, there have been a lot of early-eliminated contestants who deserve another chance, and America has not seen enough of. And of course, the Top 10 get to go on tour. (This would apply to all seasons, except Season 7, in which the cut-off point would become Top 5, since there was a Top 11 instead of a Top 20).

    (4) Limit the votes per phone line each week. And keep the rule where viewers can vote seperately for guys and girls. Since online voting is limited to 50 votes per account, how about 50 votes per phone line?

    The contestant that I missed most this season was Alexa. She didn’t deserve to be eliminated as early as she was. As I mentioned before, she deserves another chance. In fact, it would be interesting to see how she improves in a few years from now. America has not seen enough of her so far, but at least we got to see her in the finale. In fact, I liked seeing all of the Top 20 in the finale.

    I also want to say congratulations for the lighting team on their Emmy, and Cat on her Emmy nomination.

    And as for Eliana and Chehon, I wish them the best in their careers. They will go far, for certain. I hope to see them as All-Stars next season. In my opinion, every season from now on should have both a male and female winner.

    Well, that does it for this season. I hope that Season 10 will be even better.

    9/20/2012 1:23 PM UTC

  7. Linda Sorensen - wrote:

    Folks in the studio probably heard me screaming for joy all the way from NY when I realized that America actually got it right and my favs Eliana and Cheon won! I was convinced that Cyrus and Tiffany would win the popularity contest – but the true best dancers won! Years of disciplined ballet training paid off for Eliana and Cheon, and they sooooooo deserve this! Can’t wait to see you live!!
    P.S. when are you replacing the photo of Melanie on the home page of the site with our current winners!?!

    9/20/2012 6:12 PM UTC

  8. Jerrry M. Scott - wrote:

    If you go back and watch each episode, you will see that Cyrus improved but only because he was never asked to do anything difficult or not in his line of expertise. Even in the finale he was just doing his twitch or watever style that was. Cheon and Eliana were beautiful dancers and if you have never tried ballet, you can’t imagine how difficult it is and I doubt that anyone would think that they have had an easy time of it. Cheon had to leave home when he was young to train with the London school. An awful lot of excellent dancers were eliminated in favor of Cyrus and it was totally unfair. I wish they would eliminate hip-hop all together as it is not really a dance but a body exhibition. I know I will get a lot of feed back for this comment, but that’s how I feel. I agree that voting should be limited as it is on America’s Got Talent. Looking forward to season 10.

    9/21/2012 12:56 PM UTC

  9. Jerry Moore - wrote:

    I agree that Nigel tried to influence the vote in favor of Cheon. He has always said that SYTYCD is about America’s favorite dancer and not necessarily about the best dancer. Well now he seems to be going the other way. He should have kept his big mouth shut because he did swing the vote to Cheon. For Cyrus to go as far as he did with hardly no training in all the various forms of dance should be recognized because he did do a fantastic job. It was very unprofessional of Nigel to come out and say he would vote for Cheon. I could see the hurt in Cyrus eyes when Nigel said that. I agree with a previous comment saying that Nigel should award Cyrus a money prize, even if it has to come out of Nigel’s pocket. He can afford it!

    9/22/2012 1:06 PM UTC

  10. Rachel Franco - wrote:

    I was thrilled that Eliana and Chehon both won. I too was concerned that Cyrus and Tiffany would win because of popularity and was beyond thrilled that America got it right. Tiffany and Cyrus are great dancers, but Eliana and Chehon are truly fine dancers – exquisite in their talent. Really no comparison in my opinion – they were just a notch above the rest and in their own league. I too agree that Nigel’s comment about how he wouldn’t vote for Cyrus was grossly inappropriate. But, even with that, I think the right people won.

    9/22/2012 3:12 PM UTC

  11. Mr Amazed - wrote:

    My two favorite dancers won. I can not tell you how happy I am. A few new experiences for me this season. First I never thought that a dancer would ever come close to my beloved Katie, and here we are a few seasons later and two dancers have done so and more in my layman like estimation. I have never really been moved by a male dancer but I can not stop watching Chehon’s solo at the end of Vegas week. That young man was and is truly amazing. as for Eliana well I have had my head turned by Asian women/dancers/athletes for over a decade until now. Eliana is pure beauty in motion. I am now completely sold on ballet. My sweet daughter takes classes now but she likes the being stage part more than the ballet or piano part so it is still up in the air as to whether or not she will grow to love dance as I loved ice hockey back home in Canada as a boy. I have had my two young boys watch Chehon’s solo a few times and now they ask to see it and then bounce around the living room imitating him. Absolute Magnificence, both of them…

    9/23/2012 2:23 AM UTC

  12. Mr Amazed - wrote:

    I was a little put out by Nigel stating he was voting for Chehon but for an entirely different reason than others have posted here. I was a little concerned that Nigel’s endorsement would have the effect of causing fence sitters to vote for Cyris. I was so shocked when I discovered America chose Chehon and Eliana, I fully expected Cyrus and Tiffany (she is a real firecracker) to win. Ballet is amazing, I am a new convert

    9/23/2012 2:48 AM UTC

  13. ScarletteSpider - wrote:

    omgs!!! It’s about time ballet had a winner on SYTYCD, but for both top gal and top guy to represent the finest atheletes in the world…ballet…is extraordinarily awesomesauce. Congratulations Chehon and Eliana!! Well done!! Along with Cole and Emily you four were my favorites from auditions to the end.

    9/23/2012 8:41 PM UTC

  14. ScarlettSpider - wrote:

    Ok down to business. The format, do NOT under any circumstances cut the time for the finale show. In fact it should be a 2 hour extravaganza so we can see more of the best routines again. Every single one that we saw in the finale was better for having had the additional time to perfect them for performance.
    I agree with Walker7 about the shows during the season should go back to old format, performance shows and results shows. So we can have more chances to see the solos, and so voting can be done on that weeks performances and not have the performances done the following week not count towards the results show. Soooo many of the dancers had extraordinary performances on the week they were eliminated that didn’t get to count towards voting.
    Next, I know you like the studio audience to be pumped up. It’s entertaining and good for ratings. But it is detrimental to the entire dance experience when you can’t hear the music because of the attention whores in the audience screaming so the end up on the final cuts of the audio tracks. It’s rude to the dancers and the television audience. Without hearing every beat and every nuance of the music the dancing loses some of it’s artistic impact.
    Finally, congratulations to the lighting techs for another emmy win! woot woot! And the camera techs do an excellent job, but would get more nominations and emmys if they made sure that the shots we see (I’m talking to you guys in the control booth deciding which camera to put up on air and when) that we at home could see ALL of the dance and dancers the entire dance just like you do if sitting in the studio. Close ups are nice, but not when we miss some of the WHOLE picture and dance experience.
    Finally, keeping fingers crossed that Cat get her emmy, GF you sooo deserve it and it’s late in coming. You should have been racking up 3 or 4 by now. But then not everyone that gets to judge and vote on emmys and oscars has taste or unbiased professional standards of judging.
    Last suggestion which is probably the equivilant of asking for a miracle, but…
    Many of us that have developmental and mental challanges cannot watch regular tv. Commercials are seizure triggers, and we have to wait until the episodes are available online to get them commercial free. Which means by the time that happens we don’t get to vote. That’s 1 out of 150 people with autism that doesn’t get to vote. That’s 1 in every 735 people with bi-polar disorders that don’t get to vote. Wouldn’t you think it be in the best interest of the advertisers to extend online voting beyond two hours after airing to extend to a full 24 hours after the episodes are posted online so the disabled community can vote too. We are huuuge fans, enjoy the show extremely and feel cheated we don’t get to participate in the voting. Think it over seriously please?

    9/23/2012 9:00 PM UTC

  15. Terry - wrote:

    I was not happy with this years choice. Cyrus should have never been in the top 4. He did improve each week but that is because he wasn’t given any difficult moves to perform, just assisting the girl he was dancing with. Will should have been in the top 4, not Cyrus and if he was, then Will would have won.

    9/24/2012 8:28 AM UTC

  16. RD Lewis - wrote:

    Cyrus should never had been selected for the show. If he had been graded on the same scale as the other dancers he would never have made it from choreography and never would have made it from Vegas. He was just granted the right to dance on the show and knocked some other real dancer out of the competition. The handicapped dancer that did the same type “dancing” on the show a couple years ago was much better at this style that some people call dancing. I have seen people in convulsions that had better moves. Get real people, this show is supposed to be a competition for people that can really dance and learn. All Cyrus did was stomp around when not doing his style. Very similar to Chaz on DWTS.

    9/24/2012 9:48 PM UTC

  17. Jim - wrote:

    Cyrus was not robbed. The show title implies “dance”….not jerking around in a stiff robotic somewhat oddly annoying manner. He should never have made it out of choreography. He should go on America Has Talent or something and leave this show to people who can dance. I fault all the judges for letting this sham continue to the final four. Cyrus will always have an audience working it on box in time square.

    9/26/2012 3:52 AM UTC

  18. Alex - wrote:

    I personally was very, very disappointed that Cyrus didn’t win. I still love Cheon (or however you spell it) and think he is an amazing dancer, but it was America’s favorite dancer and I feel like I didn’t really get to know Cheon at all. Cyrus just makes you smile and I think will be an amazing icon like Twitch.
    Also, I think you should be able to vote for 24 hours, because if you record the show or something it means you can’t vote.
    I think Nigel did Cyrus a disservice by saying he would not be voting for, and if he didn’t I think Cyrus would have won.
    Cheon still is a great dancer with superb talent, but he did that with years of training and Cyrus taught himself.
    One last thing, I think there should be an online thing where you could vote to see one of dancers do an extra dance every week/month or something.

    9/28/2012 8:19 PM UTC

  19. Brigette - wrote:

    Congratulations to Eliana and Chehon! Personally for me (as I did ballet) is that ballerinas can dance any routine/genre thrown at them…they just can do it. But for Cyrus in his particular genre; he came a long way.
    I do believe Nigel was wrong in saying that he would vote for Chehon and not Cyrus…. Cyrus should be proud, he came a long way and he showed us what he can do.
    GREAT SHOW!!! I love SYTYCD!!!!!

    1/7/2013 6:17 AM UTC

  20. Andrew - wrote:

    To all the people saying America got it right – of course they did. It is a popularity contest so whatever they vote is right. You say or imply they got it wrong in the past – no the most popular won and that is what the contest is!!!! Does that mean the best technical dancers don’t always win – yes; because they are also not the best actors and / or may not have a personaility that clicks with those chosing to vote.
    I do not think Cyrus was robbed. He did amazing well, given the lack of his formal training, and he should personality – Well done. Did Nigel try and sway the votes – probably he and the other judges always do. Did America listen who knows? If the voting pool is big enough it should not make a difference. Maybe some voted for Cyrus to go against Nigel. I think there was also a compliment in there – but I do agree Nigel should never have said it.
    My favourite male Chehon won – and I think probably the best male dancer as well. Also fantastic that ballet won (who knows what would have happened if Alex had not injured himself).
    Note: That season 2 of SYTYCD Australia was won by a female ballerina!
    My favourite female was runner-up. Was Eliana probably the better dancer (certainly technically) and probably otherwise – but I enjoyed Tiffany’s performances far more than Eliana’s. I am also disappointed that so little is being said of Tiffany.
    She did make the top 4, was never in the bottom, had some memorable performances and yet no-one even mentions her.
    Her comments in her spiel on the final performance night are so true – so travelled under the radar and the show never promoted her the way that they did others. (Don’t forgot Eliana was praised by Nigel as being his favourite etc).
    Don’t get me wrong – I think Eliana is a deserved winner, just not my personal favourite but I accept the view of popularity of America. I am just disappointed so little is said of the female runner-up. (Yes ballet is an absolutely demanding dance style, but the other dance styles still require lots of practice, time and committment.)
    While I found the results shows in the past far too drawn out and also taped and fast forwarded a lot, I took was disappointed in the lack of solos to watch.
    I hope the judges become a little more impartial (my memory is that in earlier series they were) and stop praising 90% of dancing – they must have some room for improvement; and we know when people are outside of there style – this stops becoming necessary to be reminded for the top 10.
    Great to hear season 10 is coming!!!

    1/12/2013 2:08 AM UTC

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