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- We start the "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 8 finale with a group dance featuring the entire Top 20. The judges panel is packed, with Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Lil C, Sonya Tayeh, Tyce Diorio and Robin Antin join regular Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe.
It's going to be a long night of memorable moments and reprises of performances from throughout the season. The top four come out and Cat asks for final words from the panel. Lil C congratulates them all for getting to the final four. Robin says she's excited to see where they go with their dreams. Tyce tells them something about remembering where their heart and mind and talent meet. Sonya thanks them for making her a better choreographer. Jesse tells them they all possess a spark that no one can take away. Mary tells them they all have great spirits. Nigel tells them each of them are inspiration to kids across the country, and he says that after watching the show back Wednesday night he thought he was "insensitive" toward the guys by discrediting their chances of winning and the hard work they've put in.
After a highlight reel of the season, Cat asks Mary to introduce her pick for an encore performance. She wants to see Sasha and Kent's emotional performance to "Fool of Me." They get another standing ovation.
Cat recalls some of the romantic moments of the season, then cues up the reel of Nigel kissing Mary. This rolls into a Melanie & Marko routine to "I Got You." Afterward, Nigel is inexplicably sitting on Jesse's lap.
Robin then asks to see a "sexy" Mandy Moore routine performed by Tadd and Lauren to Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust."
We get a highlight reel about the weird characters the dancers have had to play this season.
Lil C chooses a Napoleon & Tabitha routine by Robert and Miranda to Busta Rhymes' "Break Ya Neck." Afterward, we get a replay of the Top 8 "circus" routine, which Cat says made her cry as the makeup and choreography and performance all came together in a special way.
The current UK "So You Think You Can Dance" champion, Matt Flint, performs a tap routine with Jess and Nick. Nigel takes a moment to call that "one of the most exciting tap routines" he's ever seen.
Mary wants to see the "biggest leap of faith" she's seen on the show, Melanie & Neil's Mandy Moore routine to "Total Eclipse of the Heart." Afterward, Jesse gets a pick and wants to see Marko and Allison perform to Jeff Buckley's "I Know It's Over."
Tyce wants to see the "geishas" group routine performed by the Top 10 girls.
Some results: At the one-hour mark, we get a recap of Wednesday night's performances. Following the recap, Cat brings the final four to the stage and announces that one of them is out. Finishing in fourth place is ... Tadd.
More performances: Lil C gets another pick and wants to see Chris and Ashley performing the jail routine.
The Top 4 take a moment to plug the "Glee 3D" movie by being whisked off to the premiere and we see the footage from it.
Nigel wants to see a Chris Scott routine starring Twitch and Sasha with their morning make out (and probably more).
Sonya wants to see the Top 10 guys doing Chris Scott's piece that had them hip-hopping through and around a bunch of doors. Jesse gets another pick and says he doesn't know anything about ballroom, but he wants to see the Argentine tango by Caitlynn and Pasha, so we get a replay.
Mary says the next routine she wants to see made her hair stand up -- Melanie & Marko's first routine together. It was Travis Wall's contemporary routine to "Turn to Stone."
Third place: After this, we get another result. Cat sort of abruptly pulls the top three onto the stage and announces that the dancer in third place is Marko. That means Melanie and Sasha are the last two.
'Load of crap': Nigel takes an opportunity to respond to a piece in The New York Times that had some dancers from New York talking about the show and saying there were "no memorable routines" and that the dancers on the show are OK but won't work in New York. He says he thinks the routines from tonight will show "what a load of crap" that was, and he asks for Sash and Melanie to reprise their "beastly" Sonya Tayeh routine. Fitting, that the final two are the ones to perform the final dance of the season.
And the winner is...: Finally, Melanie and Sasha head out to center stage to find out whose name is on the sealed card in Cat's hand. Before the announcement, we get a recap of their journeys on the show.
Cat says the second place dancer got 32 percent of the vote, but the winner got 47 percent of the vote. And that person, "America's favorite dancer" ... is Melanie.
Asked if there's anything she wants to say, Melanie just says, "Thank you" through lots of tears. She's mobbed by the other finalists and hoisted up on shoulders as the confetti falls.
And another season is in the books.