The 20-year-old Coastal Carolina University musical theater student from Anderson, SC took home the show's grand prize -- replacing Laura Bell Bundy as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde The Musical at Broadway's Palace Theatre.
"I can't even explain it. This feeling is just phenomenal," said Bailey after her victory.
"To feel those lights hit me and to know that I'm not trying to win this role anymore -- it's mine. I've come so far in such short time. When all this started, I was just a girl with a dream. Now I'm about to be a leading lady on Broadway."
Bailey defeated Autumn Hurlbert, a 27-year-old actress from Astoria, NY, during the finale broadcast.
Rhiannon Hansen, a 19-year-old student at Los Angeles' The American Musical and Dramatic Academy from Logan UT, was eliminated at the beginning of the finale broadcast.
"It's really hard, just because I feel like it was my dream to be Elle Woods on Broadway," said an emotional Rhiannon after her ouster. "To be this close it kind of sucks to be cut short. I have accomplished so much just by being here. I was just hoping to move on to be No. 1.
Following Rhiannon's elimination, Bailey and Autumn each performed three full Legally Blonde numbers -- "Omigod You Guys," "Positive" and "So Much Better" -- at The Palace Theatre.
After receiving comments from the finale's judging panel, Bailey was chosen as the winner by Legally Blonde The Musical's choreographer and director Jerry Mitchell.
Both Bailey and Autumn are scheduled to join Legally Blonde The Musical's cast beginning tomorrow night -- with Bailey starring as Elle and Autumn appearing as sorority girl Leilani.
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