Benji Schwimmer crowned 'So You Think You Can Dance 2' winner
By Reality TV World staff, 08/17/2006
So You Think You Can Dance 2 crowned its champion last night, with Benji Schwimmer defeating fellow Final 4 finalists and Heidi Groskreutz, Donyelle Jones, and Travis Wall to win the second edition of the Fox reality talent competition show.
As "America's favorite dancer," Benji, a 22-year-old West Coast swing specialist from Redlands, CA, won a $100,000 grand prize, a new car and a one-year contract with Celine Dion's Las Vegas show, "A New Day."
So You Think You Can Dance 2's heavily padded live two-hour finale began with an hour of bonus dance performances, flashback segments, and an appearance by pop singer Ciara. Once the second hour began, Dance host Cat Deeley revealed that following last week's final performance show, neither Heidi or Donyelle had received the most home viewer votes and Benji and Travis were the show's Final 2. After nearly another full hour of more bonus performances, more flashback segments, an appearance by pop singer Fergie, and a lot of anxious waiting from Benji and Travis, Cat revealed that Benji -- the son of “King of Swing” swing dancer Buddy Schwimmer -- had received won So You Think You Can Dance's second season title.
"Thank you so much America," Benji gushed after his victory was announced.
After Benji's victory was announced, Dion offered her congratulations via a pre-recorded video message. "I am delighted to be the first one to congratulate Benji on becoming America’s favourite dancer,” said Dion.
According to Fox, So You Think You Can Dance viewers cast nearly 16 million votes after last week's Final 4 performance show, the fourth consecutive week that the show set a vote record. Over the course of the second season's nine week home viewer voting period, viewers cast a total of almost 70 million votes.
Beginning September 12, Benji, Travis, Donyelle, Heidi, and the rest of So You Think You Can Dance 2's Top 10 finalists will embark on a six-week nationwide performance tour. While many locations have already sold out, additional dates are expected to be released soon. According to So You Think You Can Dance executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe, a dance clinic tour involving the show's choreographers is also being considered.