"I just want to thank everybody so much. This means everything to me. I've been dreaming of this ever since I was born. I just thank the judges so much for their criticism -- you guys make me better as a person, as a dancer... I want to thank my parents, my mother, my father, my girlfriend's over there, my little brother. I love all y'all."
Ferguson's victory came after he injured himself during a routine earlier in the broadcast. As host Cat Deeley called out the Top 6 finalists to reveal the first elimination, Ferguson was visibly in pain.
"I messed my knee up... I mean my leg up," he said through tears.
"We'll get you some help okay? Have you seen the medic?" asked Deeley, as Ferguson nodded his head "yes."
"Okay. Hang in there one second for me and we'll get you off here as soon as possible," she replied. "It is time for some results."
Later in the broadcast when Ferguson was scheduled to perform a routine with previously eliminated finalist Noelle Marsh, Fox instead aired video footage of when the performance originally aired during the third week of the competition.
"Obviously, as you've seen earlier in the show, Russell has been injured here tonight. But luckily, we have a tape of the original performance," said Deeley.
In addition, video footage from one of Ferguson's Tuesday night routines with fellow Top 6 finalist Kathryn McCormick also aired in place of a live performance due to his injury.
Ferguson was subsequently seated on a stool onstage each time an elimination was revealed, except when Deeley called him out to reveal the winner -- when he walked out on stage with eventual runner-up Jakob Karr.
"When I first auditioned in New Orleans, I never even thought that I would be anywhere near this point," said Karr, a 19-year-old contemporary dancer from Windermere, FL who currently resides in New York, NY, in a video montage before the results were revealed.
"I wish that this could go on forever. I could stay right here in this second for the rest of my life and be so happy."
McCormick, a 19-year-old contemporary dancer from Augusta, GA who currently resides in Burbank, CA, finished third.
"This has been something that I will never forget<' she said after her elimination. "This has been like anything I've ever imagined for myself and I'm so blessed and so thankful that I was able to share it with every one of you."
Ellenore Scott, a 19-year-old contemporary/jazz dancer from Santa Cruz, CA who currently resides in Brooklyn, NY, finished in fourth.
"You can't explain what happens to you on this show unless you're in it," said Scott. "It builds each one of us in a really unique way and it bonds us all together in a way, it's more than amazing -- absolutely more than amazing... I'm so blessed and so happy."
Ashleigh Di Lello, a 26-year-old Latin ballroom dancer from Orem, UT, finished in fifth.
"This entire experience... I'm so grateful to God for giving me a second chance at life to dance, for this show -- the opportunity to get up on this stage and do what I love for all of these weeks. I am so grateful," said Di Lello after her ouster.
Her husband Ryan Di Lello, a 28-year-old ballroom dancer from Springville, UT who currently resides in Orem, UT, finished in sixth.
"To be able to share this with my sweetheart is like a dream come true," he said.
"What I'm going to take is the little things -- the friendships, the warm hearts, the people I'm going to really keep close to me forever. If I have motivated or inspired anybody, I could not ask for anything more. This has just been a dream come true. I'm just so thankful. I'm humble to be here."
In addition, the finale broadcast featured the Top 20 finalists performing different routines from the season, as well as performances by Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, British third-season The X Factor winner Leona Lewis and American Idol eighth-season runner-up Adam Lambert.
(Photo credit Fox)
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