Sabra Johnson crowned 'So You Think You Can Dance 3' winner
By Christopher Rocchio, 08/17/2007
Sabra Johnson, a 20-year-old contemporary dancer from Roy, UT, was revealed to be So You Think You Can Dance's third-season champion during last night's live finale broadcast of the Fox reality competition series.
With a "record breaking" 16 million votes cast following Wednesday night's final third-season performance episode, Sabra became the first woman to win the So You Think You Can Dance title (Nick Lazzarini was the Season 1 winner and Benji Schwimmer was the Season 2 champ).
"I've learned a lot about dance, just being around all these brilliant people. It made my mind so much more creative than it was before," said Sabra during an interview with So You Think You Can Dance host Cat Deeley that aired on Wednesday night's broadcast. "Hopefully I can take it all with me."
During Wednesday night's performance episode, each of the Top 4 finalists -- Sabra; Neil Haskell, a 20-year-old contemporary jazz dancer from Clarence Center, NY; Lacey Schwimmer, an 18-year-old swing and international Latin dancer from Redlands, CA; and Danny Tidwell, a 23-year-old contemporary/Jazz dancer from New York, NY -- performed three couples routines, a group number and a solo.
Sabra's best critique came following her solo, when So You Think You Can Dance judge and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe commented she has an "energy that draws us into you" and choreographer Dan Karaty thought it was "absolutely amazing."
"You have everything it takes to be a champion on this show," said judge Mary Murphy.
Lacey, who only decided to audition for So You Think You Can Dance 3 after watching her brother Benji take home the title last summer, was the first of the Top 4 finalists to be eliminated during last night's broadcast. Despite having been the only member of the Top 20 who was never a member of the bottom three or four based on viewer votes, she seemed to anticipate her ousting.
"I kind of knew it was coming," said Lacey after her elimination was revealed. "I'm absolutely fine with it... I never thought I'd even make it into the Top 10, so I'm really happy about it. Just thank you for the opportunity you guys, thank you so much for everything. I've learned so much."
Neil, a fan favorite among So You Think You Can Dance's young female demographic, was the second Top 4 finalist to have his elimination revealed.
"I just hope I can touch people with my dancing," said Neil during a video montage of his So You Think You Can Dance 3 journey. "It's just made me a better dancer and a better person."
"They're back! All my babies are back!" shrieked Cat after the Top 20 were introduced, a comment Ryan Seacrest, her smugger Idol counterpart, probably wouldn't make unless under direst.
Additional filler in the bloated broadcast included a montage of the season; two video clips from the third-season auditions; performances by both the Top 8 and Top 10 finalists; a plug of the So You Think You Can Dance50-city fall tour; an animated video "dance" featuring Nigel and Cat; performances by clogger Brandon Norris and pop/lock dancer Brian Gaynor; Nigel gushing about American Band; a cameo by Idol judge Paula Abdul; encore performances of the judges' and choreographers' favorite couples dances of the season; and musical performances by Pussycat Dolls member Nicole Scherzinger as well as Ryan Cabrera -- who sang "I Will Remember You" -- the "goodbye song" played throughout the season.