Amy, a 19-year-old jazz dancer from Northville, MI, and Fik-Shun, an 18-year-old hip-hop dancer from Las Vegas, NV, were declared the winners of So You Think You Can Dance and "America's favorite dancers" based on home viewer votes cast for the Top 4 finalists immediately following last week's performance show. Amy had pulled in the most home viewer votes of all the remaining finalists.
As the season's champions, Amy and Fik-Shun will each receive over a $100,000 cash prize and a cover appearance on Dance Spirit magazine. They beat out the runner-up female and male dancers Jasmine Harper and Aaron Turner respectively.
During a Wednesday conference call with reporters, Amy talked to Reality TV World about her victory and overall experience on the show. Below is what she had to say. Check back with Reality TV World soon for some additional highlights from her call and for Fik-Shun's interview.
Reality TV World: During last week's final performance show, it kind of seemed like you pulled ahead of Jasmine a little based on the judges' comments, so were you actually surprised to win the season or not really? And how did it feel to be the Top 4 finalist who received the most votes overall that night?
Amy Yakima: I was so surprised! I had no idea. Jasmine is a beautiful dancer. We're completely different though. She dances way longer, more like, extended than I am. She's definitely [awesome] at hip-hop. So when it came down to it, we were just completely different dancers in different ways, and it didn't really matter to me.
We just kind of stood on that stage together and we were like, "Whatever happens, happens." And we were just kind of like, we had an amazing journey. We were the last two standing and we knew how hard it was, this long journey that we had. And we were just kind of standing there reminiscing about how much fun this whole thing was.
Reality TV World: Do you think it's a coincidence you were partnered with Fik-Shun at the beginning of the season and you both ended up winning? Do you think viewers took such a liking to you guys as a pair that they sort of followed you the whole way through the competition or do you think your individual dances towards the end of the season had more of an impact on the voting?
Amy Yakima: I think everything. It all comes into play. I think it is -- I think America loves to watch two people grow together, and we did! We started literally from nothing. We had no idea who each other were, what we were about -- and we just grew every single week in whatever style we were given.
And it may not have been the best, but we really tried to put ourselves into it, and we tried to put everything on the dance floor. I think that's something that people really love to watch, just really going for it and letting go of everything that's like thought about, all our doubts, and just putting it on the dance floor.
And then I think both of us got to shine with some other amazing dancers who brought something out in us we never thought could be possible. So I think everything comes into play when it comes to the voting.
Reality TV World: Yourself and Fik-Shun were clearly definitely challenged with a couple ballroom routines this season. But when I talked to BluPrint earlier on, he actually said he believes it's more difficult to perform in your own dance style mainly because people have really high expectations of you since it's the genre in which you should be most the knowledgeable and skilled. Do you agree or disagree with that?
Amy Yakima: I definitely agree. I think there's a lot more stigma on it just because there's expectations that you have to meet. And you can't think about those. That is your style, but I think every style has its own perks -- no matter if you feel comfortable in it or not. I think that's one thing. It's like, ballroom may not be our style, but we have fun doing it.
We don't feel comfortable yet, (laughs) but it's fun doing it. I enjoy playing the characters I'm given, and it may not be a style that like I don't dislike it or I think it's really hard, I'm just not comfortable yet.
Reality TV World: I just want to ask whether there is anything romantic going on between you and Fik-Shun or whether that could become a possibility down the road. Some viewers are saying you two would be cute together.
Amy Yakima: We definitely hate each other, (laughs) really -- a lot. (Laughs) No, we're just really close and really good buddies. That's what I like to say.
Reality TV World: What do you plan to do with the money you won?
Amy Yakima: I'm definitely going to save some for training and dance [classes]. We can only get better at what we do and continuing our dance career.
Reality TV World: You had amazing judges and guest judges either praise or critique you this season. Looking back on your whole experience, what was one compliment a member of the panel gave you that completely thrilled you? And then what was one critique/complaint that stuck with you and you'd always remember during rehearsals? Maybe there was one complaint that you really tried to fix or improve upon.
Amy Yakima: I think the bad was just Fik-Shun and I were being given characters that were just kind of similar in a row. And they were just kind of wanting a little bit something more from us -- a little something deeper, a little something not so happy and cutesy. Because that's kind of how we are in real life. We're kind of like happy-go-lucky people.
So they really wanted to see a different side and see if we could go there. And we were finally given that opportunity, and I think that was pretty, pretty awesome.
As far as the good, one thing I'll always remember is Paula Abdul saying that she would hire me and put me front and center for one of her tours or one of her music videos. And I was like, "That's kind of what I always wanted to do, like just being in the dance world and start working and working with artists and working with people that celebrate art!" And so, it was just kind of like a realization moment of like, "Oh, yeah! That's what I want to do! And you want me to do that! Okay, yay!"
Check back with Reality TV World soon for some additional highlights from Amy's call with reporters and for Fik-Shun's interview.