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'Superstars of Dance' ends with USA topping master leaderboard


By John Bracchitta, 01/27/2009 

Despite going into the season finale one point behind Australia on the competition's master leaderboard, the United States team ended up prevailing as Superstars of Dance's overall points leader during last night's pre-taped broadcast of the NBC dancing competition.

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"There you have it, the United States of America, the very first winners of the International Superstars of Dance Trophy!" host Michael Flately exclaimed after he revealed that Team USA's group dance team, the Groovaloos, had won the competition's group performance gold medal and also scored enough judges points to claim the master leaderboard's top spot for their country.

Team Australia's FloorPlay team also made it to the group dance category's final round, however they ended up with a bronze medal after finished behind Team China's "Shaolin: Wheel of Life" Shaolin Monks Kung Fu group, which won the silver medal.

Superstars of Dance's season finale featured the presentation of gold, silver and bronze medals to the top three countries who had performed in three separate dance categories: Solo, Duet and Group. The master leaderboard's rankings were determined by adding the individual judge points from each category finalist's performance to each country's previous master leaderboard total determine which country finished on top.

Prior to the presentation of the first medal, Team Australia led the master leaderboard with 414 points while Team USA followed close behind in second with 413 points.

Medals were first handed out for the competition's solo dance performances, with Team USA's Robert Muraine taking home the bronze medal after receiving 51 points for he final performance, Team India's Amrapali Ambegaikar receiving the silver medal after receiving a score of 56 and Team Russia's Maria Kochetkova receiving the gold medal with her score of 66 points.

Despite Muraine's third-place finish, his performance still allowed Team USA to jump into the master leaderboard lead with 464 points.

Team Australia couple Gisele Peacock and Henry Byalikov received the duet category's bronze medal after receiving 58 points for their final performance. Team South Africa's couple of Claudia Savvides and Victor Da Silva received the silver medal after receiving a score of 59 points, while Team Argentina's couple of Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo took home the gold medal after receiving a score of 66 points.

Team Australia's 58 duet category points pushed them back into the lead on the master leaderboard with 472, with Team USA staying put with 464 points because they did not have a dancer participating in the duet category's final round.

The duet category's results also created a showdown for the show's title between Team USA and Team Australia in the group dance competition's final round because both had groups representing their country in the final round.

However, Team USA jumped into the lead and won the group dance category's gold medal after the Groovaloos received 66 judging points for their final performance. The Shaolin Monks followed with the silver medal after receiving 57 points, while the Australian team faltered and only received 53 points for the bronze medal.

After adding the group dance category's scores to the master leaderboard, Team USA was revealed to be the show's winners with 530 total points. Team Australia came in second place with 525 points.

"What an amazing ending to an amazing first season," co-host Susie Castillo gushed following Team USA's victory.

"It couldn't get any better than that," added Flately. "I've never seen anything like this on TV in my life."

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