On August 16, Benji Schwimmer was announced as the winner of season 2 and received the grand prize of $100,000, a new hybrid SUV, and a one-year contract with Celine Dion's Las Vegas show, A New Day.... Schwimmer almost did not make the show's top 20 "? he was officially first runner-up dancer in case any of the male dancers ran into unforeseen difficulties prior to the start of filming. As it happened, for the second year in a row, Hokuto Konishi was unable to get his visa cleared to work in the U.S. in time for the first taping, and he was cut. Schwimmer took his spot in the Top 20 and fared well from the start, garnering consistent praise from the judges and votes from viewers. Schwimmer and fellow grand finalist Donyelle Jones, who were paired as a couple from the first performance episode, became the first contestants in the show's run to never face elimination from being in the bottom six or bottom 4 dancers.
Auditions were held in New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; and Charleston, South Carolina.
One hundred and sixteen dancers were invited for a week of training to the Aladdin hotel (now Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino) in Las Vegas, Nevada. This training included hip-hop choreography taught by Shane Sparks, samba choreography taught by Mary Murphy with assistance from season 1 contestant Artem Chigvinsev, a contemporary routine taught by Mia Michaels, and training from Brian Friedman, who described his choreography as a fusion of jazz and hip-hop. The original group of dancers was eventually whittled down to 41, from which the judges chose their top 20.