August 12th, 2011
04:05 PM ET
The day after winning "So You Think You Can Dance," Melanie Moore could not believe that she got 47 percent of the vote between the final four dancers.
"Going into the finale I definitely felt I had a chance but standing next to Sasha, Marko and Tadd, I wasn’t able to pick a favorite," she told reporters on Friday. "I felt confident with what I had done in the course of the competition. I didn’t want to put any extra pressure on myself by thinking I was a favorite, but I felt it was worth going for."
Even when it was down to the final two, Melanie felt that Sasha would emerge victorious.
"They’d been calling me a favorite since the beginning. Usually the favorite or frontrunner doesn’t win, so I really didn’t expect it at all," she said. "And Sasha has improved so much, and made so many strides. I have nothing but love and respect for her. I was so ready to be second place and tell her what an amazing job she did. Any of the four of us could have taken it."
Thinking back on the season, Melanie said she was proudest of the work she put into her tango with Marko (the person on the show that she credits the most for her victory).
"It was so hard because you had to keep your connection the whole time," she said. "In rehearsals it didn’t work like that, and we worked every day afterwards. We were pounding it to the ground with that number. So, to get positive comments - and for Mary to say it was not bad - it felt so good just to do well with our first ballroom routine."
In fact, Melanie revealed that early on, the two of them were the only ones to rent extra studio time outside of the planned rehearsal time. "Marko probably hated me because I was so picky [in rehearsal]," she joked.
Melanie also credits all-star tWitch for helping her pull off a very difficult hip-hop routine. "[It] was definitely a struggle for me," she said. "It was so quick, and it was super challenging, but I don’t think I would have been able to do it without tWitch. He was everything for me."
After the upcoming "SYTYCD" tour, Melanie hopes to continue to pursue dance as a career, whether it be with a company, or - as she was offered on the show - performing in the remake of "Dirty Dancing" or dancing backup for Lady Gaga.
"[Gaga] is an amazing artist. My best friend is obsessed with her - I would be more than overjoyed to work with her," she said. "I think ['Dirty Dancing'] would be so much fun, because Kenny Ortega’s choreography is amazing. So I hope it’s a verbal contract!"
As for that $250,000 prize, Melanie isn't thinking too extravagantly about what to spend it on: "I want to get really nice carry-on luggage since I’ll be traveling, or a nice ring or something."
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