Lauren wins So You Think You Dance as Ellen dances and Mary Murphy finally returns

Lauren Froderman, an 18-year-old contemporary dancer, won So You Think You Can Dance and the $250,000 prize, plus the “favorite dancer” title, during the show’s seventh-season finale last night.

She beat runner-up Kent Boyd, who to me seemed like the inevitable winner for weeks, although Nigel Lythgoe’s prediction that it was anyone’s win was accurate, and third-place Robert Roldan, who exited in what Cat joked pre-elimination was a great costume to be voted out in. Regardless of what happened, this was not going to be a season of SYTYCD where the best dancer lost to a more-popular dancer, because all three deserved to win and had the talent to win.

Despite a somewhat problematic season that saw lower ratings than last summer, the season ended, as usual, with a strong finale. Instead of a parade of people we don’t care about, the finale features encore dances from the season, plus a few group numbers and guest performances—but ones by relevant people, like the winner of the UK’s version. The biggest stretch was also one of the most entertaining parts: Ellen DeGeneres dancing with Twitch. She was actually pretty good.

And finally, Mary Murphy actually returned, after being absent since the auditions. Yes, she screamed, and yes, I’d rather be subject to that scream and enthusiasm than hear Mia Michaels make up more words or hear Adam Shankman finding a way to make every comment about himself.

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