Like anyone else even had a chance. Charm, talent, poise — Russell Ferguson had it all. That’s likely why the krumper bagged the $250,000 prize and title of America’s favorite dancer last night. Though we saw his victory coming a mile away, did Russell expect to win? Not long after his win, Russell talked to EW about his victory, his last-minute injury, and where we can expect to see him next. (The Oscars!)
Congratulations, Russell! How does it feel? It feels amazing. I feel great, energized.
You had to know you were a frontrunner this whole season, right? Not necessarily. I thought everybody there was extremely talented. That show could have gone any way. It was very 50/50 in my eyes.
Why did you decide to call Kevin up to the stage with you when you won? I was very excited. I just had to share that moment with him, because he’s been with me through the competition. The times where I just needed someone to talk to, he was always there. He was like a brother to me, even after he was eliminated. We talked on the phone. But it got really intense without him because it was hard to express certain things. I felt like he deserved to be up there with me and share that.
So what exactly happened last night? How did you injure yourself? The part in my piece where I jump off the stage and got krump, and the part when they pulled me back up, I landed on my ankle wrong. My ankle or something. And it was just a sprain. I could finish the piece at the moment, but after I got off-stage, I couldn’t really put more weight on it.
Is it any better now? It’s better. It’s swollen, but I can walk. I have to keep pressure off of it and make sure I take care of it and ice it, but it should be fine.
People on the web are a bit suspicious about the way you were able to jump around so much following your win, even though you were injured. So let’s set the record straight: Adrenaline? Jumping through the pain? What happened there? Definitely adrenaline. I was hopping on one leg. It was definitely adrenaline. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to dance. It was that I couldn’t.
Was Wade’s group number always going to be re-aired? Or did your injury force them to use the tape? That was supposed to be showed taped.
You got probably the most airtime out of any of the contestants going into top 20. Were you surprised by that? Oh yeah. I was just like, wow. That’s me! It was just unbelievable. It still is to this day. If I see it now, it still hits me. But it’s literally a dream come true. There’s no other way to put it.
There was never a krumper in the top 20. Did you think that would help or hurt your chances? Going back, when I did the audition, I didn’t really know what to expect, because I didn’t know how TV worked. I didn’t know how the show worked. I had seen the show a few times, but that was it. But once I did it, everyone was skeptical. They’re like, “Hey, what are you going to do in your audition?” And I’m like, “I’m gonna krump.” And they’re like, “For real?” Everybody there thought if you weren’t technical, you were a hip-hop dancer. But I was like, “Yea, I’m going to krump.” Everybody was shocked, like, “Well, good luck.” I was just like, hey, I know how to use this movement to the best of my ability. And I feel like, if you’re a performer, you can perform any dance.
Once you got to Vegas, you showed that you had skills in so many different areas. Had you taken classes in ballroom and contemporary prior to making the show? Oh yea. Definitely. I feel like, even being a street dancer, no matter where you’re from, or how rough it is, you should always study other genres of dance so you can be versatile, because you never know what’s going to be thrown at you. But that all comes with your love for dance in general. So yea, I took classes. I know enough to basically execute a good contemporary piece, I guess. Would I be the best in my ballet class? No.
But you can point your feet! I can point my feet.
Were you happy to get paired with Noelle? How did you help each other? Very excited. We just took each other though the competition with positive feedback for each other, and gave each other hugs. We talked a lot and built a good chemistry with each other.
The first week, Noelle got injured while rehearsing with you. Then Ashleigh got injured while you were rehearsing together during top 8 week. What gives? Are you a bad luck charm? I don’t know what it is, but all I know is, things happen. What can I say?
Did you have a favorite dance of the season? I definitely enjoyed doing the frog dance by Sean Cheesman, and I really enjoyed doing the foxtrot also.
Was there a moment in which you thought you could actually win the whole thing? I try to keep in a humble state of mind. There are times where I would think about winning, but I would stop thinking about that, because I felt like I would get too comfortable. And I wanted to stay on my toes the whole time until that actual moment.
Was there a point when you felt too comfortable? I felt like in competitions like these, you have to struggle. When you get too much praise, you don’t know how that feels, to be in the bottom.
Did you think it was weird that Nigel put you in the bottom the first week when everyone said you did pretty well? Oh yeah. I was very upset about that. I didn’t understand it at first, but then I realized, I came here to krump. But this might be the only time I’m in the bottom. So you might as well do it. And I did it, and I made sure I wasn’t going anywhere.
What are you going to do with your $250,000? I’m going to invest the money, and keep building on top of that. Hopefully buy a nice little car.
What’s next for you? You can expect to see me on the Oscars [with Kathryn].
What will you be doing? I’m not sure. It’s all being planned.
How about after the Oscars and the tour? Hopefully, I can get into some movies and some acting, because that’s where I want to put my focus.
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