James Dimmock/FOX

The B-boy, the Gentleman, the Warrior Princess, and the Sweetheart left it all on the floor. In the end, America's Favorite Dancer was Melanie Moore

August 12, 2011 at 06:15 AM EDT

For all the hazing I’ve put these kids through, I have to say, I’m really going to miss them. I don’t know if I can say the same about the judges. Except of course Jesse Tyler Ferguson. I can always use some more JTF. Did I mention that he was on the panel? Because he was, and it was awesome. He made fun of the fly circling Lady Gaga’s hat for throughout her night as guest judge (“I thought she was going for a whole, like, larva theme that week”)! He even teased the dancers that, since America had voted, they should be crazy nervous. Not that Melanie needed permission. Less than 10 minutes in, and she was already crying.

Also awesome? All the montages. Sure, not all of them were necessary, but this season often needed distilling to really make the talent show through. The question was never whether the dancers were exceptionally skilled. It was more that they weren’t always given a lot to work with — especially since the variety of choreography was sorely lacking this season. With everything boiled down to a few, high-octane minutes we were able to see their outstanding moments. (Not to mention Nigel in jeans, the toothless stripper, a middle-aged dad doing the splits, and some guy whose body went all Exorcist during his audition.) Though I probably could have done without the package of Nigel being a creepy old perv set to Peaches & Herb’s “Reunited.” There are some things you can’t unsee.

Like Tadd’s opening number costume. It appeared to be made out of the cups from a mega-padded silver bra. Or a painted turtle shell. Who knows with that Sonya? Also in the fashion file: Sonya was wearing a killer acid green tutu dress. Alexander (unwisely) bleached his hair. And Cat liked Tadd’s red shoes so much she made them into a dress!

But in the end, it all came down to a Georgia peach.  Like much of this season, the result wasn’t entirely shocking. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t satisfying or earned. So, congratulations, Melanie. You’ve got Travis Wall, Kenny Ortega, and Cat Deeley, among others, on your side. Not a bad place to start.

NEXT: So You Think You Can Redeem Yourself?

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Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and the viewers at home crown America’s Favorite Dancer.
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