Hannahlei Cabanilla, 18, Named ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Season 15 Winner After Close Vote [VIDEO]
The season finale of Fox’s reality competition series So You Think You Can Dance on Monday night proved to be a whirlwind of emotions that culminated with Hannahlei Cabanilla ultimately being crowned champion.
After a two-hour show and a close tally, 18-year-old Cabaniilla edged out 20-year-old Jensen Arnold, another fan favorite to become the Season 15 winner.
Arnold, the sister of last year’s 24-year-old Dancing With the Stars winner Lindsay Arnold, impressed the judges but Cabanilla ultimately took home top honors after earning the approval of judges Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and Vanessa Hudgens.
Pop group Now United also performed a dance routine to “Who Would Think That Love” on the finale.
Southern California native Cabanilla started dancing when she was just two years old.
“Just being on stage with all these amazing people,” Cabanilla said, crying after hugging Jensen and accepting the prize from host Cat Deeley. “Having an impact on all these people’s lives has just been amazing.”
Cabanilla won $250,000 as a reward for her big win. She is next set to appear in Fox’s forthcoming live musical Rent.
The So You Think You Can Dance live tour — which will feature the Top 10 finalists from this season — is set to begin on Oct. 13 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.