So You Think You Can Dance Finalist Tiffany Maher on the Show's Final Performances, Off-Screen Romances, and the Hot Tamale Train
America's first real introduction to So You Think You Can Dance finalist Tiffany Maher was as the jazz dancer with brown wavy hair who wasn't Audrey Case during the top 20 reveal show in June. The 19-year-old Plantation hoofer flew so under the radar that judge Debbie Allen told her that she was "invisible for most of us" before announcing that Maher, "like a great racehorse, started pulling up from the rear" and made the show.
With that analogy in mind, perhaps Maher should change her nickname from "T-Maher-Star" to "Seabiscuit" -- because she made the SYTYCD season nine finale and has a one-in-two chance of winning America's favorite female dancer. (Only on this show is it a compliment to compare young women to "beasts" and "horses." Cultist doubts that would fly on The Bachelor).
Maher, who trained at Dance FX in Sunrise, took some time during rehearsals Monday to chat about her "crazy" journey, share her post-SYTYCD plans, and even spill a bit of behind-the-scenes gossip. Of course, she also provided a few reasons why you should vote for her. It's a competition, after all.
See Maher, fellow South Floridian Eliana Girard, and the male portion of the top four perform in tonight's final performance episode at 8 p.m. on FOX. Two winners will be crowned next Tuesday night. Need a fall dance fix? Cheer for your hometown girls when the tour comes to town on Wednesday, December 5, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.
Cultist: Congratulations on making the final four!
Tiffany Maher: Thank you! It's crazy. When you say that I just can't even -- you just reminded me. Like, I honestly forget.
When you started this whole process way back when, did you think you'd get to the finale?
Never. Honestly, I never did. I was just hoping to make it to Vegas. And then to the top 20.
When you go to Atlanta to audition you could either be sent to choreography round or straight to Vegas. And I had to go to choreography round.... And then I went to Vegas, and it just didn't seem like the judges are seeing me.... They never showed me at all, like on TV. So I thought for sure I wasn't going to make the top 20. And then when I made the top 20, I was so shocked. And now to be standing here is just absolutely crazy.
And you haven't been in the bottom once.
No. I didn't. It's crazy.
What has your week been like as you gear up for Tuesday night's final performance show? You keep using the word crazy; I assume it probably applies here.
This week has been the craziest week so far, just because at this point, all of our bodies are so exhausted and people are starting to get sick. And so we're all just trying to stay healthy and make it through. Like, the rehearsals, normally we work on one or two dances, but this week we're doing six routines.... It's been a really hard week, but I still don't want it to end, just because this journey has been so incredible and I'm just so grateful. And when it ends and this chapter closes in my life, it's going to be really sad, because I've learned so much.
What are you taking away from this experience?
Well, for sure all the people that I met. Besides that, I have gotten to work with the best choreographers in the nation. And to get to work with them is just such an honor, and they've all taught me so much that have made me grow as a dancer and as a person, and made me do things that I never thought that I could do.