“I felt like a superhero up there,” says Bailey Munoz about winning season 16 of “So You Think You Can Dance.” “I was representing not only myself, but my family and all the people that were voting and rooting for me. I just wanted to make everyone proud.” Munoz spoke to Gold Derby editors Daniel Montgomery and Susan Wloszczyna less than 24 hours after his coronation as America’s favorite dancer, and he admitted that the victory “has definitely not hit me yet. This all feels so surreal.” Listen to our exclusive interview above.
Munoz is the first b-boy ever to win “SYTYCD,” and going into the live shows with the rest of the top 10, he knew that many of his fellow competitors were “technically at a higher level than me, so I knew every performance that I did I had to give it 100-percent,” he explains. “Whatever style was given every single week, I had to become that dancer.” It was important for him to put his best foot forward so he could “represent for hip-hop … and hopefully I proved that and left my mark on that stage.”
At the end of the finale the championship came down to Munoz and Mariah Russell, with whom he had been partnered since the beginning of the live shows. “We started this journey together as a couple,” he says. Ultimately only one of them could win, but “to end it together, no matter the outcome, we were just so happy for the both of us. I love Mariah so much. She is my dance soul mate.”
Munoz will get more time with his soul mate and with the rest of the top 10 this fall during the show’s 40-city tour, which starts on October 12 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and wraps up on December 6 in Reno, Nevada.