Jeanine Mason, winner of So You Think You Can Dance Season 5, chatted a bit with Entertainment Weekly about her recent victory on the Fox summer reality show.
Here are some excerpts from the 18-year-old Floridian's interview, in which she shares impressions of the season finale, breaking into the spotlight and more:
EW: When did you get the idea that you could make it to the final four?
Jeanine Mason: I didn’t think I was popular for a long time. I was always hoping for top 10, to be able to go on tour with my friends. After that first time Phillip and I were in the bottom three, I felt like I needed it more desperately.
EW: After Wednesday, who did the four of you think was going to win?
Jeanine Mason: We had no idea. Towards the beginning we tried to play that guessing game but you can honestly never guess what America wants. The perfect example is Janette leaving. She’s like my big sister. I thought she was gonna win.
EW: You mentioned to [host Cat Deeley] that you’d had to work through injuries during the season. What happened?
Jeanine Mason: About a year ago, I had surgery to remove a tumor from my left elbow. I went through radiation treatment - the summer before my senior year, I spent every morning in the hospital. My elbow is much better now.
EW: Were you careful to never mention that you were in pain?
Jeanine Mason: I didn’t really talk about it because I didn’t want it to be what people thought about when they saw me. All of us were feeling pain.