Charity Anderson, of Springville, and Andres Penate, of Vineyard, finished behind champion hip-hop junior team The Lab and runner-up contemporary upper soloist Michael Dameski, and ahead of hip-hop upper team S-Rank.
“Charity and Andres, you two are sensational,” judge Derek Hough told the duo after their elimination on the World Final. “You guys are phenomenal, phenomenal dancers, and what’s even more exciting is that you’re young. You’re just beginning, like this is just the beginning for you two, so thank you again very much for an amazing season.”
Anderson told the Daily Herald in a recent phone interview the dancers are grateful for the exposure they’ve gotten, the connections they’ve made and the people they’ve met on the show.
“We learned how to work together, first off, and how to try to come up with things fast,” Penate said. “We learned how to prepare and how much work had to be invested into something this big.”
The pair scored 94.3 on both of their routines in the World Final, one of which they performed to a song Hough chose for them, Lido’s remix of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and another they choreographed to Welshly Arms’ “Legendary.”
Judge Jennifer Lopez called Anderson and Penate “the stand-out couple of the year” in her critique of the first number. Anderson told the Daily Herald the duo’s goal going into the World Final was to “make a statement.”
“We want to come out as these fearless competitors and making sure any doubt that we have left, we just want to get rid of it,” Penate said. “We just want to really make an impact.”
The duo secured themselves a spot in the World Final by finishing first in the junior division during the Divisional Finals, which aired last week. The performers told the Daily Herald they felt like underdogs coming into the competition compared to the other junior acts and were very grateful to come out on top.
“It’s honestly so crazy,” Anderson said. “We did not expect to even get past Qualifiers, so being here is a huge blessing and definitely not something we were expecting.”
The dance partners consistently wowed the judges throughout the competition with their self-choreographed contemporary routines, achieving the show’s first-ever combined perfect score of 100 during the Duels.
“We just had to come up with new tricks that people haven’t seen before and do something original, so each of our routines, we thought about bringing a completely different emotion, a completely different feel than they felt last time, so they didn’t feel like they were watching the same thing,” Anderson told the Daily Herald.
Anderson danced on a broken toe in both the World Final and Divisional Finals, which also impressed the judges.
“You are so strong, and I’m envious of both of you guys’ strength. It’s ridiculous,” judge Ne-Yo said during the World Final. “It’s damn near perfection every single time you guys touch the stage. Tonight was no exception.”
The two told the Daily Herald they plan to continue dancing, sharing their love for dance and performing together.
“This definitely isn’t a stopping point when it comes to learning,” Penate said. “We have a lot more to learn. There’s so much out there in the dance world that we want to be educated about and so much training we could still do with all different styles of dance, even in contemporary, so we’re definitely going to continue to be learning.”