Sabra Johnson Triumphs as Dance Champ
08/17/2007 AT 08:00 AM EDT
Johnson, the 20-year-old phenomenon out of Roy, Utah, tipped favorite Danny Tidwell, Lacey Schwimmer and Neil Haskell to take the title and $250,000 prize money after 16 million viewers voted in the finale of FOX's talent show.
"I feel ridiculous," she told PEOPLE moments after her win Thursday night.
"It's so overwhelming and so surreal just to think that, first of all, I'm a girl, and, second of all, I'm from this little, tiny town in the middle of nowhere and I didn't know anything coming into this, honestly ... it's amazing."
She also won praise from American Idol judge Paula Abdul, who was in the audience. "I'm thrilled that Sabra won," she told PEOPLE after the show.
"She's a little firecracker. No matter what, she gave her all," Abdul added. "It didn't matter what she's performing – something came over her and she became that."
Johnson has only four years of dance training – something that brought kudos from Dance judge and co-creator Nigel Lythgoe.
"I think Sabra winning is good for America," Lythgoe said. "In my opinion Danny was far and away the best ... But, Sabra, with only dancing for four years is so inspirational to kids that want to begin dancing.
"Sabra just showed she can win a major competition like this after only four years!"
The two-hour finale was full of energy and excitement with live performances by Ryan Cabrera and Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger in her solo debut.
Next, Johnson and the rest of the top 10 will head out to 50 US cities on the So You Think You Can Dance Tour, which kicks off Sept. 2 in Albany, NY.