Sunday, July 11, 2010

It was the best of times, and then it basically just sucked.

The changes So You Think You Can Dance have made this season have thus far been a success; the all-stars returning has been exciting and provided the opportunity for showing what the competing dancers are actually capable of, and the new rules regarding when a dancer is injured (placing them automatically in the bottom 3) makes good sense. Except for when the injured dancer is Alex Wong, front-runner and fan favorite.

Brief recap of what's happened so far: Alex Wong wowed viewers with his audition last season, but as he was contracted with the Miami Ballet, he was unable to compete on the show. He was promised an automatic slot in Vegas for this season, and when he came back blew everyone away. He left his company to compete in the top 10 this season and was definitely considered a contender. He did really well in contemporary and jazz routines at the beginning of the season, but I was a bit concerned that he would be unable to break out of the ballet mode and show us something more loose and fun. And then, last week happened.

Alex got assigned a hip-hop routine with all-star, Twitch, and killed it. Absolutely killed it. He had the fun and attitude demanded by the routine, and in my opinion, hit it harder and sharper than even Twitch, the hip-hop expert. The crowd and judges were on their feet at the end, and I can't remember ever seeing a reaction that strong or prolonged to any routine on the show. The judges were gushing, Cat (the host) was gushing, and I was practically calling for smelling salts I was so blown away. Alex went into this past week's Top 8 performance show as the new clear front-runner for the win. America had fallen in love.

And then.

At the beginning of the Top 8 performance show something was amiss. Where was Alex? Cat then informed us that he had injured himself during dress rehearsals for a Bollywood number and had been ordered by the doctor not to dance this week. This isn't the first time someone has been injured on the show, and usually they just come back the next week. Alex had gone for an MRI earlier that day and the results would be announced the next night during the results show. Under the new rules, if a dancer can't compete in the dance show, he or she is automatically in the bottom three, and if they can't dance the next week, they are automatically out.

So on Thursday night executive-producer Nigel confirmed the worst; Alex had lacerated his Achilles tendon and would need surgery and three months of recovery before he could dance again. He was, therefore, out. BUT. Nigel assured out that while Alex was out of the competition THIS year, he would still be welcome back NEXT year. Especially considering he had left the Miami Ballet for this show and had no job lined up, I'm sure that was a relief. But for all us viewers who were pulling for Alex, it's certainly sad news. Now we have to wait another year to see him reach his full potential, assuming he is willing and able to come back. Sigh. Here's an interview with Alex where he talks about having to leave the show.

At least we'll always have our memories of you, Alex.

I mean, damn. That shit is not even natural.

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