August 3, 2011

Alex Wong Reveals SYTYCD Season 8 Favs

So You Think You Can Dance fans simultaneously cried in disappointment (I openly shed several tears myself) when Nigel Lythgoe announced that Season 7 favorite, Alex Wong, would be unable to return as an all-star this year due to the same injury that disqualified him from the competition last season.

But Wong, a classically trained ballet dancer who was a principal at the Miami City Ballet, is cheering on this year's contestants from home, especially Marko, Melanie and Sasha, whom he calls the clear standouts of the season.

"Melanie and Marko never had a bad routine," Wong told Too Much To Tivo this week.

Still, he says bboyer Tadd shouldn't be ignored. "People don't realize how great he is and how hard it is to pick up ballroom as he did several times this season."

While Wong, who lives with Season 7 runner-up Kent Boyd, is a fan of Season 8, he does critique the new format.

"I am biased. My season started with the all-stars immediately. So you didn't have someone pulling you down or pulling you up for that matter," Wong says. "Some people this year suffered or gained because of the change."

"The quality of the pieces from the choreographers would have also been better straight away," he continues.

SYTYCD Season 7 kicked off with just 10 dancers who performed with the same pool of all-stars each week. This year, the judges chose 20 contestants, who performed with each other until the top 10, when they were then partnered with all-stars.

Wong also doesn't like that this year there isn't a set bunch of all-stars, with the group of alum rotating each week. "It doesn't allow the audience to get to know them," he says.

Wong, who was slated to appear as an all-star himself this season, was disqualified from Season 7 while rehearsing for a Bollywood number with Billy Bell, which resulted in a rupture of his Achilles tendon. Just one year and three days later, while auditioning for Step Up 4 (which will star fellow SYTYCD alum Kathryn McCormick), Wong suffered the same injury on the opposite leg.

It won't be until at least September or October before Wong is able to walk again, which put him out of commission for several other projects he was working on, including the possibility of a reoccurring spot in the new NBC series Smash (he appears as a dancer in the pilot).

"I saw the pilot [of Smash] and was like wow I really want to be in that, and then was like, oh wait, I am," Wong jokes. "It seems very epic. I was hoping they would use the same dancers throughout the series, but I probably won't be able to do it since they are shooting in the fall."

Wong is still able to teach classes, with the help of an assistant, and will also take part in producing the Vail International Dance Festival in Colorado.
Following his last injury, Wong realized he can't put all his eggs in the proverbial basket. He is taking acting classes and will be in a short film, currently untitled, at the end of December.

"Everything happens for a reason," Wong says. "Perhaps I didn't stretch myself the last time and I need to once again be forced to do other things outside of dance."

But, of course, his true love is dance and it's still possible to see him on SYTYCD in the future.

"If next season So You Think You Can Dance still has all-stars, I would consider doing that." 

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