Eagle-eyed viewers of last night’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance noticed a brief audience shot at the end of the show featuring several alumni from past seasons. I personally caught a glimpse of season 5’s Kayla Radomski, season 6’s Kathryn McCormick, and season 7’s Robert Roldan and Kent Boyd, who miraculously still has not been fed past midnight and transformed into a gremlin. And, oh yeah, I also saw Alex Freaking Wong.
Alex, you may recall, is the supernaturally talented contestant from season 7 who occupies two of EW’s Top 5 SYTYCD routines of all time, including the No. 1 slot. He’s also the dancer who only lasted three episodes of the live shows last year, thanks to a lacerated Achilles tendon that forced him to withdraw from the competition and into months of likely grueling work to bring his body back to its former glory. At the time of his injury, SYTYCD exec producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe invited Alex to return to the Las Vegas audition rounds to compete in season 8, but Alex revealed on his Facebook page that he “wasn’t ready to dance” when the Vegas rounds began this season in early April. His appearance in the audience last night, however, has already sparked a lot of SYTYCD fans to ask: Will Alex Freaking Wong be an All-Star this year?
Signs do seem to point in that direction. In late May, Alex performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show with several other former SYTYCD contestants, and he definitely seemed back to fighting condition. And Alex himself has made quite clear he wants to come back; a few days ago he posted on his Facebook profile: “Hopefully I will be on SYTYCD at some point this season. We’ll see - the more you guys infiltrate Nigel and SYTYCD pages about having me back, the more likely it will be!” (A rep for Fox declined to comment, noting that none of the All-Stars, who will partner with the season 8 contestants starting with the top 10, have been announced.)
Should Alex return, though? Yeah, two of his three routines on the show last season will likely remain legendary among SYTYCD acolytes for time immemorial. But his tenure on the show was cut terribly short, and up until a few months ago, he was presumably slated to be a contestant again, not an All-Star. It doesn’t seem exactly fair to bring Alex back after logging only three weeks as a competitor, when dancers who have logged more than twice that time won’t make the All-Stars. And if Alex did come back, he could overshadow the season 8 dancers, who have already proven themselves to be among the most solid crew of contestants the show’s ever seen.
Oh, who am I kidding, of course I want Alex to come back. In all the ways that matter – talent, impact, popularity – he has more than earned the title of SYTYCD All-Star. For anyone who is still on the fence about this, I submit to you this clip of his performance on Ellen last month:
C’mon. You know you want to see more of that, right?