Photo Credit: Mathieu Young/FOX
Critics are gushing about this summer’s talent-rich, seventh installment of So You Think You Can Dance (Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET, Fox). Even so, the season’s already got its darling -- a dancer who stands (or should we say leaps?) above the rest. And that’s the Miami ballet phenom, Alex Wong.
Granted, there’s been just one live performance show so far. (The next one’s tonight.) But with that single, contemporary dance -- to Jeff Buckley’s "Hallelujah" -- he gave Cat Deeley chills, drove Mia Michaels and Adam Shankman to their feet, and seemingly brought a tear to Nigel Lythgoe’s eye.
"I believe you have just set a new standard for So You Think You Can Dance," said Lythgoe, as Wong himself wiped away tears. "That is the best, hands down piece of work danced on the So You Think You Can Dance stage anywhere in the world up to date," added Michaels. If that doesn’t establish Wong as the dancer to beat, I don’t know what does.
The other dancers know it, too. “We’re happy for him,” Adechike Torbert told People magazine. “There isn’t jealousy. We don’t feel underrated. If he can do that, then we’re all capable of doing that.”
Wong himself told People that he drew inspiration from his partner, season 2 all-star Allison Holker. “She’s such an amazing dancer and she gives so much so while I was working with her, she was able to pull that from me,” he said. “When I see my partner do that it just pulls me right in. That’s what made it so amazing.”
The 23-year-old Miami Beach native (originally from Vancouver) is a former principal soloist with the Miami City Ballet. He had to drop out of SYTYCD last year because of contract obligations to that group.
This season, he’s in it to win it. Already, though, at least one critic is sounding a word of caution. “My one concern about Alex...I just hope [he’s] not the Jakob Karr of this season (or the Crystal Bowersox, for that matter) -- the virtuoso whose perfection almost gets boring,” wrote Vicki Hyman of the Newark Star Ledger. “I can't imagine it, but then again, I never imagined Bowersox would come in second on American Idol."
Do you think Alex Wong is the best bet to win this season on SYTYCD?