We should have seen it coming. After all, things looked too good to be true on this season of So You Think You Can Dance. Over the past six seasons, not once had we come so close to crowning a winner that was actually — gasp! — the best dancer in the crop of contestants. Yes, we’ve loved our champions of years past, but most, if not all, were crowned based more on their personality than the way they pointed their feet. But, for once, we had a contender that not only warmed our hearts, but also blew our minds. Say it with me, fellow SYTYCD fans: We had Alex Freaking Wong.
But now it’s time to whip out our sad trombones, because the ballet god has been cruelly taken from us, thanks to a lacerated Achilles tendon. Yet, even though Alex’s premature exit had us all reaching for our Kleenex boxes, I have to borrow a message printed on the dancer’s own t-shirt last night: I am grateful. We all are grateful. Because even though we’ll have to wait until next year to see Alex Freaking Wong grace the SYTYCD stage again — Fox confirms to EW that Alex will be invited to join next season in Las Vegas — he still gifted us with some of the series’ most touching moments. His Hallelujah contemporary routine brought tears to our eyes. His NapTab hip-hop number had us jumping on the edge of our seats. His countless solos had our minds exploding like that guy in Scanners. And we’re talking just four short weeks of dancing, people! So, as much as we might be depressed, mourning Alex’s loss by imagining what was ahead for the dancer, we should really just be grateful for being allowed to witness the evolution of an already sublime dancer. So thank you, Alex Freaking Wong, for being brave enough to quit the Miami City Ballet in order to chase your dreams. We really are ever so grateful.
Of course, we had plenty of time to prepare for this heartbreak. As soon as Cat announced that the judges would update us on Alex’s condition at the end of the show, we knew he was a goner. (And, honestly, it would have been hard to eliminate either Ashley or Billy after the pair both turned in gorgeous solos.) That’s not to say, however, that the results show was suspense-free. No, our judges made sure to add at least one water-cooler moment to the episode. After Cat had announced AdéChiké’s safety, Mia, looking like Brigitte Nielsen — which is fitting because she’s harsh and has bad taste — took the time to apologize to the dancer for her controversial, somewhat unfair comments during Wednesday night’s show: ”Looking back last night, I came across a little harsh and insensitive,” the judge said. ”Your light dimmed [this week], and I got passionate and frustrated about it. There’s such greatness in you, and I want to see it soar.”
I know plenty of you will conclude that Mia was just doing some serious damage control, eating crow after seeing how viewers responded to her comments Wednesday night. But, still, why don’t we take this opportunity to bury the hatchet with our newest permanent judge, and applaud her for being self-aware enough to realize her mistakes? Heck, we never saw former American Idol judge Paula Abdul apologize for Paulagate! (Or former America’s Got Talent judge David Hasselhoff apologize for this!) Plus, Mia redeemed herself by bringing us her first choreographed number of the season, last night’s opening routine. To say it was heavenly would be too literal, but it certainly was graceful, lovely, and, for whatever reason, made me want to re-watch Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.
If I were to have one complaint, however, regarding last night’s show, it was the judges’ infuriating refusal to acknowledge Cat Deeley’s Emmy snub. Seriously, the holy trinity talked about Adam’s 12 nominations for his Oscar ceremony, Stacey Tookey’s nod for her season six Kathryn and Legacy routine, and even the make-up team’s nomination. Surely, Nigel, you could have slipped one comment in the mix recognizing the host’s greatness! Oh well. Looking absolutely fabulous is Cat’s best revenge, yes?
And you know who else looked fabulous? Pasha, of course. Who needs Anya — Take me on a magic carpet ride? (Seriously, it’s been way too long since we’ve seen good ballroom dancing on SYTYCD. Not since season 5’s Jeanette have we seen anyone burn the floor like that pair last night!)
But now, I’m going to turn things over to you, fellow So You Think You Can Dance fans: Are you utterly heartbroken about Alex’s departure? Or just happy that we got the opportunity to see him dance at all? Do you feel the sudden urge to move to Miami, since two all-stars (Alex and LeBron) are headed in that direction? Aren’t you glad Natasha Bedingfield shares her daily schedule with us in monotone verse-form in her new single? Did you also find it a tad awkward that the judges didn’t recognize Cat’s tragic snub? Do you finally forgive Mia? And do you think that Alex should be legally obligated to go to his local courthouse to officially change his middle name? Until next week!