So You Think You Can Dance Interview: Alex Wong

Without a single drop into the bottom 3 in the first three weeks of competition, 23-year-old Alex Wong was forced to withdraw from So You Think You Can Dance after sustaining an injury to his Achilles tendon during rehearsal.

Not being able to perform during the Wednesday night show, Wong was automatically placed in the bottom 3 and because his injury will require surgery and months of recuperation, Wong was forced to withdraw.

In an interview Friday, Wong discussed his chances of returning to the show in a future season and his overall experience.

“I knew I was going to be leaving because the night before I was pretty sure I had split my Achilles in half,” Wong said. “And it’s just been kind of a long couple days to just find out that it wasn’t going to happen. I had such an amazing journey, and I’m so grateful for everything that’s happened to me.  Well, except for any of this.  But everything happens for a reason, and I just have to try to keep my chin up.”

Wong injured himself during his final rehearsal on Tuesday, the night before the Wednesday dance show.

“”I was doing a series of jumps at the end of my Bollywood routine on the Tuesday night rehearsal and it was actually the last rehearsal, the last time I was going to do that, and it was the last eight counts of the piece,” Wong said. “I landed, and I didn’t even land funny.  I just landed.  I thought I stepped on something.  I heard a crack.  I thought the floor buckled or something, which, when I looked down the floor was flat.  So it did not buckle. I was so frustrated.  I sat there and I just thought to myself, ‘Better not be hurt.  This better not take you out.  Because I’ve worked so hard and I’ve given up so much to be here.’  And it was just really, really hard.  I was very, very frustrated, and I still am.”

By withdrawing from this year’s competition, Wong can still come back and try to compete next year if his injury has healed by then.

“I feel like I haven’t finished my journey, and I feel like there’s so much more to learn,” Wong said. “I was learning so much every single day.  And so, yes, it definitely is appealing to me to come back.”

Without being able to talk with his doctor yet, Wong isn’t sure of the full repercussions of his injury.

“I haven’t been able to speak with my surgeon extensively yet, Wong said. ” But I do know that it’s something like you get in a boot.  I think at first your foot is kind of pointed and then they slowly flex it as the weeks go out so that your tendon doesn’t tear.  And then there’s rehab after that, and it’s slow because you’re not supposed to push it too hard because the tendon could tear again.”

In week 3, Wong danced a hip-hop number with All-Star Twitch that received high praise from the judges and fans. Now eliminated in week 4, Wong said going out on a high felt good but is still disappointing.

“I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot of what I set out to do,” Wong said. ” But I feel like I wasn’t finished, and I feel like there was so much more I could learn.  So it’s very bittersweet because even though I have had a few great weeks, it’s just not enough.”

After spending so much time rehearsing and hanging out with his fellow contestants, Wong said leaving them will be difficult.

“It was not something I really expected,” Wong said. “I had assumed that we would all get close, but I think this season was really special.  I think with just so few of us to begin with, we all kind of instantly clicked.  And it’s luck of the draw when suddenly everything is amazing and the contestants are the most amazing people and we all get along so well.  That’s going to be the hardest part for me, to leave them.”

Wong said he’ll worry about his future when the time comes and instead focus on his upcoming surgery and recovery process.

“I’m on the surgery table on Tuesday, and it’s a long recovery process from there,” Wong said. ” And so whatever happens happens.  I believe everything happens for a reason and I kind of live by that.  So I’m going to go with the flow and see what happens when the time comes.”

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