Reality Rocks (New)

So He Thinks He Can Sing: Alex Wong Releases Debut Single

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

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photo: Fox

"So You Think You Can Dance" fans may remember Alex Wong as the dancer who was supposed to win the entire show in 2010. After having to pass on an opportunity to compete in Season 6 due to his inability to get out of his contract with the Miami City Ballet, he later wowed judges and fans in Season 7 with performances like his "Hallelujah" contemporary with Allison Holker and his "Outta Your Mind" hip-hop with Twitch, both considered to be two of the best routines in "SYTYCD" history. Alex's controversial decision to leave the professional ballet world was starting to pay off...but then a nearly career-killing Achilles tendon injury that he sustained during a rehearsal of a Bollywood number forced him to quit the competition. It was absolutely heartbreaking. A year later, a thankfully recovered Alex was invited to return to the show as an allstar...but then he lacerated his other Achilles tendon, and he had to bow out of Season 8 as well. This was one of the great reality TV tragedies.

So now apparently Alex is turning his focus to singing--a decidedly safer pursuit, assuming that he has learned proper from-the-diaphragm techniques and doesn't develop nodes on his vocal chords. (With Alex's luck as of late, I wouldn't be too surprised.) In fact, it looks like Alex's singing is going to earn him another shot in another 19 Entertainment/Nigel Lythgoe-helmed TV competition, since Nigel tweeted back in September during the early "American Idol" Season 11 tryouts: "Wow, Alex Wong just auditioned for #AmericanIdol. The boy has a good voice."

Alex's possible comeback as a singer, after experiencing so many setbacks as a dancer, is of course a PERFECT made-for-TV sob story. Producers just may milk it for all it's worth. So I will certainly be looking for him when "Idol" premieres next week. But considering that Alex has already gone ahead and released a new pop single, "Crave," it looks like the spoilers out there--that Alex didn't make it past Hollywood--are probably true, sadly.

As for "Crave," the snippet above is so AutoTuned, it's pretty much impossible to hear that "good voice" Nigel was tweeting about. And maybe all that robotic production is disguising some vocal shortcomings that led to Alex's reported early elimination on "Idol." But this all just makes me even more curious to see Alex's "Idol" audition, which I sincerely hope makes it onto the air. That being said, "Crave" is pretty danceable, which makes sense coming from a dancer--and hey, after all that Alex has been through, I wish him well in any avenue of entertainment he chooses to pursue.

Below is a little AutoTune-free, a cappella clip of Alex performing "Crave" in his living room, which gives a much better idea of his actual singing abilities. (Nigel was right; the guy's not bad.) Do you think Alex has what it takes to be an Idol?

Download/purchase "Crave" at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/crave-single/id494103348.

Related links:

Backstage at the Season 8 "SYTYCD" finale

Casey Abrams gets record deal

More on "American Idol"

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