Alex Wong was forced to withdraw and eliminated from the Fox reality dance competition after suffering a lacerated Achilles tendon while rehearsing for Wednesday night's live Top 8 performance show on Tuesday.
"Alex has suffered a lacerated Achilles tendon, which basically means it's detached itself from the bone... and needs re-attaching. The operation is quite simple, I believe, and it's 80% reliable that he'll be back dancing very soon, but they still have put a timeline of it of resting for three months... so that means that Alex is out of this year's competition," So You Think You Can Dance judge and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe announced on Thursday night's live results show.
"He is obviously invited back next year."
Wong is scheduled to undergo surgery next Tuesday, according to Lythgoe.
"With the new rules this year, he is going to be placed in the bottom three this week and will be judged," Lythgoe said after explaining Wong would not be performing on Wednesday's show due to the injury.
"And then if he can't [perform] next week then he is automatically out of the competition, which is heartbreaking knowing how hard he's worked to get here and how much he has sacrificed to get into the program. We are all, as he is, devastated."
Prior to the announcement of Wong's withdrawal, So You Think You Can Dance host Cat Deeley had revealed that Billy Bell and Ashley Galvan were the other members of the week's bottom three finalists based on home viewer votes cast immediately after the performance show. However, neither was eliminated due to Wong's injury.
"It does mean that tonight, for Ashley and Billy, the news is great -- nobody will be going home because of the situation. We're obviously delighted for you two," Lythgoe said.
Lythgoe and his fellow judges then turned their attention toward comforting Wong, who had been disqualified from So You Think You Can Dance's fifth-season Top 20 last summer due to a contract with the Miami City Ballet but returned to compete in this summer's edition and quickly established himself as the competition's frontrunner.
"Alex... I know how hard you've worked, I know what you've given up to be here. It is just another thing that you've got to get through in your life and it will strengthen you and it will make you an even better dancer when we see you next year," Lythgoe said.
"In the short time that you have been on the show, you have left a mark on the show and in the world that I don't think will ever, ever be forgotten. You are beyond special, as an artist and a human being," Mia Michaels added.
"You taught me that the best can be better. And everybody on this show is better for having you here. You're an inspiration," Adam Shankman said.
When asked, a tearful Wong told Deeley he didn't regret any part of his decision to leave the Miami City Ballet to compete on the show.
"Nothing. I'm very, very grateful. I am grateful," he replied.
"My heart hurts a lot, but I'm very, very grateful that you guys have given me this opportunity to learn so much. And I love you guys all so much and thank you for supporting me every week and giving me this chance."