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American Idol Alum Hits Broadway!


Jennifer Hudson is causing a trend!

Much like the American Idol alum, Season 7's second runner-up Syesha Mercado has joined the cast of Dreamgirls. But unlike Hudson's Oscar-winning turn in the 2006 movie adaptation, Mercado is singing and dancing on Broadway!

The show's co-choreographer, Shane Sparks, talked to about Mercado's theater debut, adding that her turn on American Idol helped prepare her for the stage.

Related: See photos of last season's American Idol contestants!

"Any show where you’re constantly doing what you love to do, working with different singers, different producers, in a different environment, it always helps you grow," Sparks — who is also a choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance and a judge on MTV's America's Best Dance Crew — told Us. "That’s why she’s so well rounded for this show now… That girl is so groomed as an actress."

She picked up his choreography perfectly, he tells Us.

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"She never had a problem with any of the moves," said Sparks, who admitted that he's the one who had a challenge converting his well-honed hip-hop skills to Broadway.

"I’ve done staging for So You Think You Can Dance, but staging for a Broadway show is totally different," he says. "Because you've got to worry about upstage, downstage, stage right, stage left!"

Sparks, who will be returning to SYTYCD for the Dec. 6 show, will also be heading all over the nation come January to audition performers for the next season of America's Best Dance Crew.

Related: See more photos of stars on the dance floor

Of the stops in NYC, Denver, Boston, L.A. and Atlanta, he says he's excited: "This will be the first season that we actually go out on the road to have auditions!"

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