AJ Odudu forced to QUIT Strictly Come Dancing final after injury


AJ Odudu has been forced to quit Strictly Come Dancing a day before the final.

As a result of a recent foot injury, the BBC has confirmed that the TV presenter and pro partner Kai Widdrington will not compete in Saturday’s live show.

In a statement from Strictly bosses today, they announced: “After consulting medical professionals regarding her recent injury, the decision has been made that sadly AJ cannot dance in Saturday’s Final.”

AJ Odudu said: “I’m deeply upset that I am unable to perform in the Final due to a torn ligament in my right ankle.

“Learning to dance over the last 13 weeks has been an incredible honour and to do it alongside someone as special, patient and devoted as Kai is something I’ll treasure forever.

“Thank you to the Strictly family for the experience, the medical team for trying to get me back on my feet and mostly, to everyone at home for watching and supporting. You’ve made this experience one to remember.

“Strictly Come Dancing has been a lifelong dream and I’m glad it came true. Good luck to my partners in dance, John & Johannes and Rose and Giovanni. I will be cheering you on (on one leg!).”

Her professional partner Kai Widdrington added: “I’ve been absolutely honoured to get to dance with the incredible AJ Odudu for the last few months and although neither of us wanted our journey to end this way, AJ’s health and safety are by far the most important things.

“I want to thank AJ for being the absolute best partner I could ever have asked for in my first year on the show and I will always treasure the memories of dancing in the Strictly ballroom with her. I know we will be friends for life and I will be there for her through her recovery in whatever way I can.

“I want to wish good luck to John & Johannes and Rose & Giovanni for the Final. And finally the biggest thank you to everyone who voted for us throughout the series, your support has been unforgettable.”

Meanwhile Strictly’s executive producer Sarah James commented: “AJ may not be able to compete in the Final but she is and always will be one of the most brilliant Strictly finalists we have ever had. We cannot thank her enough for fully embracing the experience and being a total delight both on and off the dance floor.

“AJ and Kai are a wonderful partnership and have performed some unforgettable routines over the last few months. Although this is not how we would have wanted her Strictly journey to end, AJ’s health and wellbeing come first and everyone involved in the show send her all our love and wish her a speedy recovery.”

The Strictly final will now see a head to head battle between TV chef John Whaite and soap star Rose Ayling-Ellis competing to win the Glitterball trophy. The final airs live at 7PM on Saturday on BBC One.

For now, AJ and Kai will stop by Strictly: It Takes Two for a final chat at 6PM tonight on BBC Two.