AJ Odudu quits Strictly Come Dancing final due to injury – heartbreaking statement issued

Strictly: Craig argues AJ Odudu could win despite injury

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TV presenter AJ Odudu was devastated to announce she had injured her ankle and been unable to walk earlier this week but was determined to try to compete in the final of the BBC show alongside Kai Widdrington. However, Strictly Come Dancing announced on Friday the 33-year-old would sadly be unable to perform.

Strictly Come Dancing announced the disappointing update on its official Twitter page.

A post read: “Sadly due to injury AJ and Kai have had to withdraw from #Strictly and won’t compete in tomorrow’s final.

“We want to thank them for 13 incredible weeks on the show and the pure joy they brought to the dance floor every week.”

In a statement, AJ explained she was “deeply upset” to have had to pull out of the series.

Tomorrow’s anticipated grand final will have to go ahead without the pair, who have been among the favourites since the series began.

After consulting medical professionals regarding her recent injury, the decision has been made that sadly AJ cannot dance on Saturday.

AJ stated: “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 [Whaite] and Johannes [Radebe] and Rose [Ayling-Ellis] and Giovanni [Pernice]. I will be cheering you on – on one leg!”

Professional dancer Kai 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 and Johannes and Rose and Giovanni for the final.

“And finally, the biggest thank you to everyone who voted for us throughout the series, your support has been unforgettable.”

Sarah James, the show’s executive producer, said: “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 Come Dancing Final will go ahead this Saturday at 7pm on BBC One, while AJ and Kai will also be stopping by Strictly: It Takes Two for a final chat at 6.30pm tonight on BBC Two.

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