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Strictly's AJ Odudu admits 'worry' about being paired with Kai Widdrington

The TV presenter has made it to the final with her professional partner

aj and kai
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
16 December 2021
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Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Odudu has admitted she initially felt "worried" about being paired with new professional dancer Kai Widdrington for the ballroom competition.

MORE: Strictly fans 'in tears' over AJ and Kai adorable hidden mics moment

Speaking to HELLO! and other reporters at the finalist's virtual press conference, the TV star was asked by host Rylan Clark if she felt worried being paired with a pro who was new to the show.

WATCH: AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington melt fans hearts in hidden mic moment

The It Takes Two presenter asked: "Were you a little bit worried and thinking 'Oh I'm not familiar with him'?" to which AJ responded: "Of course I was! At the end of the day I am a super Strictly fan, I've fallen in love with all of the Strictly pros just like everyone else at home and I knew very little about Kai."

AJ continued: "But I remember having my meeting for Strictly and saying, 'I'd love someone who was really firm but fair, and was up for a laugh but also really patient and someone who brought out the best in me' and I got Kai who is all of the above and more! He really pushed me to dance outside of my comfort zone every week."

Unfortunately for AJ, this week is bittersweet as despite her explaining her excitement on reaching the final three – the dancer announced her performance this weekend has been thrown into jeopardy after sustaining a ligament injury in her foot.

MORE: Strictly's AJ Odudu left fighting back tears after dance 'disaster' in quarterfinal

MORE: Everything you need to know about Strictly contestant AJ Odudu's family

kai aj© Photo: BBC

AJ and Kai performing their quickstep in the semi-final

Explaining the situation to Rylan, AJ said: "Well, there's a bit of ligament damage going on there. Basically long story short, I hurt my ligament in my arch and I can't put any weight on my foot at all. At all. So we have missed a lot of training because I can't stand up. I'm on crutches and I'm doing everything I can to try and be there on Saturday night."

Kai then interjected: "We rehearsed Monday, we did the show dance, we got through it. Obviously we still need to patch it up a little bit there's a lot of lifts in there. But the other dances that we're going to, we put the music on and AJ danced them through."

AJ added: "It's just really frustrating actually because the two dances that we are repeating, we've not performed them in weeks. So, on Monday we were optimistic because we were like the steps are still there, we just need to build up stamina. "At this moment in time, I'm very frustrated and upset, but my focus is my foot and just making sure we can make it on Saturday." 

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