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AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington forced to pull out of Strictly finale last-minute

The TV star has been suffering with an injury

aj odudu and kai widdrington
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
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AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington have been forced to pull out of the Strictly Come Dancing final following AJ's devastating foot injury. The news was confirmed by the BBC in a statement which read: "AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington are having to withdraw from Strictly Come Dancing and will not compete in tomorrow's Grand Final.

MORE: Strictly Come Dancing's AJ Odudu breaks down in tears as she reveals devastating injury

"After consulting medial professionals regarding her recent injury, the decision has been made that sadly AJ cannot dance in Saturday's final."

WATCH: Strictly's AJ Odudu reveals devastating injury

AJ said in the statement: "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. "

She continued: "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!)"

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MORE: Strictly's Rose Ayling-Ellis reveals Giovanni Pernice's best qualities - and it might surprise you

aj odudu and kai widdrington dance© Photo: BBC

AJ and Kai were favourites on the BBC show

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."

MORE: Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer unfit to dance at final due to last-minute injury

aj kai© Photo: BBC

AJ said she was "deeply sad" to miss out this weekend

On Wednesday, AJ made a tearful appearance on Strictly's sister show, It Takes Two, during which she revealed the devastating details of her injury: "I'm really upset because we were so excited on Monday," she told Janette Manrara at the time.

"In fact, we felt really positive after training on Monday, I felt fine. But the pain came on so suddenly and acutely that I actually projectile vomited. I'm unable to stand on my right foot, and I can't stand without crutches."

Fans were naturally devastated to hear the news and took to the comments on the Strictly Instagram account to share their sadness. One person said: "I'm heartbroken for them, they have been amazing." Another wrote: "Completely devastated for AJ and Kai, but the right decision under the circumstances. You have been amazing @ajodudu that jive is my favourite dance of the series." A third commented: "Devastated for them."

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