Strictly's AJ Odudu confirms she WILL attend final after being forced to pull out due to injury 1

Strictly’s AJ Odudu confirms she WILL attend final after being forced to pull out due to injury

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AJ Odudu has confirmed she will attend the Strictly Come Dancing final after injuring her foot and being forced to pull out of the competition. 

The presenter, 33, who was left unable to stand after suffering a torn ligament damage earlier this week, assured she ‘can’t wait to cheer on’ her former co-stars.

Speaking to Claudia Winkleman during a Saturday appearance on BBC Radio 2, the TV personality, who’s partnered with rumoured boyfriend Kai Widdrington, 26, began: ‘It’s a combination of so many emotions.

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Defiant: AJ Odudu has confirmed she will attend the Strictly Come Dancing final after injuring her foot and being forced to pull out of the competition (pictured with Kai Widdrington last Saturday)

Defiant: AJ Odudu has confirmed she will attend the Strictly Come Dancing final after injuring her foot and being forced to pull out of the competition (pictured with Kai Widdrington last Saturday)

‘Really grateful to be here in one piece having had the best 13 weeks with Kai on the most incredible show but really gutted to leave it in this way.

‘We were so excited to perform in the final and so grateful. We had so much up our sleeves.

She added through gritted teeth: ‘Looking down at a torn ligaments in my right angle, I couldn’t be more gutted that it didn’t hang on.

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‘Monday was so exciting. We got into the studio and initially I thought, ‘We;ve got the jive and Charlston and saw our beautiful show dance and we went through it and thought, ‘It’s gonna be amazing.’

Oh no! The presenter, 33, who was left unable to stand after suffering a torn ligament damage earlier this week, assured she 'can't wait to cheer on' her former co-stars

Oh no! The presenter, 33, who was left unable to stand after suffering a torn ligament damage earlier this week, assured she ‘can’t wait to cheer on’ her former co-stars

‘Yeah Claudia I don’t know what to say, I’m absolutely devastated and also for the people who supported us, and Kai.

‘He’s got me back up when I got knocked down and gave me a new lease of life. He made me feel very strong going into the final week.

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Revealing they had been hopeful to remain in the competition despite the wound, the dancing pro said: ‘Yesterday was very difficult.

‘The call wasn’t made until the morning because we were holding on and thinking we could change the dances to something slower.’

Tragic: The TV personality, who's partnered with rumoured boyfriend Kai Widdrington, 26, began: 'It's a combination of so many emotions'

Tragic: The TV personality, who’s partnered with rumoured boyfriend Kai Widdrington, 26, began: ‘It’s a combination of so many emotions’ 

‘People were consoling us cos I was at Elstree [Studios] by myself waiting for her and they played a VT and I was just gone and I never cry.

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‘We can look back in five or 10 years and think, ‘I can’t believe we did that. I know her mum is incredibly proud.

AJ added of her beloved Florence, ‘My mum all week has been saying, ‘I need to come and see you,’ but I’ve been fending her off because it then means it’s over.

”The painkillers just need to kick in,’ I was saying but it was good to get the cuddles I need from her. She’s gonna come to the studio, cheer everyone on and give Kai a big squeeze as well.

Happier times: 'Really grateful to be here in one piece having had the best 13 weeks with Kai on the most incredible show but really gutted to leave it in this way'

Happier times: ‘Really grateful to be here in one piece having had the best 13 weeks with Kai on the most incredible show but really gutted to leave it in this way’ 

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‘It’s gonna be really odd but also I want everyone to back Rose and John and Johannes and Giovanni.

‘It’s been such an incredible cast this year. We’ve been so supportive of each other and I know they didn’t want this either.

‘I, of course, would love to be on the dancefloor with them tonight but I can’t wait to cheer them on with one leg through lots of tears,’ she joked.

AJ – who is said to have had treatment on Wednesday – is unable to put any weight on her foot, and was hoping to compete in the final but ultimately made the decision to pull out.

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Sad news: After consulting medical professionals, AJ previously said in a statement: 'I'm deeply upset that I am unable to perform in the final due to a torn ligament in my right ankle'

Sad news: After consulting medical professionals, AJ previously said in a statement: ‘I’m deeply upset that I am unable to perform in the final due to a torn ligament in my right ankle’ 

After consulting medical professionals, AJ said in a 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.

‘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.

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

Oh no! The star was spotted leaving her London hotel later in the day to head to her final rehearsals on crutches, just one day before the Strictly final

Oh no! The star was spotted leaving her London hotel later in the day to head to her final rehearsals on crutches, just one day before the Strictly final

Now the live final will see just John Whaite and Johannes Radebe and Rose Ayling Ellis and Giovanni Pernice compete for the Glitterball Trophy.

Dance partner Kai Widdrington said: ‘I’ve been absolutely honoured to get to dance with the incredible AJ Odudu for the last few months.

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‘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.’ 

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A regional war has been ignited for the final on Saturday night with John dancing for the northerners and Rose representing the south. 

John, who hails from Chorley in Lancashire, and Rose, who comes from Kent, are dancing in the final after AJ pulled out – making it the first time since 2009 that there have been two dancers in the final. 

Tragic: AJ had been hoping to compete alongside her dance partner and rumoured boyfriend Kai Widdrington in Saturday's live final

Tragic: AJ had been hoping to compete alongside her dance partner and rumoured boyfriend Kai Widdrington in Saturday’s live final

The southern vote has helped 27-year-old Rose become favourite to win with 1-20 odds, while northerner John, 32, is the 8-1 outsider.  

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A TV source has told The Sun: ‘The regional vote has a massive effect on the success of contestants on TV contests, and never before has there been two people in the final with such a clear geographic divide.

‘There’s a strong sense that this is a clash of the titans, as both Rose and John are incredible dancers who will now go into the final neck-and-neck with voters.

‘AJ’s exit was a tragedy for her. But getting the votes she’d have received from northerners is likely to be the last-minute surge John needed to put him in reach of the glitterball.’

North vs. South: A regional war has been ignited for the final on Saturday night with John (pictured, right) dancing for the northerners and Rose representing the south

North vs. South: A regional war has been ignited for the final on Saturday night with John (pictured, right) dancing for the northerners and Rose representing the south

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