AJ Odudu ‘frustrated and upset’ at nightmare foot injury just before Strictly final


AJ Odudu has admitted she’s “frustrated and upset” at her foot injury ahead of the Strictly Come Dancing final.

The TV presenter said that she can’t stand up or put any weight on her foot after suffering the nightmare injury, but vowed that she is “doing everything” to make sure she can dance.

33-year-old AJ is set to take to the dancefloor in the final of the BBC One show on Saturday night (December 16) – with her professional dance partner Kai Widdrington – and they’ll hope to lift the Glitterball trophy.

However, she has had to miss out on rehearsals since Monday after she injured the ligament in the arch of her right foot – and she has had to use crutches to walk.

aj odudu
AJ admitted she has been “frustrated and upset” with her injury

Speaking at a press conference hosted by It Takes Two host Rylan Clark-Neal, AJ opened up about her injury ahead of the grand final.

Odudu said: “Basically, long story short, I’ve hurt the ligament in my arch, and I can’t put any weight on my foot 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 Widdrington revealed that they had rehearsed their show dance on Monday.

aj odudu
AJ injured the ligament in her right foot and has had to walk on crutches

Kai said: “We rehearsed (on) Monday, we did the show dance, we got through it. Obviously we still need to patch it up a little bit and connect everything, there’s a lot of lifts in there.

“But the other dances that we’re going to do we did and put the music on and AJ knows them”.

During the final, each of the remaining couples will perform three dance routines – as well as their highly-anticipated show dance.

The final couples are AJ and Kai, Bake Off winner John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, and EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice.

aj odudu
The pair made it to the grand finale – which will air on Saturday (December 18)

AJ and Kai bagged their first ever perfect score of 40 during last week’s semi-final after they performed their quickstep routine.

Judge Craig Revel Horwood had gushed over the routine as he called it “incredible”.

AJ said: “It’s just really frustrating actually. Because the two dances that you mentioned that we are repeating from the series, (we’ve) not performed them in weeks and weeks, so without giving too much away, they’re energy-inducing dances.”

“On Monday we were optimistic because we were like, ‘Do you know what? The steps are still there. Just got to build up the stamina… And then as Kai mentioned, our show dance, it’s (a) beautiful, epic show dance, that we have stepped through, we have marked through, I know where we’re meant to be, what I’m meant to be doing.

aj odudu
AJ is one of the favourites to win the show behind Rose

“But again, it’s one of those things that you need the practice in order to give it everything essentially. So I am at this moment in time very frustrated and upset.

“But again, our main focus is my foot at the moment and just making sure that we can make it on Saturday.”

AJ also became tearful as she discussed her Strictly journey with Kai, who called her a “dream partner”.

The Strictly live final will air on December 18 at 7pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

For more of the latest showbiz news from the Silver Screen Beat, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.