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Strictly final 2021: Latest odds, dances, why is AJ Odudu out and more

AJ should have been joining Rose and John in the grand finale (Picture: Ray Burmiston/BBC)

The Strictly Come Dancing 2021 final is upon us tonight, as Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice go up against John Whaite and Johannes Radebe in the contest for the Glitterball Trophy.

This week, fans were devastated by the news that AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington would no longer be able to compete on the BBC series due to the TV presenter’s injury.

She revealed that she had torn a ligament in her ankle during training, and after trying to see if medical treatment would help, was forced to realise that her time on the show had come to a premature end.

The majority of the eliminated stars are due to return for a group dance tonight, although Robert Webb won’t be joining on health grounds, and Tilly Ramsay will also be absent after testing positive for Covid.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the grand finale.

Why is AJ Odudu out of the Strictly final?

Earlier this week, it was announced that AJ had sustained a severe injury in training that resulted in her having to use crutches to walk.

She later confirmed that she had torn a ligament in her foot, but was still hoping she would be able to dance on Saturday night.

Despite exploring all possible avenues, having ultrasounds, MRI scans, X-Rays, incisions to drain the inflammation around her ankle, local anaesthetic and the using an ice compression machine, it wasn’t possible for her to return.

‘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 wrote on Instagram.

Describing Kai as ‘the best’, she added: ‘I know you were ready to be my human crutch on that dancefloor come tomorrow night. Gutted!’

The pair delivered several stunning performances throughout the series (Picture: BBC/Guy Levy)

In her first interview since pulling out of the final, the TV presenter said: ‘My ankle’s given way and my ligament has ruptured and it’s just not gonna happen. We’re gutted because we were ready to smash it.’

‘This isn’t the way that we wanted to go out, obviously, but even just looking back at all of those moments, it’s just been an absolute pleasure dancing with Kai every single week, so thank you.’

Why are there only two finalists this year?

In early October, Peep Show star Robert announced that he had dropped out of Strictly on medical advice due to his previous open heart surgery.

Robert was forced to back out of the competition early (Picture: Guy Levy/BBC)

He recently revealed that he would not be appearing in the group dance on Saturday, apologising on Instagram for the impact his departure had on the number of contestants in the final.

‘I’m sorry that my departure buggered up the format so there are only 3 couples in the final (a lot of angry Rhys fans out there,’ he said.

Robert’s departure meant there should have been three couples in the final, but now that AJ has also had to withdraw, there are now only two finalists left to compete.

Who is the favourite to win?

Rose and John are both strong contenders for the Glitterball Trophy with their respective partners Giovanni and Johannes.

However, according to fans, there’s a clear frontrunner.

Who’s your winner? (Picture: Guy Levy/BBC)

A poll of more than a thousand people found that more than 80% wanted Rose to take the title, with the remaining votes going towards John.

So while it could be anyone’s game, it looks like Rose could be a step ahead in the eyes of viewers.

What are Rose and John dancing to?

The finalists will both be performing two routines that they’ve previously danced on Strictly.

Rose and Giovanni have chosen to reperform their Couple’s Choice, which was set to Symphony by Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson.

Fans can’t wait to see their Couple’s Choice again (Picture: Guy Levy/BBC)

For the dance chosen by the judges, they’ll be doing their Frozen-themed Quickstep again to Love Is An Open Door.

Meanwhile, their Showdance will be performed to The Rose by Bette Midler, which Giovanni said is ‘a celebration of me and Rose, our relationship together’ and their ‘beautiful friendship’.

John and Johannes have chosen to dance their Pirates of the Caribbean-themed routine once more, which was a Paso Doble to He’s a Pirate by Klaus Badelt.

The judges chose for Johannes and John to perform their Rumba (Picture: BBC/Guy Levy)

The judges have decided that they will perform their Rumba to Sting’s Shape of My Heart for a second time, while their showdance routine will be set to You’ve Got The Love by Florence and the Machine.

Will there be a live studio audience?

There has been a live studio audience on Strictly this year, with Covid rules in place to protect everyone on set.

On the BBC website, it states that if government guidelines concerning audiences at events were to change, then all ticket holders would be contacted.

On the government’s website, it states that various venues and events must carry out Covid-19 status checks as a condition of entry.

Who won Strictly in 2020?

Comedian Bill Bailey was crowned the winner of Strictly in 2020.

Oti and Bill soared to victory (Picture: Guy Levy/BBC)

His win marked the second consecutive victory for professional dancer Oti Mabuse, who also won in 2019 with Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher.

Bill broke the record as the oldest ever Strictly winner at 55 years old, while Oti was the first pro to win the title back-to-back.

What time is the Strictly final tonight?

The Strictly final is due to begin at 7.10pm tonight on BBC One.

As has been the case with previous finals, there won’t be a Sunday results show, with the winner being announced on the night of the performances.

Tomorrow evening, BBC Sports Personality of the Year will air at the time that the results show has aired in previous weeks.


Credit: Original article published here.

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