Despite a few wobbles, including landing in the bottom two, the TV presenter, 33, and her partner Kai Widdrington never gave up – and their hard work paid off, winning them a coveted spot in the final.
However, just a day before the grand finale, it was revealed that the dancing duo have had to drop out of the dancing competition.
But why did AJ and Kai withdraw, and who could replace them in the battle for the glitterball trophy?
Why did AJ Odudu drop out of the Strictly 2021 final?
AJ Odudu has had to withdraw from the competition following a foot injury.
In a statement, the BBC series said: ‘Sadly due to injury AJ and Kai have had to withdraw from #Strictly and won’t compete in tomorrow’s final.
‘We want to thank them for 13 incredible weeks on the show and the pure joy they brought to the dance floor every week.’
The decision was made after consulting with medical professionals, as AJ suffered a torn ligament in her right ankle during training this week.
During a press conference ahead of Saturday night, a disheartened AJ said: ‘So 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.’
Who could replace AJ Odudu in the Strictly 2021 final?
The most obvious contender would be Rhys Stephenson, who was eliminated from the competition in the semi-final last week.
However, Rhys has made it clear that he has no intention of rejoining the show, as the limited preparation time would take a told on his ‘mental health’.
The CBBC presenter, 28, posted an Intagram story to his 30.9k followers: ‘Let me tell you now. Absolutely not! I mean, two days – really?’
The Lewisham local added: ‘No, no, no. I value my mental health too much.’
Rhys said that he will be attending the final, but as an audience member.
He said, ‘I’m going to go there and have a good time. That ship has sailed.’
It is looking unlikely that anyone will be joining Rose Ayling-Ellis and John Whaite in the final episode.
But, until the BBC confirms that there will be no replacement, fans will likely continue to hope that their favourite eliminated celebrities will make a triumphant return.
The Strictly Come Dancing final airs on Saturday at 7pm on BBC One.
Credit: Original article published here.