Kai Widdrington was on hand to comfort AJ Odudu as they joined Rylan Clark on Strictly: It Takes Two ahead of the live final. The pair were set to compete against John Whaite and Rose Ayling-Ellis but had to pull out due to an injury. As they spoke about missing out on the final show, Kai broke down as he comforted his celebrity partner.
Speaking in a video message to AJ, her mum Florence said: “AJ is full of life, she is a wonderful and beautiful daughter.”
Her brother added: “AJ was always big, bold and brass, always the centre of attention.”
Florence continued: “When AJ said she was taking part on Strictly, I jumped for joy.”
Her father shared: “It was like a dream come true.”
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“And I think that’s the thing with me and Kai, we will never give up and everyone has been looking after me so so well and I was like, ‘It’s not a fracture, we’re good to go,’ but they were like, ‘Yeah but you still can’t stand up,’”
AJ continued: “It’s too risky, it’s too dangerous. But I want everyone to know I literally have done everything within my power to be on the dance floor.”
Kai also shared his disappointment as he pointed out they had “earned their place” in the final.
He remarked: “We were really hoping we were going to get over the line and dance in the final. Weirdly we had two very energetic dances we were given, the Charleston and the Jive.
“If we could have changed them maybe we could have done something but the injury is just too bad. At the end of the day, AJ’s health is the number one concern.
“Although we won’t be dancing in the final, we earned our place in the final. We are over the moon and we went out on a high from last week.”
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Earlier on Friday afternoon, 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. 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!).”
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.