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AJ Odudu OUT of Strictly Come Dancing final after nasty injury leaves her on crutches and unable to dance

STRICTLY'S AJ Odudu has been ruled out of the series final after a nasty ankle injury left her on crutches and unable to dance.

The devastated TV presenter, 33, announced her withdrawal from the competition today after she was pictured hobbling to her last rehearsal.

She said: “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 [Widdrington] 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 [Whaite] and Johannes [Radebe] and Rose [Ayling-Ellis] and Giovanni [Pernice]. I will be cheering you on (on one leg!).”

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Initial reports revealed AJ would need to miss a day of training after undergoing a scan. 

Despite sustaining the injury so close to Saturday's final, it was "hoped" that  AJ would be fit for this weekend's show – but that has not happened.

Rhys Stephenson, who was eliminated in the semi-final, yesterday ruled out a return as a final replacement.

AJ reached the last three after impressing the judges week after week with pro partner Kai Widdrington.

In the semi-final they danced a very sultry rumba to Show Me Heaven by Maria McKee, and fans noted their chemistry was "off the charts".

The pair have refused to confirm or deny if their connection is romantic, but it paid off as they sizzled on the Strictly ballroom floor and made it through to the final.

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Two couples now face a head-to-head battle to scoop the Glitterball Trophy.

EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis is the frontrunner tipped to take home the Strictly prize on Saturday night.

Rose is paired up with Giovanni Pernice who branded Rose "the best partner" in a recent interview.

Since appearing on Strictly, the deaf star has continued to wow the judges and now is tipped to scoop the crown.

Chef John Whaite will be dancing alongside pro partner Johannes Radebe in the final.

The TV star shot to fame when he won Bake Off back in 2012.

John and Johannes made Strictly history as the first male same-sex pairing to compete and have done well on the scoreboard each week.

💃Follow our Strictly Come Dancing live blog for all the latest updates

As well as the coveted Glitterball trophy, the Strictly winner scoops a whopping £100,000 to take home with them.

Past Strictly champions have topped up their cash winnings by landing more lucrative TV deals after the show.

The Strictly Come Dancing 2021 final will air on BBC One tomorrow.

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