AJ Odudu says Strictly has ‘permanently disfigured’ her after nasty injury that left her on crutches

AJ Odudu says Strictly has ‘permanently disfigured’ her after nasty injury that left her on crutches


AJ Odudu joked Strictly had "permanently disfigured" her before a nasty injury left her on crutches.

Speaking earlier in the competition, before injuring her foot, the TV presenter told The Sun: "Honestly speaking, I don't think my toes will ever be the same again. I think they're going to be permanently in the shape of a latin shoe.

"I think they’re going to be permanently disfigured by Strictly!

"But you know what? It's incredible what the body can do. I am a complete beginner, never danced before and to think that my body is moving in the ways that I never thought it could, I'm like, 'Wow! This is incredible.'

"I hope all the things that I've learnt from Strictly stay with me, even if it does mean me having a weird shaped toes. But I'm constantly aching.

"I have to have cold showers and ice baths on a regular basis. I permanently smell of deep heat. It genuinely is all worth it. It's kind of like when you go to the gym and you feel the burn.

"It's just a constant burn. It's just a constant burn, but it's so funny because I'm at a point where I'm like, 'You know what? Brings on the pain. It's fine.'"

AJ said today she is "doing everything" to make sure she can dance in Saturday's final with her professional partner Kai Widdrington after injuring the ligament in the arch of her right foot.

She has been unable to rehearse since Monday, and she has also had to use crutches.

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Speaking at a press conference this afternoon hosted by It Takes Two presenter Rylan Clark, AJ appeared with her right foot lifted and strapped with bandages.

She 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."

AJ and Kai are due to perform three routines on Saturday night.

They face ex Bake Off winner John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, and EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice.

Kai, who previously competed on Ireland's Dancing With The Stars, 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."

The couple reached the final after they scored their first perfect 40 during Saturday's semi-final for one of their two routines – a quickstep – which judge Craig Revel Horwood gushed was "incredible".

Their other semi-final routine, a rumba, earned them a score of 39.

Odudu 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.

"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 became tearful as she discussed dancing with Widdrington, who labelled her a "dream partner".

The pair's close partnership has also sparked rumours of a relationship.

The final three celebrities will take to the dancefloor in the Strictly Come Dancing Final 2021 on December 18 at 7pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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