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AJ Odudu might have reached the Strictly Come Dancing final with partner Kai Widdrington, but she has admitted she was initially worried about being paired with a previously unknown pro dancer.
The TV presenter and Widdrington have become known for their strong chemistry and daring performances, but she said that as a Strictly fan she had been concerned at first about not being given a more established partner.
Widdrington had already taken part in Irish show Dancing with the Stars, but was not known to most Strictly viewers when he was cast in his first series this year.
Asked whether she was worried when she was matched with a first-time Strictly pro, Odudu told Yahoo and other media: "Of course I was.
"At the end of the day I'm a Strictly fan, I've fallen in love with all of the Strictly pros just like everyone else at home and I knew very little about Kai.
"But I remember having my meeting for Strictly and saying I'd love someone who was really firm but fair, up for a laugh but also wanted to bring out the best in me. I got Kai, who is all of those things and more."
Talking about their partnership, she added: "We've not played it safe once and even when it's all gone wayward, I still look back at that Salsa and I go, I loved that. We attempt what some wouldn't even dare to attempt."
However, Odudu is currently struggling with ligament damage to her foot that has left her on crutches and worried over whether she will be able to take part in the final.
Widdrington said that he had been thrilled to be paired with Odudu: "My first series on Strictly, I get a dream partner like this.
"No dance experience, even when people think that she has, you haven't had any at all, I can categorically say that."
Talking about how talented a dancer she is, he continued: "I don't think I would have done my job correctly if I hadn't have got her to the final."
The couple agreed that the series had been an emotional experience for both of them, with Widdrington admitting that their recent Quickstep had left him "bawling my eyes out" backstage because he was so happy with what they'd achieved.
Read more: The best moments of Strictly 2021
He said: "I don't cry ever, I'm very, very not in touch with that side."
Odudu, who had wanted to take part in Strictly for years, added: "When dreams come true, it's amazing but it's also quite moving, you can't believe it's happening. I feel like the whole experience has really been a dream."
Strictly Come Dancing's final airs on Saturday 18 December at 7pm on BBC One.
Watch: Kai Widdrington addresses AJ Odudu romance rumours