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Strictly: What will happen now AJ Odudu can’t dance and has withdrawn from the final?

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Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Odudu is “on crutches” after suffering an injury mere days before the final.

The TV presenter is currently the second favourite to win the 2022 series, but has now announced she will be unable to participate in tomorrow night’s episode (18 December).

Odudu tearfully confirmed the injury on companion show It Takes Two, saying that she is currently “unable to stand” on her right foot and that the pain came on so suddenly that she “projectile vomited” during rehearsals.

Odudu was set to compete in the final alongside EastEnders actor Rose Ayling-Ellis and former Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite.

Now Odudu has withdrawn from the series, she has officially finished in third place.

While many thought her departure could mean the return of semi-finalist Rhys Stephenson, the BBC has confirmed Odudu won’t be replaced.

Earlier this series, Tom Fletcher and Ugo Monye both missed a week due to injuries, but were permitted to return the following week.

Sara Davies was also forced to miss a week after contracting Covid-19.

AJ Odudu with her professional dance partner Kai Widdrington (BBC iPlayer)
AJ Odudu with her professional dance partner Kai Widdrington (BBC iPlayer)

As this is the final, Odudu would have to finish in third place, leaving Rose and John to battle it out for the Glitterball trophy.

Odudu became the second favourite to win the show after bouncing back from being in the bottom two by achieving her first full marks of 40 in last weekend’s semi-final.

Whaite’s odds drifted after he faced CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson, who was eliminated, in the dance off.

Ayling-Ellis is currently the favourite to take home the 2022 Glitterball trophy.

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