'Strictly' quarter-final: AJ Odudu cries over lift disaster that puts her bottom of the leaderboard

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·TV Reporter
·3-min read
In this article:
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  • Kai Widdrington
    British dancer
  • AJ Odudu
    British television presenter
WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 19:40:01 on 04/12/2021 - Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 04/12/2021 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ++DRESS RUN++
*NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 1940hrs, SATURDAY 4TH  DECEMBER, 2021* AJ Odudu, Kai Widdrington - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
The couple's lift ended in disaster. (BBC/Guy Levy)

AJ Odudu has ended her Strictly Come Dancing quarter-final routine in tears after a disastrous lift left her bottom of the leaderboard.

The TV presenter and her partner Kai Widdrington closed the show with a fast-paced Salsa, but unfortunately, their final daring lift went completely wrong, leaving the performance on a stumbled ending.

Read more: Craig Revel Horwood slams James Jordan for Rose Ayling-Ellis criticism

Pro dancer Widdrington attempted the awkward lift by trying to pick up Odudu by her leg, but the lift got off on the wrong foot and was impossible to correct, meaning they had to abandon their big finish.

Odudu was left in tears of disappointment as she told host Claudia Winkleman and her partner Widdrington: "I'm so gutted because we worked so hard this week and I just hope I've not let you down, I'm so sorry."

The couple were left in last place with 30 points, but Odudu still thanked the judges for their scores, saying: "I'm genuinely grateful, thank you."

She wiped away tears and was comforted by Widdrington, who took responsibility for the fumbled lift.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 19:40:01 on 04/12/2021 - Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 04/12/2021 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ++DRESS RUN++
*NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 1940hrs, SATURDAY 4TH  DECEMBER, 2021* AJ Odudu, Kai Widdrington - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington fumbled their last lift. (BBC/Guy Levy)

Head judge Shirley Ballas told them: "Like any quarter-final in any championship, it takes nerves of steel and things go wrong. Your ending, a bit like John and Jojo, it went wrong. 

"I'm assuring you it was on its way to a 10, it was just unfortunate."

Anton Du Beke joked: "It was quite a long ending, it went on and on, I was thinking 'just drop her, quick! Stop playing!'...I loved it in general, but the ending was like, 'please, stop, I can't bear it!'."

Craig Revel Horwood held nothing back as he said: "The end was a complete dance disaster, darling, but you know, that can be fixed. One day."

Motsi Mabuse said she was disappointed for Odudu: "That ending killed me, I was like, 'stop the music guys, now!'...You almost, almost showed Latin I can do this, watch me."

Read more: John Whaite ordered by physio to take day off Strictly training

However, Odudu and Widdrington were in good company as they weren't the only couple with a disastrous lift - John Whaite and Johannes Radebe had the same problem.

They opened the show, also dancing a Salsa and also ending their routine with a lift that went wrong as Whaite dropped Radebe to the floor.

Craig Revel Horwood smiled as he admitted: "I love it when it goes wrong."

But Revel Horwood added that he thought the former Bake Off winner was a brilliant dancer, as Mabuse, who has returned after a week off isolating when she came into contact with someone with COVID, agreed with his comments.

Laughing, she told the couple: "Like Craig I loved it, because it's just so funny."

Watch: Kai Widdrington addresses AJ Odudu romance rumours

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