Strictly 2021 final in jeopardy as contestant is spotted on crutches

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 celebrity contestants posing in cast photo

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 final (opens in new tab) could be in jeopardy after AJ Odudu was spotted on crutches with an injury ahead of this weekend's ultimate show.

There are just three couple's left in Strictly Come Dancing 2021 and with the pressure mounting over who will win over the judges and ultimately the viewers at home, one contestant is feeling the pain.

AJ was spotted using the walking aids just days before the final and it's understood she had to miss a day of training to go for a scan following her injury scare.

A source told The Mirror, "This is the worst possible timing but AJ is a real trooper and will keep going no matter what. The pain in her foot was terrible."

The insider also said that they were "hopeful" that the TV star would be fit enough for the final and in the hope of doing her best with professional partner Kai Widrington, she is currently "resting her foot".

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AJ has found the dance schedules gruelling and has had physiotherapy every day for a week due to her back problems.

She previously told contestants she felt “battered” by the rigorous training and going into Saturday’s show, AJ and Kai were second favourites, with latest odds of 7/1, behind Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice (opens in new tab).

To earn herself a place in the final AJ wowed judges with her Quickstep and Rumba and she shared her delight at going through when she tweeted, 'Still can't believe we're @bbcstrictly FINALISTS!!!!  I'm so happy I could burst. Thank you for all your votes and kind messages and thank you @kaiwidd for believing in me. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.'

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The other two couples who will also be competing for the glitterball trophy this weekend is Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis plus former Bake Off contestant (opens in new tab) John Whaite and his partner Johannes Radebe.

But it's hoped AJ will be back into the swing of things in time for Strictly final 2021, as body language expert Darren Stanton tells Betfair (opens in new tab) that he thinks AJ is the frontrunner to be crowned Strictly champion this year.

He said, "AJ narrowly managed to escape being voted off in the quarter-final, so all eyes were on her as she took to the dance floor on Saturday. The judges were keeping a watchful eye on AJ and her partner Kai and it’s clear the pair worked hard to up their game. AJ has the potential to be the eventual winner and this could be thanks to her strengthened connection with Kai as shown on the dance floor on Saturday.

"They were moving around as if physically connected as one person. The strength of their bond has reached new heights, with their near exit bringing them even closer together. Their body language was without fault throughout their performance and the hook at the end of the dance, the prolonged eye contact and general physicality between them shows the pair have built a very deep state of rapport between them.

He continued, "Even the judges seem to think so, Anton was very complimentary about AJ, while Craig was the most positive he has been about AJ throughout the entire competition. Shirley put on a hugely passionate and animated display - clenching her fists and engaging her face - while delivering her feedback for the couple and her comments were truly heartfelt. I would even go as far as to say AJ could emerge as the frontrunner as the final nears in the coming days and go on to lift the Glitterball trophy."

But with this injury to overcome, AJ is predicted to face stiff competition from an ‘emotional’ John Whaite and 'effortless' Rose Ayling-Ellis who came out fighting after a confidence knock.

Strictly final 2021 is on Saturday 18th December at 7pm on BBC One.