Strictly Come Dancing finalist AJ Odudu has admitted her injury is “bad” as she walked on crutches after pulling out of the show final on Saturday.
The dancer, who is partnered with professional dancer Kai Widdrington, tore a ligament in her foot and has been forced to rest this week, and issued a statement that she would pull out of the competition early on Friday afternoon.
And though she was optimistic about being able to perform in the final, AJ confirmed the sad news that her Strictly stint has come to an end.
Wearing an orange-and-black striped jumper and black trousers, AJ headed out in a daisy-yellow face mask with her hair in a ponytail and a canvas camouflage bag strung over her shoulder.
But most glaring of all was the black protective boot on AJ’s right foot – a stark contrast to the black-and-white trainer she wore on her left.
The star could be seen heading out of the Elstree Outpatient Centre to a car bound for her management office to prepare her exit statement for Strictly.
When asked how her leg is, she simply answered: "Bad."
It was officially confirmed by the BBC that AJ will no longer be taking part in the Strictly final, with the official Strictly Twitter account posting: “Sadly due to injury AJ and Kai have had to withdraw from #Strictly and won’t compete in tomorrow’s final.
"We want to thank them for 13 incredible weeks on the show and the pure joy they brought to the dance floor every week."
In a statement of her own, AJ added: "I'm deeply upset that I am unable to perform in the Final due to a torn ligament in my right ankle.
"Learning to dance over the last 13 weeks has been an incredible honour and to do it alongside someone as special, patient and devoted as Kai is something I'll treasure forever.
"Thank you to the Strictly family for the experience, the medical team for trying to get me back on my feet and mostly, to everyone at home for watching and supporting. You've made this experience one to remember.
"Strictly Come Dancing has been a lifelong dream and I'm glad it came true."
Wishing her fellow finalists luck, AJ said: "Good luck to my partners in dance, John & Johannes and Rose and Giovanni. I will be cheering you on (on one leg!)."
AJ has already received an outpouring of support from her Strictly co-stars, with Dragons’ Den’s Sara Davies writing on Instagram: "Really gutted for these guys – after having worked so hard for 13 weeks – and they were incredible."
It Takes Two host Rylan said: "The most sad news. We love you both."
Tilly Ramsay’s professional partner Nikita Kuzmin said: "So gutted. Love you two, lots of love!"
While Dianne Buswell wrote: "So so gutted about this."
And Karen Hauer echoed: "So sad… sending all the love."
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