Strictly final in chaos tonight with last minute no-shows, injuries, and one 'dreaded' star's return

STRICTLY Come Dancing's final tonight has been thrown into chaos with last minute no-shows, injuries, and one 'dreaded' star's return.

And as fans settle on the sofa with their drinks and snacks for the final of the BBC dance competition, there will be three fewer routines to feast upon.

Because injured AJ Odudu is unable to compete producers have grappled with making last-minute changes to the programme filmed at Elstree Studios.

AJ was left devastated on Friday as she announced her withdrawal from the competition due to suffering a nasty injury, which left her on crutches and unable to dance.

The brave Strictly star said: "I've had ultrasounds, MRI scans and x-rays.

"I've had two incisions to drain the inflammation around my ankle. I've injected local anaesthetic directly into my foot, I have been strapped up to an ice compression machine for days.

"I've done all I can possibly do to get back on my feet for the @bbcstrictly Final, I even asked the docs if I could perform in a medical moonboot!"

Revealing more details of the training accident that forced their exit, AJ attempted to put on a brave face as she told It Takes Two host Rylan: "My ankle's given way and my ligament has ruptured and it's just not gonna happen. We're gutted because we were ready to smash it."

Her drop out has meant just two couples will battle it out for the Glitterball trophy.

The final blow came after Strictly star Robert Webb confirmed he won’t be taking part in the celebrities' live group dance or returning to cheer on the finalists.

Posting a picture of himself and professional partner Dianne Buswell on his Instagram, the Peep Show actor said: “My love for Strictly is a season that is forever summer. However, the producers understood that when I had to stop, I had to stop completely. Dianne & Joe [Sugg] came over for lunch a few weeks ago and m’partner gets it.

“If I gave out a few more details about what the show had been doing to me physically & mentally, you wouldn’t be surprised that the offer of one more dance was politely declined.”

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Earlier in the competition, the 49-year-old was forced to pull out just weeks, citing heart problems following open-heart surgery he had two years ago.

A further crisis took place on Thursday, when Tilly Ramsay revealed she had tested positive for Covid.

The TV star, 20, said she was "so sad" to miss performing in the group dance tonight but would instead be "cheering on the amazing finalists from home".

Meanwhile, producers were said to be dreading the return of EastEnders actress Nina Wadia after she slammed the show following her exit.

🔵 Read our Strictly Come Dancing live blog for the latest updates

The 52-year-old was the first celeb to be eliminated back in week two, and claimed she'd been hard done by from the judges' scoring.

She described their marking as "shocking" and said the overall experience was "odd".

Ahead of Saturday night's final which will see past contestants return, one inside said: “It’s left a very sour taste in the mouth.”

Another complained Nina “moaned all the time” and added: “She is coming back for the final, which we are slightly dreading.”

The series went ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic, with strict measures backstage to keep the cast and production crew safe.

However, judge Craig Revel Horwood, dancer Amy Dowden and contestants Judi Love and Tom Fletcher have all tested positive for coronavirus over the series.

Two couples now face a head-to-head battle to scoop the Glitterball Trophy.

EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis is the frontrunner tipped to take home the Strictly prize on Saturday night.

Chef John Whaite will be dancing alongside pro partner Johannes Radebe in the final.

John and Johannes made Strictly history as the first male same-sex pairing to compete and have done well on the scoreboard each week.

Meanwhile, Rose will perform her “silent dance” for a second time after the final kicks off on BBC One tonight at 7.10pm.

The routine previously had viewers in tears as it featured a lengthy section where she moved around the dancefloor without the sound of music.

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