Motsi Mabuse Insists We Shouldn't Overlook AJ Odudu Ahead Of Strictly Final Despite Injury

AJ revealed this week she needs crutches to walk and has not been able to rehearse properly for the Strictly Come Dancing final.
Motsi Mabuse and AJ Odudu
Motsi Mabuse and AJ Odudu

Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse has shared her thoughts on AJ Odudu’s recent injury, insisting we shouldn’t write the TV presenter off ahead of her performance in the final at the weekend.

Earlier this week, AJ confirmed reports that she was on crutches at “the worst possible time”, meaning she’s not been properly able to rehearse her routines for Saturday night’s live show.

She later made a tearful performance on spin-off show It Takes Two, saying: “I can’t pinpoint when it happened during training, in fact, we felt really positive after training on Monday, I felt fine. But the pain came on so suddenly and acutely that I actually projectile vomited.

“I’m unable to stand on my right foot, and I can’t stand up with crutches. I’m very upset.”

Despite her tears, AJ insisted she was “genuinely remaining hopeful”, with Motsi showing her support when she appeared on It Takes Two on Thursday night.

“She’s done a great, great job,” Motsi said of AJ’s strong performance throughout the series. “Watching AJ perform every week, I think, is going to move so many people.

“Strictly’s worldwide and so many little girls are going to see her – and we didn’t have that, I didn’t have that as a little girl. So watching her do that, I absolutely loved her and she’s shining.”

Moitsi added: “Don’t just put her to the side. She has that strength, she has shown it.

“She’s been in the dance-off, she came back stronger, so all I can say [to her] is, ‘put your heart on the dance floor, take care of yourself but just go out there and have a really great time’.”

Motsi Mabuse appearing on It Takes Two
Motsi Mabuse appearing on It Takes Two

AJ previously wrote on Instagram: “Whilst it’s not the week I had planned, I’m trying to remain hopeful and positive. I’m surrounded by a fantastic medical team who are trying their best to get me back on my feet.

“PLUS, I have the most incredible partner... who is carrying me emotionally and physically (literally). Thanks for all your messages. I sincerely hope it will be all right on the night.”

She also told Newsbeat: “Even if Kai has to just carry me around that dance floor, and I’ll do some arm-ography, we’ll make it work.”

This year’s Strictly final airs on Saturday night at 7pm on BBC One, where either AJ Odudu, Rose Ayling-Ellis or John Whaite will be crowned this year’s champion and take home the coveted Glitterball trophy.


What's Hot