Strictly 2021: Rhys Stephenson rules out return for final if AJ Odudu drops out

Strictly Come Dancing’s Rhys Stephenson will not return to perform in Saturday’s final should AJ Odudu pull out because of her injury.

Presenter AJ is currently on crutches after damaging ligaments in her right ankle.

Although she is remaining hopeful that she’ll be able to compete against John Whaite and Rose Ayling-Ellis for the glitterball trophy at the weekend, there’s a chance that she could be forced to withdraw.

If this is the case, understands that Rhys will not be brought in to replace AJ.

CBBC presenter Rhys and his professional partner Nancy Xu exited the series on Sunday after ending up in the dreaded dance-off.

‘I feel really proud of what we did and excited because I mean, the semi-finals,’ he told It Takes Two on Monday.

‘And that semi-final was intense. It was so good. Some of the all-stars of Strictly, so to be on that line-up was incredible.’

Meanwhile, Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood is keeping his fingers crossed that AJ will be able to take to the dancefloor for the final.

‘Let’s just wait and see,’ he told Good Morning Britain. ‘I’m hoping and praying because she is so good and I will really miss her if she’s not there.’

AJ previously told It Takes Two on Wednesday night that she is ‘upset’ about the situation.

‘We’ve got three amazing dances that we really want to perform,’ she said.

‘And I know I’m getting upset but I am genuinely remaining hopeful. I’m surrounded by a really great medical team who are trying their best to get me back on my feet.

‘And of course, I’ve got Kai [Widdrington] who is really holding me together, physically and emotionally right now.’

Strictly Come Dancing final airs on Saturday at 7pm on BBC One.

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