Strictly star Rhys Stephenson explains why he won't replace AJ Odudu in final

Strictly star Rhys Stephenson explains why he won't replace AJ Odudu in final

December 18, 2021

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Strictly Come Dancing 2021 star Rhys Stephenson insists he will not replace AJ Odudu in the final as he plans to ‘sit back and enjoy himself’ instead.

The CBBC presenter was partnered with professional dancer Nancy Xu on the hit series but just missed a place in the long-awaited final, following an intense dance-off against AJ and Kai Widdrington in the semi-final.

BBC confirmed on Friday that AJ will not be dancing on Saturday after suffering a serious foot injury, which leaves actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice and Great British Bake Off star John Whaite and Johannes Radebe performing head to head in a bid to lift the Glitterball trophy.

However, noticing that one spot was open, fans quickly inundated Rhys with messages and asked whether he’ll be back on the dancefloor.

The star addressed the speculation on his Instagram stories, saying: ‘I’ve had a lot of messages, and a lot of messages from friends of people going to friends of mine, loved ones and asking if I’m going to be in the final now as AJ has hurt herself.

‘Let me tell you now. Absolutely not. What, two days for three dances? No, I value my mental health too much.’

‘I’m going to go there to enjoy myself and have a good time, that ship has sailed,’ he added.

AJ and Kai were both in floods of tears speaking to It Takes Two host Rylan Clark after watching a montage of their highlights throughout the past 13 weeks on the show.

The TV presenter revealed that she was ‘gutted’ not to be taking part in the final after damaging her ligament in training, and is not allowed to put weight on the foot or she could face a year of rehab afterwards.

Rose and John will be performing two routines they’ve previously danced on Strictly, as well as their jam-packed showdance.

The pair have chosen to reperform their Couple’s Choice, which featured a silent moment celebrating the Deaf community.

Meanwhile, John and Johannes will dance the Paso Doble and a Rumba as well as their showdance spectacular.

So who will be crowned the champion? All will be revealed soon.

Strictly Come Dancing final airs on Saturday at 7.10pm on BBC One.

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