Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Odudu admits she was once rejected by the show

Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Odudu has revealed that she was already turned down by the show a year before signing up for her show.

AJ was one of the first celebs to be announced for Strictly in 2021, and has been a trailblazer throughout the show with her impressive moves.

However, the Big Breakfast host admitted that her journey to the Strictly dance floor wasn’t exactly smooth.

“I asked them in 2020 if I could do it and they said no,” she told The Sun.

“There are always those people who are asked every year, ‘I just haven’t found the time.’ It wasn’t me – I hadn’t been asked every year! »

AJ went on to say that she thought she showed her involvement in last year’s race.

AJ posing with his partner Strictly Kai Widdrington
AJ posing with his partner Strictly Kai Widdrington

Ray Burmiston/BBC via PA Media

“I show up really strong,” she explained. “I uttered it to the point that it actually happened.

“At the beginning of 2021, I sat down with my agent and said, ‘I want to do Strictly Come Dancing. I have to do this.’ And I saw myself doing it.

Throughout the series, AJ received high scores from judges and praise from viewers, making it all the way to the finale alongside Rose Ayling-Ellis and John Whaite.

Unfortunately, she was forced to retire at the eleventh hour due to injury.

Admitting she felt “really mad at my ankle” at first, AJ told The Sun she coped by trying to focus on the positives.

“I was disappointed. And then I turned around and thought, ‘You did what you had to do. You got me as far as I needed to go,'” she said. declared.

“I was literally living the dream. Strictly has been an extremely positive experience. It was the first time I was introduced to a whole new audience of people who accepted me for myself – my flaws and all. It was really special.

“At the end of the day, I’ve been a part of Strictly during the most inclusive year ever. I feel so honored to know Rose and John and the entire cast. I feel like having an extended family now. And I feel really lucky, even though it didn’t end the way I wanted, to have been able to learn how to dance and be myself.

Kai and AJ performing one of their breathtaking routines
Kai and AJ perform one of their breathtaking routines

Guy Levy/BBC via PA Media

After being the UK’s points announcer at the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this month, AJ will now be seen in action as the new host of The Bridge on Channel 4.

It was also confirmed this week that she and comedian Mo Gilligan will present a new incarnation of The Big Breakfast, having previously won praise when they presented a one-off reboot as part of Channel’s Black To Front initiative. 4 last year.

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