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AJ Odudu to perform unseen finale showdance on Strictly tour

AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)
AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

AJ Odudu will finally get to perform her unseen finale showdance during Strictly Come Dancing’s live UK tour in the new year.

The 33-year-old TV presenter and her professional partner, Kai Widdrington, had to pull out of the dance competition’s final after Odudu suffered an ankle injury, which meant she never got to perform her routine to Naughty Boy’s Runnin’.

The tour will also feature 2021 Strictly champions actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and her partner, Giovanni Pernice, and the runners-up, Bake Off star John Whaite and professional dancer Johannes Radebe.

Dragon’s Den star Sara Davies and Aljaz Skorjanec, TV presenter Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin, and CBBC host Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu from this year’s line-up are also taking part in the tour.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021
Strictly Come Dancing 2021 winners Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice will feature in the tour (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

Judge Craig Revel Horwood, who directs the tour, said: “I was hugely disappointed that AJ and Kai missed the Strictly final.

“But audiences on the arena tour are in for a big treat, as they will get to see the showdance that AJ and Kai would have performed on Saturday night.

“Plus all the other celebs and pros have some a-maz-ing dances planned – it’s going to be fab-u-lous!”

As well as their showdance, Odudu and Widdrington will also perform an American smooth on the tour.

Ayling-Ellis and Pernice will dance their emotional couple’s choice routine which featured 10 seconds of silence in tribute to the deaf community, as well as an Argentine tango.

Whaite and Radebe will recreate their dramatic paso doble and their final showdance to You’ve Got The Love by Florence + The Machine.

Davies and Skorjanec will perform a quickstep and a foxtrot, Stephenson and Xu a Charleston and Argentine tango, and Ramsay and Kuzmin a waltz and their couple’s choice dance to Revolting Children from the musical Matilda.

They will be joined by The Wanted singer Max George, who competed on Strictly in 2020 and will return to the dancefloor for the live tour with a new professional partner, Katya Jones.

As well as the couples’ dances, fans will also enjoy some dazzling group performances by the professional dancers.

TRIC Awards 2021 – London
It Takes Two presenter and professional dancer Janette Manrara will host the arena tour (Ian West/PA)

Pro dancers Nadiya Bychkova, Amy Dowden, Neil Jones, Jake Leigh, Cameron Lombard, Luba Mushtuk and Jowita Przystal will all perform in the dance extravaganza, which will feature live music from the Strictly singers and band.

The live tour judging panel will consist of Shirley Ballas, Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli, who was absent from the recent series due to uncertainty around travel restrictions between the UK and the US, where he is based and is also a judge on the American series Dancing With The Stars.

Former Strictly professional and It Takes Two presenter Janette Manrara will be the tour’s host.

The tour’s run of 33 shows is due to start in Birmingham on January 20 and end at London’s O2 Arena on February 13.

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