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Kai Widdrington quits dance show after crashing out of Strictly with AJ Odudu

Strictly Come Dancing’s Kai Widdrington has confirmed his future with Dancing with the Stars, which is due to start in January

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Strictly: AJ and Kai emotionally reflect on experience

Kai Widdrington will not be returning to Dancing with the Stars, it has been confirmed.

After making it all the way to the final on his first year of Strictly Come Dancing – before sadly crashing out of the competition due to AJ Odudu’s foot injury – the professional has been revealed to have quit the RTE version before it kicks off in January.

After joining the Irish series in 2017, Kai, 26, will not be continuing his commitments with the show – along with co-star Robert Rowinski.

It comes just weeks after Kai was left devastated to pull out of the Strictly final with his dance partner AJ Odudu who sustained an agonising injury in training.







Kai Widdrington has quit Dancing with the Stars after four years on the show
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ajodudu/Instagram)







The professional made a big impression in his first year competing on Strictly with AJ Odudu
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ajodudu/Instagram)

While Kai won’t return, five new professionals have been announced to join the line up – including Hannah Kelly, Salome Chachua, Ervinas Merfeldas, Denys Samson, and Maurizio Benenato.

The new stars will join existing dancers Karen Byrne, Pasquale La Rocca, John Nolan, Laura Nolan, Emily Barker, Kylee Vincent and Stephen Vincent.

The celebrities confirmed for this new series include Love Island star Matthew Mac Nabb, Aengus Mac Grianna, Gráinne Seoige, Neil Delamare, Erica Cody, Missy Keating, Nicolas Roche, Ellen Keane, Nina Carberry, Billy McGuinness, Cathy Kelly and Jordan Conroy.







Love Island’s Matthew MacNabb is taking part in Dancing with the Stars next year
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Ronan Keating’s model daughter Missy has also bagged a spot on the line-up
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Kai’s departure from Dancing with the Stars appears to confirm he will return for Strictly 2022.

The Southampton born star made a huge impression in his first year competing, and was praised by the viewers and judges alike for his dazzling routines with TV presenter AJ.

The pair looked set to cause trouble for Rose Ayling Ellis in the final but were forced to withdraw just days before when AJ injured the ligaments in her right foot.







Kai and AJ dazzled viewers with their stunning routines
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The pair bagged a place in the final but sadly had to withdraw
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Breaking down in tears on It Takes Two, AJ said: “My ankle’s given way and my ligament has ruptured and it’s just not gonna happen. We’re gutted because we were ready to smash it.”

Kai said: “We were really hoping that we were going to get over the line and get into the final and dance in the final.

“We had two very energetic dances that were given – the Charleston and the Jive – and we were like if we can change them maybe we can do something, but the injury’s just too bad.






AJ was sporting a moon boot days before the final after injuring herself in training





Kai was a source of support to his partner

“At the end of the day, AJ’s health is number one concern, so although we won’t be dancing in the final, we earned our place in the final, so we’re still over the moon.”

This week AJ and Kai revealed that they are still in contact after the show, fuelling rumours of a romance between them.







The pair got emotional as they spoke about their shock exit on It Takes Two
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Viewers had wondered if the pair were anything more than friends and dance partners after observing their sizzling chemistry throughout the series.

Speaking to fans on an Instagram live after the final, AJ said: “I just feel really happy now because essentially what I’ve realised is that, yes, Strictly didn’t end in the way that I truly wanted it to end but I’m still really grateful for the whole experience which was overwhelmingly positive.

“I just feel grateful that I was part of the series that was the most inclusive and progressive that it’s ever been and long live that kind of diversity on our screens.

“I’ve made the best friends and had the best time and yes, I’m still chatting to Kai so everything is good.”

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