‘Shame he had to go home’ Kai Widdrington pays tribute to Strictly co-star after exit

Strictly: Kai Widdrington discusses the finalists

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 On Sunday night’s Strictly Come Dancing, TV presenter Rhys Stephenson and his dance partner Nancy Xu were eliminated from the BBC competition after landing in the bottom two with John Whaite and Johannes Radebe. The judges went on to save John and Johannes, who will now sail through to the final along with Rose Ayling-Ellis and AJ Odudu.

However, speaking in an interview with former Strictly star Dan Walker and Sally Nugent on Monday’s BBC Breakfast, Kai and AJ admitted they were sad to see Rhys leave the show.

“I think two deserving finalists,” the professional dancer explained. “You know, John has come on leaps and bounds.

“He has been fantastic, and he has come out of his shell. Rose has been very consistent, and she just improved.

“She did that wonderful Argentine Tango at the weekend and obviously, AJ is just a firecracker.”

He continued: “And we did what we did last weekend as well so, it is shaping up to be an amazing final.

“I think it is probably one of the best finals it has shaped up to be and the semi-final was amazing as well.”

Paying a tribute to Rhys, Kai said: “It is a shame Rhys had to go home and I think he also deserved to be there.

“But the final is going to be one to remember for sure.”

AJ and Kai, who have also been in the bottom two before, spoke about how their comeback on Saturday night was “tough”.

“It was really tough and so I just wanted to dance on Saturday for what I thought would have been my last time,” AJ recalled.

“And luckily it’s not because we are in the final and I couldn’t be happier.”

Dan went on to joke that he is taking responsibility for them getting through to the final after they landed in the bottom two with him.

 “Is that fair, Kai?” Dan laughed as the dancer replied: “Maybe, Dan.”

He continued: “You still danced the best you have ever danced in that bottom two.

“We were watching going, ‘Oh my gosh, we have still got our work cut out’ with a big lift to finish.

“But luckily we didn’t have to do that this weekend.”



The BBC Breakfast host went on to ask the duo about the judges’ scoring as he commented: “They were giving out 10s left right and centre.”

AJ branded the night “spectacular” as she added: “It was brilliant.

“There was a real good energy in the studio that night and it was tough.

“Across the board everyone was amazing.”

BBC Breakfast airs weekday at 6am on BBC One.

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