AJ Pritchard, 25, announced his decision to quit his role as a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing last month. The star’s final partner on the BBC show was Saffron Barker, 19, and the pair became the ninth couple to be voted out of the 2019 series.
However, Saffron has recently revealed her Strictly journey with AJ could have been suddenly cut short during what went on to become his last year on the programme.
The YouTuber explained she suffered from a painful injury in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk.
Saffron admitted she was concerned she wouldn’t be able to continue in the competition at the time, after going through a great deal of pain.
She recalled: “There was one week, it was the week when I did my Contemporary, and because I did so many back bends I really hurt my back.
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“So I got told, and I didn’t even know that this was a thing, so I still don’t know if it is, but I got told that I twisted my ribs and it was the most pain that my body’s ever been in.
“Like even for somebody to touch my back, I was in the worst pain and I actually didn’t think that I would be able to continue the show.”
Saffron added: “I would have continued it for as long as I could have, it was my dream to be on that show and nothing was stopping me.
“But I honestly didn’t see it getting any better and luckily it did very quickly.”
“So when I was actually doing the dance I had so much adrenaline that I couldn’t feel it, but trust me after I definitely could.”
In spite of her injury, Saffron described her Contemporary routine with AJ as the highlight of her Strictly experience.
She said: “I think that week was just so special for me because I never thought that my grandparents would even be able to go to Strictly because they can’t really travel very easily.
“So for them to be there to watch not only their favourite show, but to watch me dance and to dance to the song that meant so much to my nan and so much to me, I think that’s probably the highlight of the whole journey for me.