Outspoken Ice judge Jason Gardiner this week claimed Sam Attwater and Brianne Delcourt risk losing their place as frontrunners in the show if they don't "get over" the rumours about their relationship. Gardiner said there had been a "real disconnect" between the pair recently, which has pushed their scores down.
Sam and Brianne lost their place on top of the leader board for the first time last week, as kids telly presenter Laura Hamilton and her partner Colin Ratushniak scored a brilliant 25.5 out of 30 in the Ultimate Skills Week.
Jason told The Sun: "Sam and Brianne started off as pretty much the front-runners.
"But somewhere along the line there's been a real disconnection between them, that I've been seeing for the last few weeks, where they're out of sync."
Jason warned that the pair need to "get over" the rumours about their relationship and focus on being a skating pair. "It should be irrelevant whether they're together or not," he told the tabloid, "I don't know the ins and outs, but if what's been happening has affected them, they've got to get over it.
"They need to put all of that to one side and come out and deliver a great partnership. That's going to push his mark up for me. It used to be their strong point - they had this amazing chemistry. We really felt it. It bounced off the ice, it was so strong. But they've steadily become disjointed from each other."
Ever critical Jason also suggested unlike the competition in Laura Hamilton, Sam can't cut it on the ice alone. He explained: "We've got such a solid partnership with Laura and Colin - and she's also individually brilliant.
"Sam's not a soloist - I have to judge him in relation with his partner and that, for me, is what's letting him down right now."
He added: "But if they can get back in harmony they'll storm the competition."