The 37-year-old TOWIE favourite has had a dramatic few weeks since Dancing On Ice 2019 began, with things coming to a head during the live show on Sunday night. Having previously accused Gemma Collins of being “lazy”, Jason Gardiner, 47, was backed up by his fellow judges when they criticised the lack of content in her latest routine. She and her professional skating partner Matt Evers, 40, found themselves in last place on the leaderboard for their Marilyn Monroe-inspired performance in Musicals Week, with the lowest score of any contestants in the series so far. This afternoon, Gemma informed her 1.2 million Instagram followers she would be stepping back from social media to focus on improving her skating skills.
“Guys after today I can’t be on social as I really need to up my skating skills,” she wrote. “I’m not leaving you but I really need to focus.”
Gemma also shared a hilarious video which spliced footage from her face-off with Jason into Ariana Grande’s music video for Thank U, Next.
“Here’s a little something to keep you going,” she added. “I’ll be back up and running Sunday.”
Fans showed their support for Gemma by taking to the comments section, with one saying: “You are just hilarious! I’m glad someone put him in place, go on Gemma.”
“Good luck Gemma, haters gonna hate,” another said, while a third commenting: “Stay focused and carry on till you win.”
Yesterday, Gemma thanked Piers Morgan for speaking out in her defence on Good Morning Britain in the wake of the Jason controversy.
“Thank you to everyone who supported me it’s been a tough week,” she said, tagging Piers and uploading a clip from GMB in which he announced he was “Team Collins”.
“I admire the attempt to try and be better than she clearly is,” Piers said in the footage.
“For Jason Gardiner to be burying her in the press during the week I think is completely wrong. Unusually, I find myself in Team Collins.”
Jason and Gemma locked horns on Dancing On Ice when she interrupted his critique of her routine, saying: “Can I just say one thing? Maybe if you didn’t sell stories on me I wouldn’t be so upset this week
“So take that!” she added, before shouting “Boring!” over him as he tried to continue with what he was saying.
Her comments referred to an interview Jason gave in which he called her “lazy”, telling The Sun: “I do despair — at the state of our society today and also the entertainment industry.
“When I grew up, people were b****y good at what they did. They were exceptional at something, so you were inspired by people on TV.
“Now, we celebrate mediocre in this country. That, it seems, has become the new celebrity,” he added.
It has been clarified by the publication that Jason did not “sell” a story but simply gave his opinion in an interview.
A spokesperson for ITV has also told Express.co.uk: “There is no ‘backstage feud’ as suggested.”
Meanwhile, Matt has defended the judge’s comments about the lack of content in their performance, telling Heart Breakfast with Jamie and Lucy: “First and foremost, I will defend Jason. Yes there wasn’t a lot of content [in our routine].
“I didn’t have a lot of rehearsal time with her this past week,” the American-born skater explained. “He was absolutely correct in saying that, as well as the other judges on that part.”
Dancing On Ice continues Sunday at 6pm on ITV.