It was a good night for Gareth Thomas on Sunday’s Dancing On Ice as he beat favourites Beth Tweddle and Matt Lapinskas to the top of the leader board.

The Welsh rugby star impressed the judges with his romantic routine on the show’s Valentine’s special, scoring 30 points out of a possible 40 for his routine to the Labrinth hit Beneath Your Beautiful.

However his efforts led to disagreements among the judges, with Jason Gardiner criticising his efforts despite warm praise from the others.

‘I’m a big fan. But tonight I would have liked to see a little more tenderness and more vulnerability. I wanna see more development in the arms,” he told him.

“Soften them a little more. I wanna see you change up the lifts.”

Karen Barber disagreed, describing the routine as “gentle” and “beautiful,” but when Jason tried to explain his views, saying he wanted to see “more dynamic fast lifts,” Karen hit back with, “You want to see more fast lifts to a slow, beautiful song?”

Meanwhile Matt Lapinskas attempted to bounce back from his shock appearance in last weekend’s bottom two with a lively routine to the Lumineers hit Ho Hey – but although he scored a solid 28.5 the judges admitted disappointment in his performance.

“I felt it wasn’t the same Matt we were used to seeing,” Jason said. “The technicality was there but you lost something special tonight.”

Robin Cousins agreed, saying: “The bravado of Matt needs to come back but with the control.”

Elsewhere Beth Tweddle fared well, attempting the headbanger during her routine to Rihanna’s We Found Love – although Ashley Roberts told her: “I did love it but I want to see that fire throughout the performance”. Nonetheless she scored 29.5 for her efforts to finish in second place.

However it wasn’t such a good night for Keith Chegwin, Joe Pasquale and Samia Ghadie – with the latter winning a lukewarm response for her routine to I Will Always Love You with Sylvain Longchambon.

“You’re the tabletop mountain of the competition,” complained Jason Gardiner. “You’ve plateaued, you’re not improving.”

Robin Cousins agreed, telling her: “You’re confident because you’re in Sylvain’s hands for 99 per cent of the routine. I would at some point like to see you skate.”