Queensland couple Dan and Steph Mulheron have become My Kitchen Rules' unlikely villains, with their scheming tactics and unwavering determination to win shocking not only the fellow contestants but their loyal fans who have followed them since they were crowned MKR champs in 2013.
Now a source close to the pair tells Woman's Day that their surprising behaviour is a result of their relationship being on the brink of total collapse.
"Dan and Steph's marriage has been struggling for some time," the on-set spy reveals. "It's been boiling up since day one [of filming] – and it's only getting worse."
The source says that before filming commenced, Dan, 38, had told friends the couple were having issues and that Steph, 37, had changed after losing weight and giving herself a "mummy makeover".
"After losing the weight, Steph found a new lease of life – she started making friends with new people at their cafe [Eat At Dan & Steph's in Queensland's Hervey Bay] including a male friend, and Dan felt like she'd lost interest in him," reveals the source.
"Dan caught onto this and they've been having issues ever since. They're working on things for the sake of their daughter Emmy."
Things became so tense during filming, Dan had to remove himself from the situation.
"Dan would go jogging late at night – telling producers he and Steph were having a hard time and that he needed to run to clear his head," says the source.
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The couple – who said earlier this year MKR had "saved their marriage" in 2013 – previously said they were hoping to take out the competition for a second time so they could give Emmy a sibling.
But the source says viewers will be able to see the "iciness" play out on the show.
"If you watch closely, you'll see they're not enjoying each other's company at all."