Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield failed to maintain their recent impressive form, finishing fifth in the World Series 10m synchronised diving final in Russia.
The GB pair secured silver together in Beijing last month, but dropped two of their six dives to finish with a score of 429.39 and outside of the medals.
Germany's World Championship silver medallists Sascha Klein and Patrick Hausding won gold with 449.70 points.
Leading Chinese pair Zhang Yanquan and Cao Yuan missed the event.
It is not the first time the British divers have struggled together.
In February, Daley and Waterfield were seventh at the Olympic test event in London's Aquatics Centre.
Daley was then criticised by GB performance director Alexei Evangulov, who questioned the teenager's media commitments, likening him to former tennis prodigy Anna Kournikova.
Waterfield defended his diving partner and Daley has since announced that any disputes have been resolved.
Earlier in the day in Russia, British champion Jack Laugher narrowly failed to reach the men's 3m springboard final after recording a score of 425.95.
Saturday will see the final day of competition and Daley will attempt to claim a third successive podium at this year's World Series in the individual platform.
The 17-year-old former world champion won silver in the opening two legs behind China's World Champion Qiu Bo.