“As you may know,” begins James when the cameras start rolling, “I like to play a little game called Live Tinder on the show, where I give a member of my staff the chance to meet the man or woman of their dreams.” He waits for the applause to quiet down and continues, “we’re doing things a bit differently today. Instead of a staff member, I have a dear friend of mine here to play the game. Please welcome Harry Styles!”
Music plays as Harry, wearing a crisp suit with a red shirt unbuttoned to just above his navel, walks down to his friend. The audience cheers and Harry waves, bowing and dimpling.
“How’re you doing, Harold?” asks James, hugging him.
“Doing well, James. Thank you for inviting me.” He waves again as the audience quiets down.
“Alright, here’s your hand,” James hands him a blue foam finger, and Harry puts it on. “We have a few people backstage who we think you might be interested in, and they’re gonna come out one by one into our Tinder screen. If you like them, swipe right and they’ll sit down in one of the chairs. If you don’t like them then swipe them over to the ball pit. You have three chairs and you get to make three yesses, although you can swap people out if you want to. You ready?”
“Ready, let’s do this.” Harry nods firmly.
The first woman comes out. She’s a tiny brunette with tanned skin, wearing a blue summer dress. Her name tag says “LAUREN, 23”, and she smiles and waves when she’s standing at her spot. “First up we have Lauren. She’s quite pretty, isn’t she, Harold?”
Ever the gentleman, Harry agrees. “She is gorgeous, but unfortunately not my type. Sorry, Lauren.” He smiles apologetically as he swipes left and sends her falling into the ball pit.
James stares at him open-mouthed. “You can’t be serious.”
Harry shrugs, “sorry, James.”
“Whatever, can we have our next contestant please?”
Out walks the second woman. This one is slightly bigger than the first, and is wearing a loose pale orange shirt and white skinny pants. Her tag says “CARRIE, 24”.
“What about Carrie? She looks sweet, very kind eyes. What do you think?” asks James.
“Again, you’re beautiful, but not really my type. Sorry, love.” He sends her to the ball pit.
“What on earth is wrong with you?” James demands, shoving him. “Two catches and you decline them both! Absolutely mental.”
The third walks out, and this one gets crazy applause. Her tag says “JESS, 24”, and she's gorgeous. Her blonde hair falls down in ringlets down her shoulders and her red dress leaves much to be desired. Her smile is beautiful once she takes her stand.
Before James even gets to comment, Harry shakes his head and sends her falling into the pit.
“What?? What are you doing? Harry, come on! You can’t say no to everyone!”
Harry pulls his hair back and chuckles nervously. “I’m sorry, James. But they’re really not my type at all.”
“Jesus, you’re so picky! No wonder you can’t keep a girl for more than three months!” The crowd laughs and Harry hides his face with his hands. “Go on, then, what’s your type?”
“Men, James. Men are my type.”
The noise is deafening. Hollers and screams come from the audience and James just stares with a red face and an open mouth. Harry smiles and looks around, blushing and mouthing thank you to everyone.
Once things go quiet again, James is still flabbergasted. He looks around his staff for help, but they all just shrug. “Um, ok. We’re gonna have to get a new line-up. Can we have some men come out, please?”
Harry laughs and claps his hands, now ready to really play the game.
A woman from the staff comes to whisper in James’s ear and then scurries away. “Okay, we got a makeshift group of people. Screw you, Harry, honestly.” The crowd laughs and Harry buries his face in his hands again. “What an inconvenience, did you really have to do that today? What a diva.”
Harry laughs and apologises, turning around to get ready for more people to come out.
The first guy is all wrong. He’s handsome, but bulky and strong. Harry declines him immediately.
James looks annoyed, but takes it in stride.
Next comes out a man who was obviously hurriedly taken away from his work, still wearing a microphone around his ear and a tight smile. Harry calls him “sweet”, and sends him falling.
“I am absolutely going to murder you,” James says pointedly, and Harry laughs out a loud ‘sorry!’
The staff must be scrambling backstage. They send out Niall next, who cannot, for the life of him, stop laughing.
Harry pauses for a few seconds, but Niall keeps cackling. “I think he laughs too much. I want someone who would make me laugh.”
That makes Niall laugh even harder, and Harry points him to the ball pit. Niall walks over, clutching his stomach as he shakes with glee, and falls backwards. He climbs out and walks over to Harry, hugging him loosely and then pointing at him to guffaw once more before leaving.
This brightens James’s mood slightly, but he’s still not happy. “Harold, I love you, but you are so annoying. Please, we need a better description of what you’re looking for.”
Harry looks thoughtful for a few seconds, “I like it when they’re smaller than I am.” The audience laughs, and Harry realises what he’s said. “No! No, that’s not what I meant. I meant that I’m quite tall, so I like someone shorter, is all.” He bends down at the knees to demonstrate the word ‘short’.
“Alright, how short?”
“About 5”9.. ish.”
“Okay, 5”9. We can do that. What else can you give us?”
“Um, I like someone funny. Loud. Stubborn.. Someone difficult, you know? Someone I’d have to spoil.” Harry says, and James laughs.
“This game is vain, Harry. It’s about looks alone.”
Harry laughs and nods. ”Okay, okay. Uh, as I said, someone small. I love blue eyes, brown hair.. I like tattoos. Stuff like that.” He shrugs, and the woman from staff comes back to whisper in James’s ear.
“Alright, sounds like they found your guy. Please come forth, contestant number thirty-seven.”
Harry laughs at the joke, but stops when he sees who they’ve brought out. Standing at the Tinder screen, is Louis Tomlinson. Eyes sparkling and fitting Harry’s description perfectly.
Throwing his hands up, James looks around at the staff. “Why do you keep bringing out his band mates? There’s only one left, you can’t keep going forever.”
Harry shushes him, and James looks confused. “Marriage.”
James furrows his eyebrows, about ready to punch the git square in the jaw. “What?”
“Yes. Marriage. All of it.” Louis laughs up on the platform and covers his mouth with his little hand, giggling.
“Are you fucking joking?” James wonders.
Harry swipes right and Louis moves to take his seat. “No, no, forget that bullshit. You’re the first right swipe, come down and sort this out, dammit!”
Hesitating for a second, Louis laughs and comes down, walking to stand next to Harry. “What on earth is going on, you two.”
There’s a long stretch of silence, where the boys in question just stare at each other at a loss for words. Finally, Harry speaks. “Uh, surprise?”
The crowd attempts to cheer but James immediately shushes them. “Surprise? What do you mean ‘surprise’?”
More silence for a few long moments, until Harry reaches out to shake James’s hand. “James Corden, please meet my husband of two years, Louis Tomlinson.”