One Directioners tuning in to the Late Late Show With James Corden on May 15 should have been prepared for anything to happen. After all, it is their first official appearance since Zayn Malik left the group. And band member Liam Payne had said there would be "surprises" for the fans. But something deeper on fans' minds might have been what the chemistry would be like without Malik there.
From the get-go, the guys seemed a bit quieter and more reserved than usual when Corden and the audience first greeted them in the greenroom at the beginning of the show. But they were all still wearing their signature grins, except for Harry Styles, who was sadly feeling sick (poor guy!), but luckily, Styles had some tea.
The energy built up in the audience of screaming fans after Corden showed them a skit of him coaching a dodgeball team called "Corden's Angels," where One Direction were his players. The guys brought the chuckles, even without Malik, when they deadpanned that singing had prepared them for dodgeball and ultimately lost against a team of women called Ball Busters in a faux school gym. A memorable quip - the gym announcer saying, "Harry takes one right in the Styles!" (You can put two and two together there.)
During the actual interview, the same vibe was present — happy, comfortable, but at the same time a bit more reserved. The guys high-fived some lucky fans in the audience, and hugged Corden, who they have actually been friends with for quite some time. And they seemed at ease on his couch. But they were also visibly uncomfortable when asked about Malik. They said it was resolved and that they were on good terms, but they did not elaborate much further which is actually fine for now.
All in all, it seems like they're ready to move on from the feud, but it might take some time for things to completely get their groove back. It's good that they're taking a short break to do so.