Julia Michaels and Niall Horan almost didn’t get to perform on The Late Late Show on Monday night (Feb. 18) because of the unique challenge issued by host James Corden: solve the puzzles in a specially constructed escape room to earn a spot on the stage. With time running out, Corden had to give the two singers a bit of a nudge to get them all the way home, suggesting they find the hidden microphone and drop it to open the room’s doors.
The duo managed to pull through just in time to take to the stage and sing their romantic duet, “What a Time.” Michaels began the performance of the sixth track off of her recently released EP, Inner Monologue Part 1, wearing a navy dress while seated on a bench surrounded by bunches of pink flowers, joined about a minute in by Horan, who strolled onto set through the audience while wearing bright lavender pants and a black t-shirt as the duo harmonized on the intimate ballad.
“I think of that night in the park, it was getting dark/ And we stayed up for hours/ What a time, what a time, what a time/ You clinged to my body like you wanted it forever/ What a time, what a time, what a time/ For you and I,” they sang on the chorus.
The singer-songwriters, who have toured together in the past, vibed off of each other as they performed the song about love lost and shared an embrace once the slow-pop song ended. Michaels told Billboard that the Irish-native is the same in the studio as he is on tour, “He walks in, and he’s just his goofy, silly self. I can’t think of a moment where him and I aren’t laughing and being completely ridiculous with each other.”
Watch Micahels and Horan perform their heartfelt “What a Time” on The Late Late Show below.