Honesty, hope and heart: The Late Late Show’s #HomeFest was the perfect remedy for our COVID-19 anxiety

James Corden united the world with incredible performances from BTS, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish and more


Your favourite music festivals may have been cancelled due to COVID-19, but have no fear, “The Late Late Show” saved the day by providing fans with a unique viewing experience; “HomeFest”. Hosted live from his garage, James Corden concluded the chaotic (and what felt like the never-ending) month of March with an impressive line-up of guests who joined him via video calls throughout the special episode.

Despite James, “The Late Late Show” team and all the celebrities self-isolating in various corners of the world, “HomeFest” cultivated connection and unity as viewers were welcomed into the homes of their favourite entertainers.

Billie Eilish, joined by her brother Finneas, was one of the first guests to welcome viewers into her living room. The pair performed a stunning, stripped-back rendition of “everything I wanted” that not only soothed the audience at home, but also the adorable puppies lying in Billie’s lap. We’re not sure who we have to thank for the Billie + puppy content, but it proved to be one of the most comforting, wholesome performances. If you’re feeling anxious, watch this video; it feels like the warm hugs we’re all missing.

John Legend, Ben Platt and the cast of Dear Evan Hansen performed throughout the episode, entertaining audiences and reflecting on their personal experiences in isolation. Andrea Bocelli also performed from his home in Tuscany, Italy, which has been one of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19. The touching tribute saw the musician play “Con Te Partirò” and as expected, it was a tear-jerker.

In what was one of the most impressive uses of a video conference call we’ve ever seen, Dua Lipa joined “HomeFest” from her home in London to perform “Don’t Start Now” WITH HER ENTIRE BAND! AND DANCERS! Yes, you read that right. Dua, plus 11 of her bandmates and dancers, coordinated a seamless, joyful performance of the lead single from Dua’s sophomore album “Future Nostalgia”. Their energy was contagious and we couldn’t resist singing and dancing along with them.

BTS also joined the “HomeFest” line-up from South Korea, spreading love around the world as they performed “Boy With Luv” in quarantine. The studio environment created an intimate performance; however, BTS never lack energy or passion on stage and their “HomeFest” performance was no exception. The boys treated fans to their always impressive choreography and if there’s one thing we hope to achieve while stuck in isolation, it’s learning this routine.

“HomeFest” was honest, hopeful and had a whole lot of heart in every moment that was broadcasted, but particularly when James was candid about the emotions he is experiencing when self-isolating.

I’ve found it tougher than I ever thought I would,” James revealed. “I’ve found myself having these incredible sort of spikes of anxiety and sadness when I’ve allowed myself to think about my family back home in England, or my friends or the people I love. You feel so out of control in it all. It feels so beyond our comprehension, all of it, that I’ve found I just get sort of overwhelmed with the sadness in it all.

There’s no denying the world we are currently living in is overwhelming, inducing enormous amounts of fear and anxiety in everyone. “HomeFest” was comforting. Audiences were not only provided with escapism in the form of music and art. Audiences were also reassured that connection and unity can prevail, despite distance and isolation. Through being open and honest, James proved that we are not alone in this experience.

It’s alright to feel a bit said, it’s OK to feel anxious and the best thing we can all do is try and breathe through that and try and put our minds in a positive place and think, ‘what can I do to help someone else who might be feeling like this?’,” James said. “Reaching out to somebody else who you think might be struggling too is pretty much the best thing we can all do right now, because we absolutely will get through this. We will.”

You can watch the full episode of HomeFest: James Corden’s Late Late Show Special here.

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