19:21 EST, 3 December 2012
19:36 EST, 3 December 2012
It’s been a popular show since it launched on ITV2 two years, making celebrities of it’s previously unknown castmembers.
However, the cast of The Only Way Is Essex failed to impress viewers with a chaotic live episode on Monday night.
Set at James ‘Arg’ Argent’s charity talent show, the action kept jumping from on-stage performances to dramatic set-ups backstage, with many of the cast frequently being cut-off mid-sentence.
What is going on? Viewers were unsure whether Sam Faiers and Joey Essex were going to get engaged or split up in the live TOWIE episode
Viewers were left confused as an emotional Sam Faiers and Joey Essex were seen speaking about marriage backstage, prompting speculation they were about to get engaged or break-up.
Towards the end of the 40-minute episode, Joey said: ‘I need to go outside. I can’t do this any more.’
Audience members at home took to Twitter querying whether Joey had bottled out of a planned proposal – or dumping of Sam – live on air.
Dude, where’s my pants? The episode started with James ‘Arg’ Argent running around in his underwear looking for his trousers
What is going on? Viewers and celebrity fans of the show were bemused by the live episode
Several times during the episode, the action cut to scene backstage featuring the castmembers standing or sitting in silence.
Arg’s backstage confrontation with ex-girlfriend Lydia Bright, who attended to support her mother Debbie Douglas, who was performing, was barely audible due to the action on-stage at the time.
When cameras first cut to the trio standing by Nanny Pat in the wings, a crewmember was heard shouting: ‘Go, go, go.’
Get out: Arg burst into the girls’ changing room looking for his trousers
In the tanning tent: Debbie was getting a spray tan in the changing room
In another backstage scene featuring Mario Falcone, Joey and Tom Pearce, another member of the crew was heard prompting them to ‘perform’.
During the episode, the overwhelming consensus on Twitter appeared to be negative, with even celebrity fans of the show Myleene Klass, Brooke Vincent and Michelle Heaton weighing in.
Myleene wrote: ‘Have I drunk too much or not enough? #towielive.’
Punishment: It turned out Nanny Pat had been hiding Arg’s trousers all along
Showman: Arg rushes on stage and greets he audience
Michelle tweeted: ‘Just flicked onto #TOWIELive .. My husband @hughhanley said “what the f**k is this? If aliens came onto our plant & saw this is what we… ‘
Coronation Street star Brooke added: ‘#TOWIElive is making me laugh!!! I’m truly speechless… .
The show kicked off with a trouserless Arg running around backstage with Diags looking for his trousers.
In the audience: Billi Mucklow and Cara Kilbey didn’t feature much in the live show
A pair of gossips: Bobby Cole Norris and Gemma Collins mocked her ex Charlie’s new romance
He burst into the women’s changing room, where Debbie was seen getting a spray tan, looking for them as Nanny Pat called to the stage over the intercom.
When he finally found her, Nanny Pat informed him she had his trousers all along as punishment for not inviting her to his barn dance in the previous episode.
As he struggled into his trousers, he mumbled ‘s**t’, before going on-stage.
The action then moved to Joey asking his cousin Chloe Sims for advice about proposing to Sam, with her telling him to wait.
‘You’re not proposing tonight’: Chloe Sims told her cousin Joey he was too young to get engaged
Confusing: Debbie Douglas and Carol Wright performed a skit – but editing meant viewers didn’t quite know what was going on
After he said he may propose during the live show, a horrified Chloe responded: ‘Are you winding me up? No way in hell. You’re not proposing tonight.’
As Chloe told her cousin he was too young, she was cut-off mid-sentence as the action cut back to the stage, where Debbie had appeared with an Essex makeover with fake tan and a figure-hugging mini-dress on.
She then pulled Carol Wright out of a basket wearing a mask for a bizarre skit, which may have made more sense if they were given more time.
Pop star: Jessica Wright’s performance prompted speculation on Twitter she was miming
During Carol’s skit, the camera focused on Gemma Collins and Bobby Cole Norris, gossiping about Charlie King’s new romance with Jasmin Walia.
Talking about watching their kiss on the previous episode, Gemma said: ‘Did you see that kiss? It was weird, it was structured.’
Meanwhile, there was a new bit of romantic drama as Kirk Norcross confessed to Sam he had slept with ex-girlfriend Lauren Pope.
Gossip: Kirk told Sam he had slept with his ex-girlfriend Lauren Pope
Confused: Lauren tells Chloe and Frankie Essex about her night with Kirk
A short time later, Lauren was recounting her night of passion to her friend Frankie Essex and Chloe Sims, but again their conversation was cut off mid-sentence.
One of the night’s most hilarious performances was Charlie performing Jennifer Lopez’s On The Floor with a group of sexy female dancers.
However, following his performance he then confronted love interest Jasmin after watching her go on a date with Kirk in the previous episode.
The next Jennifer Lopez? Charlie King sang and danced to J.Lo’s hit On The Floor
Cameos: A Colin Farrell lookalike and DJ Pat Sharp in the audience
Although the first part of their confrontation had happened off camera, by the time the cameras came to them Jasmin was shouting: ‘You’re over the top.’
She proceeded to tell Charlie she was single, despite their several dates, and she was free to do what she wanted.
She shouted: ‘We’ve only been going out five or six times. I’m allowed to do what I want. I am single. You’re acting like I’m slept with Kirk.
And action! Crewmembers were heard shouting during a backstage scene with Joey, Mario Falcone and Tom Pearce
In the pink: Chloe duetted with Diags with a rendition of Barbie Girl
‘You’re being so over the top… I am single. I don’t have to tell you everything I do.’
After calling her a ‘liar’, Charlie accidentally called Jasmin ‘Dannii’, which she quickly hit back at him: ‘You just called me Dannii.’
He protested: ‘That’s because we were talking about her. She was on the tip of my tongue.’
That didn’t last long: New TOWIE castmember Jasmin Walia told Charlie she was single and could date who she pleased
The next talent segment was the cast jumping around to One Direction’s Live While We’re Young, before ending with Joey and Sam in a romantic clinch.
However, one of the episode’s most awkward scenes was Arg talking to his ex Lydia backstage.
The trio were arguing over her presence at the theatre, but were barely audible over the performers on stage.
Is this supposed to be entertainment? The cast danced about to One Direction’s Live While You’re Young with their backs to the audience
Young love: Joey seemed to enjoy himself as he performed with his girlfriend on stage
Kirk was the big surprise of the night when he showcased a surprisingly good singing voice as he crooned Ain’t That A Kick In The Head.
The action then moved to Sam and Joey’s confusing heart-to-heart about their relationship.
Joey was freaking out, admitting he felt so much pressure to propose to her, then jumped to discussing their arguments.
Did they know they were on camera? Arg, Lydia and Debbie didn’t appear to know they were live on ITV2 at this moment
And cue argument! No wonder Debbie needed a drink
Sam tried to take control of the situation, but looked on the verge of tears as she reassured him they didn’t need to get engaged while they were so young.
Joey appeared lost for words and kept repeating himself: ‘I can’t do this man. I don’t wanna talk about marriage anymore. It’s horrible… I just want to stop rowing.’
Surprise: Kirk was one of the high points of the show with his impressive singing voice
Audiences were no doubt waiting for him to pop the question or end their romance, but time constraints and his obvious anxiety about being on live TV meant viewers wouldn’t find out.
He said: ‘I can’t relax. It’s stressing me out Sam… I need to go outside. I can’t do this anymore.’
The live episode then wrapped with Arg, Jessica and Gemma singing Wham!’s Last Christmas.
Panic stations: Joey struggled to express himself in the final scenes
Phew! It’s all over: Jessica, Arg and Gemma sang on stage before they were joined by the cast