Channel 4 viewers were full of sympathy as a lovelorn First Dates hopeful missed out on his fairytale ending after getting knocked back yet again.
Gentle James, 26, from Barry, has appeared on the restaurant dating series before and was back with Fred, Merlin and the gang to prove that nice guys don’t come last.
Asked whether he was fired up for his date, a somewhat nervous James failed to convince as he answered: “Ready enough”.
And following further grilling from Fred concerning which aspects of James’ game were particularly lacking, he admitted: “Oh, you know how it is… nerves.”
However, James stepped outside his comfort zone and pushed himself to meet the right person – even though that came with its own risks.
“I think I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself contemplating the concept that this could be the one,” he went on to explain.
I think I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself contemplating the concept that this could be the one.
Since his last TV showing the softly-spoken James had apparently taken another look at himself, dropped a few pounds and picked up a new suit in his quest to find love.
And his determination to start living his very own happy ever after was evident as he enthusiastically asked his date for the evening, 29-year-old Jo from Cardiff, about where she was from.
But following a spot of very light geographical banter, Jo seemed slightly irked that her potential suitor was yet to enquire as to her name.
James, however, was quick to pick up on the cue. And apparently bolstering his nerve with a sip of his red wine, James settled into his surroundings and Jo’s company.
However, one date was enough for Jo – although she hoped that “nice guy” James would meet the woman of his dreams someday.
Poor James was devastated. He tried to hold it all in but – according to one viewer – he looked “crushed”.
— Channel 4 (@Channel4) March 12, 2020
They tweeted: “It is like his soul has just left his body and been violently stamped on.”
And other social media users also felt James’ pain, too.
“Heart breaks for that lad on first dates. Get your chin up James! #FirstDates,” someone wrote.
“Feel for that James guy, that was painful to watch. #FirstDates,” added another.
The programme went on to show footage that purported to show the moments after James and Jo’s chat to camera together, with her leaving and James being left by himself, possibly sucking in a sob or two.
According to viewers, what made it worse and “brutal” is that the cameras kept rolling, even after the seat that Jo had been sitting in was moved out of view!
“Dude #FirstDates was horrible, my man was crying and instead of comforting him the crew took the chair away,” one observer remarked.
“#FirstDates was a bit brutal tonight. Really thought the show was heading to console the poor [blank] at the end but they just took the empty chair away and left him!!” tweeted someone else.
And yet another person agreed: “#FirstDates That was brutal, removing the empty chair next to James then instead of someone sitting in it to console the poor [blank].”
“I don’t think they should have shown it,” another tweeter replied.
And the moment that seemed to swing it for Jo? When James had told her he liked Busted, who Jo had got so excited over when she mentioned she would be seeing them live.
— TGK (@TGK24020678) March 12, 2020
But quizzed further about his fandom – and being unable to name any of the four songs he said he particularly enjoyed from the Noughties pop-rockers – James exposed himself as just too eager to please. Just “too nice”.
And who would ever want to date anybody like that?
“Never ever agree to something you know nothing about, in the end you get caught out lol like liking busted wow…Busted!!! #FirstDates,” commented one viewer.
Someone else joked: “#FirstDates Literally…. Busted.”
First Dates airs on Thursdays on Channel 4 at 10pm.
Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think of this story.