The conversation following the BBC Tory leadership debate was less about who won, and more about how heavily the nation lost.
Before a prime-time audience, five candidates to replace Theresa May faced a grilling from host Emily Maitlis and members of the public, with the clock ticking in the background until the UK exits the European Union on October 31.
But most watching - and many of their interrogators - signalled they knew less about the world, not more, after an hour in the company of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid and Rory Stewart.
The first raised eyebrow was prompted by ...
... the chairs ...
Not a Westlife reunion but a parade of the best minds in the Conservative Party, apparently.
Not to be dramatic but I'd rather die than defend my opinions while sitting on a high chair— Esther Webber (@estwebber) June 18, 2019
The woman behind the Blind Date screen is about to get a shock pic.twitter.com/Q1u43cMSgb— Matt Chorley (@MattChorley) June 18, 2019
Which drew attention to Rory Stewart’s legs ...
The maverick minister’s uprights drew attention for being a bit ... manspread-y.
Why are Rory’s legs so much longer than everyone else’s? pic.twitter.com/pEGXjTnpfh— Mikey Smith (@mikeysmith) June 18, 2019
rory is primarily limbs— joe (@mutablejoe) June 18, 2019
And at one stage he almost appeared to self-combust ...
Who can blame him, right?
"I think I'm feeling it, yeah" pic.twitter.com/KfjsKSStn6— Michael Walker (@michaeljswalker) June 18, 2019
Wait, what happened to his tie?
Yep, a bit of costume change mid-debate.
Surely Rory Stewart can't kill all four of them with just his tie— Henry Mance (@henrymance) June 18, 2019
Has Rory Stewart removed his tie during the second question? Is he going to remove another item with each round as part of his latest strategy to get attention?— Isabel Hardman (@IsabelHardman) June 18, 2019
Stewart later told BBC Newsnight: “I thought maybe if I took my tie off we could get back to some sort of reality.
“I was beginning to feel on those strange BBC white bar stools that we were moving off into an alternate reality.
“It was a sort of strange rotating stage as though we’d go spinning off like some asteroid or a planet.”
And just as you thought things couldn’t get more strange ... it did.
There was some confusion over the identity of Tina from Tunbridge Wells.
‘We’re going to Tina now who’s in Tunbridge Wells...’— Paul Ovenden (@OvePM) June 18, 2019
The look on the geezer’s face 😂 pic.twitter.com/8A0koJ3Ooz
As the debate marched on remorselessly, the same complaint emerged repeatedly: please, stop talking over each other.
At times the conversation was as melodious as cats fighting in a sack as all concerned lost control.
This is unwatchable pandemonium. It sounds like Revolution #9 #BBCOurNextPM— Simon Blackwell (@simonblackwell) June 18, 2019
aaaaaagggggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!— Jess Phillips (@jessphillips) June 18, 2019
When this is over there should be an internal BBC inquiry into how this debate was allowed to go to air. It’s the most unprofessional broadcast I’ve ever seen on national television.— (((Dan Hodges))) (@DPJHodges) June 18, 2019
This BBC debate is plain nuts...— Mike Galsworthy (@mikegalsworthy) June 18, 2019
The quality is awful. We’re looking at the dissent of our country right here.
They’re all admitting it’s a mess, arguing with each other, and saying they are preparing for no-deal because they want a deal.
Great format for winding me up before bedtime— Niall Paterson (@skynewsniall) June 18, 2019
That cheering in the background is Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage, unable to believe their luck as they watch the Tory infamous five squabbling #BBCDebate— Kevin Maguire (@Kevin_Maguire) June 18, 2019
Seriously why is this show still going on?— Tom Peck (@tompeck) June 18, 2019
And along came Boris Johnson.
The ex-foreign secretary and frontrunner has kept a notoriously low-profile during the campaign, but made a striking remark when challenged over his comparison of veiled Muslim women to “letterboxes”.
He said: “When my Muslim great-grandfather came to this country in fear of his life in 1912, he did so because he knew it was a place that was a beacon of hope and of generosity and openness, and a willingness to welcome people from around the world.”
However, he struggled to remember the name of the man who asked him the question. (Yes, it was the mis-identified Tina from Tunbridge Wells.)
Boris just tried twice and failed to remember Abdullah's name. Not a great look especially when asked about this issue of Islamophobia #BBCOurNextPM— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) June 18, 2019
Strangely Boris’ Muslim great-grandfather spirit guide is not helping him remember Abdullah’s name.— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) June 18, 2019
And Johnson appeared to be causing strife elsewhere ...
Family dinners must be fun round theirs at the moment pic.twitter.com/xm99whO1Ir— Jess Brammar (@jessbrammar) June 18, 2019
In the end, it was left to one question via videolink to sum things up for everyone.
"Erin, who has impressed you most?"— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) June 18, 2019
Erin: "To be honest none of you have really impressed me."#BBCOurNextPM