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Michelle Obama and James Corden face off in 'Late Late Show' dodgeball battle

The former first lady told her team, "When they go low, we also go low — because that's how dodgeball works."
Michelle Obama / James Corden
Which side of the Atlantic reigns supreme on the dodgeball court?CBS
/ Source: TODAY

When Michelle Obama paid a visit to "The Late Late Show With James Corden" Monday night, it started out just like the usual Carpool Karaoke segment, with the host sitting behind the wheel and thanking his esteemed guest for helping him get to work.

But when Obama asked about their drive-time tunes, the ride suddenly changed course.

Corden declared that they didn't need any music, which left the former first lady wondering if that's because she outshined him the last time they went for a singalong spin. However, he dismissed her theory on the grounds that the British can't be beat.

There was only one way to settle the USA v. UK bragging rights battle that followed: on the dodgeball court!

Obama assembled her team from an array of talented American big-screen stars, including Allison Janney, Mila Kunis, Melissa McCarthy, Lena Waithe and Kate Hudson.

"You would not believe how easy it was to get people to do this," she said in an aside to the camera. "All I had to say is, 'You're going to throw a ball at James Corden.'"

Michelle Obama / James Corden
Former first lady Michelle Obama's Team USA, featuring Melissa McCarthy, Allison Janney, Mila Kunis, Lena Waithe and Kate Hudson. CBS

While Corden had a little more trouble assembling Team UK — he even ended up with one less member than the competition — eventually he hit the court with Harry Styles, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Bradley and his own not-at-all-British bandleader Reggie Watts.

Michelle Obama / James Corden
James Corden's Team UK, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, Harry Styles, John Bradley and Reggie Watts.CBS

Before the balls took flight in what was billed as a showdown between "the red, white and blue versus ... also the red, white and blue but with a different pattern," Obama gathered her group of actresses together for one of her trademark inspirational speeches.

"Strength is not measured on how you throw the ball," she said. Then putting one hand over her heart, she added, "It is measured in here. When they go low, we also go low — because that's how dodgeball works!"

The women of Team USA appeared to know exactly how it worked as they whittled down the competition quickly in the first set, leaving Styles as the last man standing (or "gone solo all over again," according to the announcer) — that is until Obama took him down with a dodgeball to the groin (or "right in the 1D," according to the same announcer).

The men rallied in the second set, so it all came down to the fierce faceoff in round three.

The Brits started off strong, with Cumberbatch taking out the former first lady with a hit so hard he looked like he feared a visit from the secret service.

But before long, the rest of the ladies cleared the court of the British invaders, and it was all over.

"At the end of the day, what's important is we showed kids that exercise can be fun. That's the big thing," a defeated Corden said.

But the woman behind the Let's Move! initiative pointed out the bigger takeaway of the hilarious day, "You lost. We won."