Alexa, play “Driver’s License” — then Sabrina Carpenter’s “Because I Liked a Boy.” Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett reunited for the season 3 premiere of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series after the alleged exes were wrapped up in endless drama off screen.
Rodrigo, 19, and Bassett, 21, posed for photos on the red carpet in Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 27, sending social media users into a frenzy. The costars, who portray onscreen love interests Nini and Ricky on the Disney+ series, were all smiles in all-black outfits before joining their castmates for group shots.
“Joshua bassett and olivia rodrigo smiling and taking photos together was not on my 2022 bingo card,” one social media user tweeted.
Another fan wrote, “JOSHUA BASSETT AND OLIVIA RODRIGO…BREATHING THE SAME AIR…NEXT TO EACH OTHER…IN 2022…I HAVE NO WORDS.”
“Never in a million f—king years would i have predicted an olivia rodrigo and joshua bassett pic together,” a third person tweeted.
Fans’ shock comes after Rodrigo seemingly penned her viral debut single about Bassett in January 2021. The breakup anthem appeared to reference Carpenter, 23, as an older, blonde girl who Bassett picked over Rodrigo.
“I would see TikToks with like 50 million views and 10 million likes saying, ‘If I ever see that kid on the street, I’m going to f—king kill him.’ It’s hard to see that and then be living in New York and walking down the street,” Bassett told GQ in December 2021 of the backlash from the track and alleged love triangle. “I got a protector screen on my phone so people can’t look at it when I’m at a coffee shop. There are certain people who I can’t hang out with in public because they’re too loud.”
The “Lie Lie Lie” singer added at that the time that Rodrigo “hasn’t spoken to me since ‘Drivers License’ came out.”
After production on season 3 of HSMTMTS began in early 2022, news broke that Rodrigo would have a reduced role on the show as she continued her Sour tour.
“From a pure logistical standpoint, the idea of Olivia doing the entire season and doing her tour was immediately looking impossible,” show creator Tim Federle told Entertainment Weekly in July. “But she was and is such an important part of the DNA of the show that it also didn’t feel right to not give an explanation for where the character of Nini went. That was thing one: how do you make both things work, schedule-wise?”
While the “Good 4 U” singer has downplayed Bassett and Carpenter’s connections to her music, the Girl Meets World alum, for her part, released a very personal album, Emails I Can’t Send, earlier this month. In “Because I Liked a Boy,” she reflects on being called “homewrecker.”
“I got death threats filling up semi-trucks,” the lyrics read. “I’m the hot topic on your tongue / I’m a rebound gettin’ ’round / Stealin’ from the young / Tell me who I am / Guess I don’t have a choice / All I because I liked a boy.”
Scroll through to see photos from the HSMTMTS premiere: