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The controversy arose after Olivia Rodrigo released her hit song ‘driver’s license’ on Jan. 4 (Photo provided via @achagapettyjohn on Twitter)

Olivia Rodrigo, Sabrina Carpenter and Joshua Bassett love triangle tea, explained

Olivia Rodrigo, Sabrina Carpenter, Joshua Bassett, one viral TikTok song and two other irrelevant awkward ones, all make up the tea that has taken the world by storm. 

It’s not like 14-year-olds have many better things to do other than obsess over some sad teen’s love life, but even 20-somethings are invested in the drama. If you’re not, or lost as to who the “blonde girl” and why every heartbroken girl is scream-singing a song called “drivers license,” well, we’ll help you catch up, because trust us, this story is juicy, so buckle up because there is a lot here to unload. 

For those who don’t know, Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett are co-stars who share an on-screen romance on theDisney+ exclusive, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Spun off of the Disney Channel original fan favorite, HSMTMTS is only loosely based off of it, as there are new characters portraying a new dynamic and storyline. The only similarity is that the students are putting on a production of High School Musical, and you guessed it, Rodrigo and Bassett’s characters, Nina and Ricky, play Gabriella and Troy. 

After meeting on the show, romance and relationship rumors arose as many fans noticed how often the two had posted each other on their socials, only to catch that those same photos had been deleted as of June 2020 when the Girl Meets World actress and Bassett had first been spotted together at a BLM protest. Soon after, they were also seen all over each other’s Instagram handles. 

It wasn’t until Jan. 4, when Rodrigo dropped her hit song “drivers license,” that a lot of unanswered questions regarding Bassett’s relationship with both girls became a whole lot clearer. 

Rodrigo’s track became an overnight success as the newest breakup anthem of the year could be heard in just about every other TikTok video. Conspiracies began circulating and the clarity had fans shook. On top of all of that, people were making TikToks saying they would physically hurt anyone who broke Rodrigo's heart as the pain in her voice is more than evident. If we were Joshua Bassett, we would be scared. 

Rodrigo didn’t hold back when it came to expressing exactly how Bassett made her feel explicitly in the lyrics, because let's face it, those of us who aren’t talented just write long texts or subtweet our exes, so if we could write a song about our sadness and make a boatload of money off of it, we probably would, too. And truth be told, the real-life drama surrounding the song probably just made it even more popular than it was. Soon enough, Rodrigo won’t be crying and she’ll be singing “thank u, next.”

Though Rodrigo doesn’t blatantly admit the song is about both Bassett and Carpenter, it’s a little obvious it is as she sings, “You’re probably with that blonde girl / Who always made me doubt / She's so much older than me / She's everything I'm insecure about,” and Carpenter is indeed blonde and four years older than the 17-year-old. 

To clap back, Carpenter released a song on Jan. 22 titled, “Skin.” If “drivers license” was a direct subtweet to the new lovers, Carpenter’s was uncomfortably even more of one, as she says, “Maybe you didn't mean it / Maybe blonde was the only rhyme.” 

“Some lines address a specific situation, while other lines address plenty of other experiences I’ve had this past year,” claims Carpenter. 

If you thought the the whole love-triangle situation couldn’t get worse and Rodrigo couldn’t be more distraught, Carpenter sings, “You can try / To get under my, under my, under my skin / While he's on mine / Yeah, all on my, all on my, all on my skin.” Insensitive, right? Although Carpenter has every right to share her side and be upset that her new beau’s ex has the entertainment world wrapped around her finger, and honestly not loving Carpenter, she only made matters worse by reiterating Bassett is her’s and not Rodrigo’s, and that yes, they are very much so intimate with one another. 

So you’re probably wondering, how is Bassett reacting to having two beautiful girls fighting over him publicly? Well, he too decided to write a song … shocker. 

Basset announced on Jan. 4 — note, the same day Rodrigo dropped her single — that his song, “Lie Lie Lie” would be released 10 days later on Jan. 14. Yet, these three are still trying to convince the media the songs are about no one in particular. The irony.

Again, Bassett too is allowed to be a little frustrated that everyone is siding with Rodrigo when truly, no one knows why the two had a falling out or anything about the nitty gritty details of their relationship, which genuinely isn’t fair he automatically got dubbed the bad guy. 

Naturally, fans wonder if Bassett is alluding to Rodrigo by singing lyrics like, “So you're telling them it's all my fault  / You're the victim this time, oh / And you wanna make it seem like it's your call / You're acting like everything's fine,” all while singing in a car in the music video as well. Harsh. It should be recognized though, that Bassett teased “Lie Lie Lie” in 2019, so if it is really about Rodrigo is unknown.

All in all, Rodrigo undoubtedly was not in the wrong for simply expressing her feelings, and neither were Bassett and Carpenter. Carpenter and Bassett, however, are said to be releasing a song they collaborated on, titled “We Both Know'' and is apparently “very dear” to Carpenter’s heart. We can only imagine how much more tea will be spilled in that one. The three’s love-triangle is surely a real Disney Channel drama mishap. 


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