Joy-Anna Duggar and Lawson Bates spent part of their holiday performing songs together at the Duggar family home in Tontitown, Arkansas. However, Duggar fans aren’t just freaking out because 18-year-old Joy-Anna Duggar is performing the secular song “Blue Christmas” with an eligible young bachelor – they’re also wildly speculating about a video that Amy Duggar recently shared on Instagram. The short clip of her family’s Christmas celebration shows 20-year-old Joseph Duggar looking awfully cozy with 17-year-old Carlin Bates, and she’s not the Bates girl that he’s been linked to in the past.
Lawson Bates let his social media followers know that the Bringing Up Bates and Jill & Jessa: Counting On worlds collided over the holidays. He shared an Instagram video of himself playing the guitar and performing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” for the Duggar family, and he also tweeted a video of himself playing “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” on the Duggars’ piano.
— Lawson Bates (@lawbates) December 25, 2015
However, Lawson Bates’ Christmas performance that will most surprise fans of the Duggar family is the YouTube video below that shows Lawson singing the Elvis Presley song “Blue Christmas” with Joy-Anna Duggar and Jason Duggar. According to Beliefnet, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have said that they don’t like their family members listening to secular music, but maybe they make an exception for certain songs if they mention Christian traditions like Christmas.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, there have long been rumors that Joy-Anna Duggar’s older sister Jinger is possibly courting Lawson Bates, but Jinger and Lawson don’t appear together in any videos or photos of the Bates-Duggar Christmas celebration. However, Joy-Anna does pop up with Lawson again in the first Instagram photo that Josiah Duggar has shared in weeks.
Even though the Bateses and Duggars are longtime friends and have spent Christmas together before, some fans of the strict religious families are already speculating about a possible courtship between Joy-Anna Duggar and Lawson Bates.
“Oi oi I spy a courting for the future!!!” one fan commented on Josiah Duggar’s Instagram photo.
“Joy are you making eyes at Lawson?” another wrote below Lawson’s YouTube video.
Fans of the Bates and Duggar families are also buzzing about an Instagram video that the Duggars’ “rebel” cousin, Amy Duggar, recently shared. It shows the Duggar family gathered around the giant Jenga game that Amy and her husband, Dillon King, bought as Christmas gift for Amy’s massive group of cousins. Amy Duggar gets a bit wild with her camera phone when the wooden blocks fall down, and viewers catch a quick glimpse of Joseph Duggar sitting extremely close to Carlin Bates in the blurry video. As you can see, Carlin is wearing a backwards baseball cap that possibly belongs to Joe.
According to the Stir, there’s been a lot of speculation that Joseph Duggar is courting Carlin’s older sister Tori because they both attend the Crown College of the Bible in Powell, Tennessee. Joseph Duggar and Tori Bates have been photographed together multiple times, but they don’t really look like a couple in any of the pictures floating around online. However, many commenters on Amy Duggars’ Instagram page think that Joseph and Carlin’s comfy seating arrangement could be proof that they are courting.
“Is Carlin Bates dating the Duggar boy? It looks like they were holding hands on the couch so I wasn’t sure if they were dating/courting or not?” one commenter wrote.
“I watched this several times to see. Even if they aren’t holding hands, they’re still sitting kinda close,” another responded. “I don’t think that’s normal for the Duggars and Bates for not courting… #DuggarBatesWedding maybe?”
Fans of the Duggars and Bateses aren’t the only ones who think that a Duggar-Bates wedding will eventually happen. During a February interview with ET Online, Bringing Up Bates star Erin Bates Paine said that a union between a Bates and Duggar is “inevitable” because the families spend so much time together and have grown so close. However, Erin didn’t try to play matchmaker by speculating about which Duggar would be right for which Bates.
“I personally think, hey you have 19 kids on each side, I think it’s almost inevitable somewhere down the line. As much as we see each other, I think there’s going to be an attraction somewhere,” Erin said.
Because the Duggars’ new TLC series, Jill & Jessa: Counting On, is only a three-part special, fans of the Duggars might have to tune in to the Bates family’s UPtv reality series, Bringing Up Bates, to watch a future Duggar-Bates courtship play out on TV.
Which Duggar-Bates courtship do you think is more likely, Joy-Anna Duggar and Lawson Bates or Joseph Duggar and Carlin Bates?
[Image via TLC]