Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande’s kissing selfie set Twitter ablaze. But, it seems the much-talked about backstage smacker may have been more about making Selena Gomez jealous than anything else.
In short, word is the boy is still mad about the girl.
Just not the girl he was kissing.
Grande, who shares a mutual manager with Bieber in Scooter Braun, supported the 19-year-old on the last three dates of his Believe world tour in the US.
Speaking to MTV’s All Access recently, the 20-year-old songstress said kissing her tour mate was mutually agreed, but the decision to post the picture of it was all down to Bieber.
Grande recalled fans trended “#JustinandArianaSelfie or something like that” while she hung out at the Tampa, Florida pre-show meet and greet with her grandparents.
“So I was like, ‘We have to do this,’ and Justin was like, ‘Yeah, let’s take a picture,’” she said. “So, I took my phone and I went like this [gestures selfie] and I was just smiling, and he kissed me on the cheek.”
Ariana continued: “I didn’t know what to do. I just walked out of the room. I got shy. Then Scooter came after me and was like, ‘Justin says you have to post that picture.’”
“I was like, ‘I will not.’ And he was like, ‘He says you have to post that picture.’ And I said, ‘I can’t,’ and he asked why not and I was like ‘because I don’t want the drama that’s going to come with it.’”
As it turns out, the Florida native’s intuition was right on the money.
Shortly after, the Biebs tweeted her an instruction, saying, “Post that pic,” which Grande did along with a caption saying, “You’re crazy and nonna says thank you, she loves you.”
Then, all Belieber hell broke loose.
Within three hours of posting the kiss selfie it was retweeted 27,300 times, triggering a tsunami of online comment — much of it hostile — from Bieber’s and Gomez’s fans with support from Grande’s.
After eventually deleting the snap because of the fans’ reaction, Ariana later tweeted, “Everyone, girls are allowed to be friends with guys. I’m a lady. Chill out.”
In the bigger scheme of things, while Grande was strong-armed into posting the kiss selfie, no real harm appears to have been done. Despite her now confirmed and possibly on the cards split from Australian teen star Jai Brooks, Grande has since moved on from the drama to wowing fans on her “The Listening Sessions” tour and reportedly dating The Wanted’s Nathan Sykes.
The Bieber brouhaha also won’t hurt the pre-release build for her debut album Yours Truly (Sep. 3), or her new duet “Almost Is Never Enough” with Sykes.
As for Bieber, although it’s possible he was just being the mischievous prankster he is well known to be, it’s also possible he was trying to make his ex-girlfriend of three years jealous.
Despite lunching with model Ashley Moore last week, Bieber has also spent the better part of the year screensaving Gomez to his cell phone, hanging out with her on his tour, going on numerous outings together, possibly getting a tattoo of her likeness on his arm, captioning an Instagram with Gomez with the word “Heartbreaker,” and turning up to the Latina’s 21st birthday bash with a red rose — actually make that a single red rose.
Clearly the pair are friends. While Selena has publicly said she will always “protect” and “care” for her ex-sweetheart, it seems she has moved on or is trying to.
But has Justin?
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