I’m Here for Ariana’s Clapback—But, Uh…What Does It Mean?

Just me, or were you also kinda confused?

Ariana Grande wearing a white sweatshirt

(Photo: Getty)

Just when I thought I was ready to put Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s short-lived engagement behind me, things got real heated. To my surprise, the “Breathin” singer, who recently announced dates for her Sweetener North American tour, has some lingering distain for Mr. Davidson. TBH, we’ve all been there after a breakup—sub-tweeting your ex is a millennial right of passage—but but things seemed so civil between them…until last night.

In a now-deleted tweet, Grande wrote, “for somebody who claims to hate relevancy u sure love clinging to it huh.” The Twittersphere was pretty quick to figure out what she was referring to: In a promo video for this weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live, Davidson made a joke about their engagement, proposing to the show’s musical guest, Maggie Rogers. (Too soon?)

In the clip, Rogers obviously turns down an icy blue-haired Davidson, while host Jonah Hill stares into the camera silently to emphasize the awkwardness of the moment. Davidson jokingly responds that he’s “zero for three,” indicating there are at least a few relationships that haven’t worked out for him. (Before Grande, he was in a LTR with writer and actor Cazzie David.)

So, I’m not going to lie, I thought the teaser was funny. Davidson is known for his self-deprecating humour, and to poke fun at his failed engagement—with himself as the butt of the joke, it should be noted—seems in line with his whole deal.

But, Grande definitely took it differently. And while I can totally understand feeling hurt, I actually just don’t understand what her tweet even means. How does joking about failed engagements have to do with relevancy? Why does Davidson apparently hate… the thought of being relevant? Isn’t he one of the stars of a massive variety show that has fought to stay *extra* relevant in the age of Trump? I would argue Davidson and the whole SNL gang are trying to be relevant every single time they put on a show. Maybe this is slang for something entirely different that Arianators know, but I don’t?

Is it possible that Ari *might* have actually meant “celebrity”? It makes way more sense to criticize Davidson over chasing fame and attention even though he claims to reject it. That’s a pretty appropriate response for using a breakup joke to promote your TV show. UNLESS she’s saying that Pete’s relevancy as a famous person is only in relation to her star power, so by him bringing up their breakup he’s trying to stay relevant. In which case, burn!

Grande’s next tweet, “thank u, next”, is a MOOD. Let’s assume that means she’s done talking about this subject and Davidson. But something tells me she’s not—not as long as he continues to bring up his personal life for laughs. The breakup is still raw and Grande has had a tough year, including the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller. So any jokes right now, even if they aren’t targeting her, might be too much to handle.

My completely unsolicited advice to Ariana? Joke back. It won’t hurt and it might help you move on. Also, Twitter seems to think that you’re way funnier than Pete Davidson anyway, so maybe run with that?

Related:

We Investigated the Meaning Behind Ariana Grande’s Tattoos, Including The Ones About Pete Davidson
Nick and Priyanka’s Whirlwind Engagement Is a Sign of our Times
An Open Letter to Pete Davidson, re: Ariana Grande’s Feminism

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