The world is still reeling from the announcement of his breakup, but Channing Tatum's first post-split appearance is unlikely to answer many questions. Mostly because it's just truly so random — would you ever have predicted that his return to the public eye would be beside Bachelor Nation's Arie Luyendyk Jr.? Probably not, but it was. As Us Weekly reported, the actor turned up at the Honda Indy Grand Prix in Birmingham, Alabama on April 22, the first time that he'd been seen publicly since splitting from Jenna Dewan on April 2.
And while an Alabama racetrack is already a random enough place to crop up, Tatum's company at the event was even stranger. The 37-year-old was acting as the grand marshal for the event, where he crossed paths with Arie, who was participating. "Such a great dude!" the reality star exclaimed in his Instagram caption with a photo where he and the actor have their arms slung around each other. "Fun meeting @channingtatum and getting to lead the field to green in the @Honda IndyCar," he continued, below additional photos of what seems to be Arie's car, and another shot of himself and the actor throwing up peace signs.
The two are wearing matching red racing suits in both images, and by the looks on their faces, they seem to be having a great time. It's just not clear why they're hanging out or what fans are supposed to take from the interaction.
Arie is best known as the guy who returned to the franchise for the first time in five years to helm his own season of The Bachelor, which wrapped in March. But although the series no longer on the air, it didn't earn the race car driver many friends, and Arie and his fiancée are still dealing with the Season 22 fallout.
The Arizona native got engaged to his winner Becca Kufrin in the finale, sending home his runner-up, Lauren Burnham. But just months later, Arie had second thoughts and broke up with Becca to give it another shot with Lauren. The 36-year-old proposed for a second time on After the Final Rose, and after a weeks-long escape to Europe in hopes of falling off the country's radar, Arie and Lauren have returned to a life of near-normalcy. The pair is still engaged and are newly living together in Scottsdale with their dogs Bastion and Dallas.
And even though Lauren wasn't present at the race, her fiancé did shout her out in his Instagram Story. "At indycar here in alabama!" Arie typed out in one post, "Missing @laureneburnham but here's a little surprise for you..." And as a treat for his fiancée, the next post was a video of Arie and Tatum, waving into the camera. "What’s up, Lauren,” Tatum greeted her, adding, "I’m about to do something stupid." Which presumably referred to taking a few turns on the rainy track, which the actor documented in an Instagram post of his own.
"Crazy fast couple laps in the rain!!" He wrote in the caption, before thanking the former Bachelor. "Thanks @ariejr! And what an incredibly beautiful track Mr. Barber. Can’t wait to come back here and rip some hot laps."
“And we wish you were here, obviously,” Arie added in his Instagram video. "Yes," agreed Tatum. It was a sweet message that echoes the stability that has entered Arie's life in the past month or so since the finale aired. But after all that relationship turmoil, the back and forth hardly makes him an obvious choice for a hangout buddy for a recently-single man like Tatum. Until the announcement of his split, the Magic Mike star was seen as a real family man; he and Dewan had been married for nine years and share a daughter, 4-year-old Everly.
So now that he's newly back on the market, Tatum's choice to make his post-split debut next to Arie is an unexpected one. You'd think they'd both want to avoid any reminders of breakups, but apparently the call of the race track was too strong to ignore. As was the opportunity to confuse Bachelor Nation fans and Tatum's fans alike, as these two worlds collided.