Rumors that Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber are back together have been percolating for weeks, and with a major industry event like the American Music Awards set for Sunday night, all eyes were on the red carpet for signs of an official reunion. Alas, Gomez arrived solo, leading many fans to wonder why Justin Bieber isn't at the AMAs.
Gomez is performing, so an appearance from her was guaranteed, but two songs Bieber is featured on — DJ Khaled's "I'm The One" and Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito" — are nominated, and it's a major event for the music industry. It makes sense Bieber would be there, too, whether or not they're together.
So far, though, there's no sign of Bieber, and he hasn't revealed on social media if he's planning to attend. Either way, Gomez going alone was likely a conscious decision: the AMAs mark a big night for the "Fetish" singer, and they should be about her professional accomplishments, not her personal life. In order to undergo a kidney transplant critical to her ongoing battle with lupus over the summer, Gomez had to take a step back from her music, and the AMAs will be the first time she'll take the stage in roughly a year. She's also debuting her new single, "Wolves," live. So really, Bieber taking a back seat is the best way he can support her.
Plus, it should be noted that despite some pretty convincing evidence, neither Gomez or Bieber have confirmed where their relationship stands, and frankly, things between them never seem entirely clear. The pair have been famously intertwined for years, dating at various points between 2011 and 2015, but after their last split, things seemed final. Gomez told Refinery29 at the time that she'd found "closure," and in 2016, made clear to Rolling Stone that she was "so beyond done with talking" about Bieber. Earlier this year, she began dating The Weeknd, while Bieber has been reportedly linked to Hailey Baldwin, Sofia Richie, and others.
Nonetheless, the two stayed relatively friendly, and Bieber seemed to still carry a torch for Gomez. He told Access Hollywood in 2015 that he still loved her dearly and wasn't sure if he was over their break up. Then, in 2016, he began posting throwback photos of the two of them together that prompted questions about a possible reconciliation. When news broke that Gomez was dating The Weeknd last January, Bieber told TMZ he wasn't a fan of his ex's new beau. "Hell no I can’t listen to a Weeknd song. That sh*t's wack," he said.
After Gomez and The Weeknd broke up in late October, however, it didn't take long for rumors to re-emerge about her and Bieber. They were seen grabbing breakfast together, attending church, riding bikes around Los Angeles, and, most recently, kissing at a hockey game. Still, given their history, it's understandable that they might want to keep things private. Growing up in the public eye, Bieber has accrued a checkered and well-documented past: He peed into a mop bucket at a restaurant, threw eggs at his neighbor's home, and, according to People, was arrested in Florida in 2014 and later pled guilty to "misdemeanor careless driving and resisting arrest without violence charges." At one point, it was even believed that Bieber had cheated on Gomez, and in a 2015 interview with i-D, he attributed their split, in part, to trust issues.
Fans, then, have been wary about a potential reunion, and while Gomez and Bieber are adults perfectly capable of making their own decisions, they may want to keep their relationship out of the public eye and away from judgment. For the AMAs, at least, the focus is on Gomez and Gomez alone.