Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett are two of the buzziest musicians in the world right now. But their true followers have been watching their showbiz careers bloom since 2019 on their Disney+ series, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, on which they star as Nini Salazar-Roberts and Ricky Bowen (respectively). As fans know, Rodrigo and Bassett's recent solo releases have caused a bit of drama, which makes looking back at these videos of Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett singing in HSMTMTS all the more interesting.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series kicked off at the end of 2019 as one of the first Disney+ original shows. Set in a fictional version of East High, the school where the High School Musical movies were filmed, the mockumentary-style show centers on exes, Nini and Ricky, who are cast as the leads in the school's stage production of HSM. Fans of the show became so invested in Rodrigo and Bassett's on-screen chemistry that many became convinced they were an item IRL, although the two never confirmed these rumors.
At the beginning of 2021, Rodrigo released her single "Drivers License," which fans speculated was about Bassett moving on with actor and singer Sabrina Carpenter, who had recently begun appearing in several of his TikTok videos. It's not clear exactly what (if anything) is going on with Rodrigo and Bassett, since neither are confirming anything, but fans do know they've made a lot of sweet music together in the past.
If you want a break from all the theories (or on the flip side, you want to try to read into things even more), check out these standout Rodrigo/Bassett performances from HSMTMTS:
1. "I Think I Kinda, You Know"
The song that started it all was "I Think I Kinda, You Know," a ditty Nini wrote for Ricky when they were together, which Ricky then uses to audition for the part of Troy. Since it was originally her song, Nini gets to sing it as well.
2. "All I Want"
Nini's yearning ballad reflecting on a breakup and her lingering feelings for Ricky is one of the show's most emotional songs. It is also very similar to "Drivers License" lyrically, as Nini laments a lost love she still pines for.
3. "Just for a Moment"
Ricky writes "Just for a Moment" for Nini to capture his feeling of falling back in love with his co-star. The upbeat love song shows Ricky and Nini at a high point in their romance.
4. "Breaking Free"
You can't make a High School Musical-inspired show without including the movie's climactic number. "Breaking Free" was the core of Troy and Gabriella's love story in the 2006 movie, and it has the same function when Nini and Ricky sing the big duet together at the end of Season 1.
5. "When There Was Me and You"
Another HSM classic, Ricky performs an acoustic version of "When There Was Me and You" in HSMTMTS... but not to Nini. Ricky actually sings the song to Gina, the understudy for Nini's role as Gabriella. Even worse, Nini secretly listens in on the performance and grows jealous of what she thinks is a budding romance between Ricky and Gina.
6. "Start of Something New"
In the show, Nini performs Troy and Gabriella's iconic meet-cute song solo as her audition for the musical, but Rodrigo and Bassett didn't totally rob fans of a romantic duet. The singers recorded a live performance of "Start of Something New" together as well.
7. "Out of the Old"
Nini writes "Out of the Old" to challenge herself in not solely writing songs about relationships. The inspiring track encourages her to apply for an actor's conservatory, while Ricky struggles to come to terms with his mom dating a new man.
8. "Something in the Air"
After Season 1 ended, the HSMTMTS cast reunited for a December 2020 holiday special, "High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special." The whole cast performed Christmas tunes, including a big ensemble number which features a lovey-dovey verse sung by Nini and Ricky.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series has been renewed for Season 2, which is expected to drop on Disney+ sometime in 2021.