Seeing Taylor Swift and her boyfriend Joe Alwyn together is like spotting the green flash at the end of a sunset — ephemeral and fleeting (and, uh, kinda sounds fake). So when fans thought they spotted a familiar blonde head sitting next to Swift at the Grammys, they understandably lost their minds. But unfortunately, that wasn't Alwyn. It's Aaron Dessner of The National, one of Swift's main collaborators on her last two albums, folklore and evermore. So close, so close.
You might recognize him as one of the two men flanking Swift during her ultra cottagecore Grammys performance, which included a medley of songs off of folklore. It makes sense he and Swift have been through a lot in the past year, as they collaborate on not one but two whole records.
"I can't begin to express my gratitude and respect for Taylor," Dessner wrote on Instagram following the release of evermore. "I never cease to wonder at her seemingly boundless talent as a singer and a songwriter and storyteller. It’s been the experience of a lifetime to work so fast and furiously with her. As with folklore, @jackantonoff, @blobtower and William Bowery all contributed brilliant ideas and songwriting — the same alchemy and teamwork continued."
But fans had hope that in addition to Dessner and Jack Antonoff, the aforementioned third collaborator, William Bowery (aka Joe Alwyn) would make some sort of an appearance — if not on stage ("betty" duet when??) then by her side as she awaits the results of the awards. But the couple are famously very private with their relationship. In fact, she's said that he makes her feel "normal," which is a feat, considering she's one of the biggest queens of pop. However, Alwyn did show up in a little way during the Grammys: in Swift's acceptance speech.
“Joe, who is the first person that I play every single song that I write, and I had the best time writing songs with you in quarantine,” she said. She also made sure to thank her friends Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, whose children's names were used in folklore. “I want to thank—I want to thank James, Inez, and Betty and their parents who are the second and third people that I play every new song that I write."
Alas, fans may have lost an in-person Jaylor moment, but they did gain something — Swift's standing ovation for ex Harry Styles.
This story has been updated with new information.