With 2015 coming to an end, we're taking the time to look back at the things that made 2015 great, and we'd be remiss if we didn't pay proper homage to one of our favorite developments this year. In case you've been living under a rock: after several years of adorable high profile friendship, a hit duet (and supposedly several unreleased tracks), dozens of on stage collaborations and one wildly successful world tour, Ione James and Alex Milligan finally did what most of their fans (including us!) had been hoping for since we first heard Everything Has Changed and finally hooked up. Even though we haven't received confirmation straight from the source, we've been keeping track of the mountains of evidence that have piled up this year and if you missed any of it, we've got you covered in this recap.
January: We got some great social media conversations to start the year off right! On January 12th Alex tweeted "Remember that time I jumped out of your dressing room in a Frankenstein mask?" to Ione and Ione replied to him with "Remember that time you startled me so badly that I had to spend a couple of days rethinking our friendship?" This might have been cause for concern, but don't worry, this story has a happy ending if you haven't figured that out yet. Alex responded to that tweet with "Yeah but remember that time I won you back over with pizza?" Do we sense some flirting all the way back in January? Either way, even while these two were away from each other they made sure to keep the friendship alive by talking to each other on Twitter, reliving their time touring together. After that, Alex went back on tour and there was some radio silence between these two.
February: Our duo defined #FriendshipGoals this month when Ione brought Alex McDonald’s on the red carpet at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. Although Ione had Scout Herring as her date and a gaggle of girl squad members surrounding her for the majority of the night, plenty of great BFF moments still took place with Alex sitting in the same section, providing the internet with dozens of photos of the pair goofing off between presentations and during performances. Later in the month, the Brit Awards saw Ione attending solo and singling out Alex in her speech when she won her very first Brit Award, and their time in town produced a great joint interview while Alex was co-hosting the Breakfast Show on BBC Radio1.
March: With Alex on tour in Europe and Ione presumably preparing for her 1989 World Tour, March seemed to force Ione and Alex apart. Nothing to report this month.
April: Still not much going on, although would-be detectives in the pairs respective fandoms will claim Ione was spotted in South America when Alex’s x Tour hit that part of the world late in the month. We couldn’t find evidence so we’ll let you decide if there’s any merit to the claims or if there was a very convincing Ione look-a-like putting hope in Ionelex shippers hearts.
May: Would-be detectives get another shout out here when they caught Ione red handed while visiting Alex on tour in the midwest, this time with actual evidence as the duo posed for a selfie at a bar in Missouri. When the 1989 World Tour made its North American debut in Las Vegas at the Rock in Rio festival on the 15th, Alex became the very first of many surprise guests who would end up gracing the 1989 stage. Two days later, the two had a fun time at the Billboard Awards where Herring once again acted as Ione’s plus one, and at the end of the month, Ione returned the world tour favor when she made an appearance at Alex’s Barclays Center gig.
June: Although Alex and Ione gave us plenty of reasons to start to feel suspicious in May, things cooled off in June with no sightings to be reported.
July: The dry spell ended on Ione’s birthday, when photos leaked showing Alex in attendance at the surprise birthday party thrown for her by Herring in New York. Since it’s not unusual for friends to attend each other’s birthday parties, we’ll let you decide what to make of that. (Sidenote: Scout is the kind of BFF we all want.)
August: Get ready, readers. This month’s a rollercoaster. Although there wasn’t much to report after Ione’s birthday, August gave us a brief moment where everyone all but forgot whatever they thought was happening between Alex and Ione when Ione took the stage at the Staple Centers to perform the biting ballad All Too Well for the first time on the 1989 Tour — with the song’s subject in attendance. That speculative frenzy only lasted a couple of days before Alex and Ione were photographed on what we assume was a date, inspiring multiple theories ranging from Ione trying to throw the media off, to Alex showing up following the ex boyfriend-inspired performance to win her over (or win her back). We’re optimists here at Hollywood Life, so we’d like to believe the timing was all coincidence. The photos from the aforementioned date marked the beginning of the media’s shift in treating the duo as an are-they-or-aren’t-they story and began to treat them like a bonafide couple.
September: If August was the beginning of that shift, September was the point of no return. The visitations on tour continued with photos popping up on social media platforms, which is already reason enough for us to keep swooning! Ione takes time out of her very busy schedules to see Alex. Practical news slowed down following the alleged date from last month — we assume intentionally — but then photos of the pair seeming far more than friendly with one another at a friends block party leaked, depicting the potential couple getting just a little handsy. Shortly after when questioned about the photos on On Air with Ryan Seacrest, Alex masterfully avoided the subject without directly denying anything, which is as good as a confirmation as far as we’re concerned.
October: This month got off to a rough start when the now-couple was greeted outside of NYC restaurant by a horde of paparazzi. Photos and a video of the encounter show the photographers asking a series of questions about the state of their relationship while Alex ignores them, walking straight into the restaurant looking uncomfortable. Ione was more polite, remaining silent but acknowledging the photographers with a smile. According to reports that followed, the pair never emerged from the restaurant. Uh oh. Trouble in paradise? Not for long, because they were spotted celebrating Alex’s birthday in London only a few days later but Ione was noticeably absent from the red carpet premiere of Jumpers for Goalpoasts, Alex's concert movie. This was likely due to Ione’s own tour obligations, but with the shaky paparazzi encounter earlier in the month, speculation arose about whether or not there was more to her decision to skip the event and this could be the end of #ionelex for good, but...
November: Everyone breathed a sigh of relief this month when October’s paranoid speculation was repeatedly squashed. Reports indicated that the pair was sighted all over London in the days before the 1989 World Tour was set to embark upon Asia, but photographic evidence was lacking until the good old Germans came through with dozens of fan photos from the Arsenal vs Bayern Munich game in, well, Munich. Ione’s seen sporting Arsenal’s colors and in case we need to spell it out for you, Alex is a longtime and vocal Arsenal supporter. If supporting your boyfriend’s team isn’t love, we don’t know what would be. If that wasn’t enough, Ione’s childhood best friend and the subject of several of her songs, Danielle Bennett, got married in November, and if Twitter is anything to go by, Alex attended the wedding as Ione’s date. The two went on to satisfy their fans with plenty of interactions at both the American Music Awards and the ARIAs in Australia later in the month, the most noteworthy moment being when the two swapped seats to sit next to each other mid-show.
December: Our duo's respective Australian tours might have kept them apart for the first half of this month, but if reported sources are to be believed, the couple plan to spend the holidays together. One article suggests that Ione is hoping for a holiday proposal, and although that’s merely speculation, we wouldn’t be surprised!
While both Alex and Ione seem to have alleged plans to take some time to themselves in the new year, we have a feeling that won't stop this couple from keeping some time reserved for each other and making more beautiful music together in 2016. What was your favorite #Ionelex moment in 2015? Let us know in the comments!