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How Jay Allen’s Audition Forced Gwen and Blake Into a Couple’s Battle

The competition heated up between the husband and wife.

By McKenzie Jean-Philippe
Jay Allen Sings Cody Johnson's "'Til You Can't" from the Heart | The Voice Blind Auditions 2022

The Season 22 premiere of The Voice teased just how competitive it will get between fellow Coaches (and husband and wife) Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani—particularly with one emotional performance.

How to Watch

Watch the Season 26 premiere of The Voice on Monday, September 23 at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock. 

Country rock singer Jay Allen impressed the Coaches with his moving Blind Audition, in which he sang Cody Johnson's "'Til You Can't".

"I relate to [Johnson's song] because my mom was diagnosed with what's called Early-Onset Alzheimer's when she was 51," Allen revealed during the show. "She passed away in 2019 at age 54."

Related: Why Gwen Stafani Says Returning to The Voice Married to Blake Shelton Is 'Surreal'

Shelton and Stefani were the only Coaches to turn their chairs for Allen, unintentionally forcing themselves into a friendly face-off. We detail what happened next, below.

What team did Jay Allen pick after his Blind Audition?

Following his Blind Audition, both Coaches pled their case as to why Allen should want to join their team.

"The delivery of that lyric...it's such a conversational song," Shelton said. "In order to stay on pitch and get through the lyrics, and then it's those powerful moments; man, that's tough. And you sounded great doing it. I loved your tone, I loved your approach."

Next, it was Stefani's turn. "Blake, he's taught me so much about country music, and I got to be on two number-one country hits with Blake Shelton, which was just the most incredible experience of my life," she said. "And it made me so joyful to recognize that song when it came in and to hear your voice on it, it was so beautiful... I would love to coach you. I know music, I've toured the world, I know how to do this show, and it's kind of a 2-for-1 because I'll just ask him if I have a question, so it's fine."

In the end, despite Shelton's country roots, Allen made a surprising choice.

"Blake, I'm a giant fan, and I respect you so much, but I have to choose your wife," he said.

The moment kept in theme with the night, as Shelton (who has eight wins under his belt) had a tough time building his team throughout the premiere.

"It's not good for me," Shelton said. "I used to be the country king of The Voice. It's not slowly slipping away, it's gone. And I'm sick of it."

As for Stefani, all she could offer to her better half was a very sincere, "I'm sorry."

What was the original song Jay Allen performed on The Voice?

Before he made his decision, Allen revealed to the Coaches that he wrote a song in his mom's honor that's raised close to $50 million to help fight Alzheimer's Disease. He even ended up performing the track, which is called "Blank Stares."

It has nearly 1 million views on YouTube, and in 2018 Allen went viral on Facebook for a video in which he brought his mother on stage during his concert while performing the song.

Watch The Voice on NBC Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c and next day on Peacock.