Jay Allen's audition on The Voice checked two boxes for fans of the NBC series-- it gave country fans a rooting interest for the new season and sparked comedic banter between returning coach Gwen Stefani and her husband, Blake Shelton.
Allen earned chair turns from Stefani and Shelton with a soul-stirring cover of Cody Johnson's airplay chart-topping message song, "Til You Can't."
Following Allen's audition, John Legend joked that the 36-year-old Nashville resident had to "pick between these two lovely people who happen to be married to each other."
When stating her case, Stefani admitted that a lot of her product knowledge results from in-studio and onstage duets with the leader of Team Blake.
"Blake, he's taught me so much about country music, and I got to be on two No. 1 country hits with Blake Shelton, which was just the most incredible experience of my life," Stefani said. "It made me so joyful to recognize that song when it came in, and to hear your voice on it, it was so beautiful."
Team Gwen got the nod on a night where Shelton missed out on multiple country singers. New coach Camila Cabello scored her first big wins on the same episode, landing Nashville's Morgan Myles and "Cuban cowboy" Orlando Mendez.
However, Allen's biggest impression came not through his CoJo cover or as yet another reason for Shelton to get teased by his fellow coaches. The Iowa native explained that the loss of his mother to early-onset Alzheimer's served as motivation to enter the singing competition series. He then left Stefani in tears by performing a snippet of original song "Blank Stares," which has helped raise money for the Alzheimer's Association and sparked prior social media buzz.
"My mother would pick me up every day after school and she would crank up the local country radio station and roll down the windows and we would sing at the top of our lungs and laugh all the way back home," he shared.
Fiancé and fellow country singer Kylie Morgan was part of Allen's cheering section.
Allen's blind audition aired Monday (Sept. 19) during The Voice season 22 premiere.
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