Jay Allen Dishes On What It’s Really Like To Be A Contestant On ‘The Voice’

“I’m gonna say this for the first time in an interview…”

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

March 29, 2023

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Jay Allen; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Jay Allen first won over the coaches of Season 22 of The Voice when he auditioned with Cody Johnson’s “‘Til You Can’t.” This rendition earned him a spot on Gwen Stefani’s team, but he was later stolen during the battle rounds by Stefani’s husband and country music superstar, Blake Shelton. Allen’s time on the singing competition show came to an end in the knockouts. 

While millions watched Allen’s journey unfold on NBC, not many have gotten the chance to hear the truth about his behind-the-scenes experience throughout the singing competition. 

Audition

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During an interview with Country Now at Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, Allen shared a never-before-heard story about what his life was really like when the cameras weren’t rolling. 

He confirmed that after about two and a half months of living in a hotel, he got to know his fellow contestants pretty well. Within that time, there were also some pretty strict rules they had to follow in order to stay in the competition.

“I can say this now cause I’m out of contract, but they didn’t allow us to leave our rooms from more than 10 minutes a day. So I’m gonna say this for the first time in an interview,” Allen began. “I requested to be on my own floor cause a lot of the contestants last season were kids. I mean, they were like being crazy every night till like two in the morning. I’m like, I just need to sleep, man. So the producers let me be on my own floor.”

Jay Allen; Photo by: Tina Thorpe/NBC
Jay Allen; Photo by: Tina Thorpe/NBC

Sneaking Around

Not only did he get his own floor, but the “Blank Stares” singer revealed that he also conveniently got a room that was located by the exit door to the stairwell. This gave him an idea of how he could finally see his now-wife, Kylie Morgan, after being forced to be a part for weeks. 

“I’m like, ‘she’s my fiancé. I have to see her.’ So right by the stairwell, exit door, I disengaged it, unwired it. We got her a blonde wig off of Amazon, and I snuck her in up through the stairwell. So, she lived with me for a while during the filming process. 

Although he was breaking the rules, Allen confirmed that they were never caught sneaking around. They even gave Morgan a code name – Lacy.

“If anyone asked, I was like, ‘yeah, that’s Lacy.’”

Getting Outside

He also recalled having to sneak himself out of the room just to get a bit of fresh air from time to time. 

“During that timeframe, if you do like the timeline, you can go on my social media and see, I’ve put videos up of me like outside. No one ever questioned me, but yeah, I was nervous,” he said before adding, “I would have to sneak out just to get fresh air cause hotel rooms, you know, the windows don’t open. My friends were like, ‘what are you doing?’ I’m like, ‘well, just to get like vitamin D, I just stand in front of that window like, give me that sun.’

On top of having to stay inside the secluded room for the majority of his stay, Allen shared that he and the other contestants were required not to drink. While this may have proved to be a challenge for some, Allen took it as an opportunity to re-evaluate his life. In the end, it turned out to be a very refreshing exercise for him. 

Jay Allen; Photo by: Tina Thorpe/NBC
Jay Allen; Photo by: Tina Thorpe/NBC

“I’ll always be the guy with a beer in his hand,” he shared. “So I kind of made that choice going in like, what a good time for self-reflection. I was gonna minimalize my drinking, but you’re required not to, and they kept a strong eye on you. That was a really good time for me just to be…I know I was afraid to be alone in my thoughts for that long, but it was so good for me. Grew me up real quick, you know?”

He continued, “It was a good experience top to bottom. Then the last show of the year, Blake and Gwen showed up and surprised us and then some other cool things happened that I’ll get to share here real soon.”

Surprise From Blake and Gwen

This surprise appearance came when Allen was performing at Ole Red in Shelton’s hometown, Tishomingo, Oklahoma. Having Shelton and Gwen there to introduce him and watch from side stage made the sold-out night one to remember. 

“I had nothing but a positive experience. It was cool to see Blake and Gwen in the spotlight and how they turn it on, on camera, like that’s their job and they take it seriously. And Blake especially, man, he knows how to turn it on and win everybody over. He’s hilarious in person, on camera, but then to see him behind the scenes, like he did legitimately surprise us. I was talking to Gwen in the green room and I was like, ‘did y’all plan this?’ She goes, ‘I didn’t know until this morning. Blake woke me up and said, ‘we’re gonna see Jay.’ So they chartered the jet just to come see my show and introduce me.”

Having this amount of support from these musical superstars was huge for Allen. It showed just how much they care for the budding artists that they mentor throughout the competition. 

“I know it’s a unique thing. I’d heard Blake likes to be a little hands-on and help artists after the show. I definitely felt that. That was a really cool experience,” Allen added. 

Jay Allen; Photo by Elizabeth Morris/NBC
Jay Allen; Photo by Elizabeth Morris/NBC

New Music

Since his time on The Voice, Jay Allen has continued in his philanthropic efforts as an advocate for those battling Alzheimer’s, the disease that ultimately led to his mother’s passing. The rising star has also dropped several songs in his mom’s honor, including “No Present Like The Time” and “No Prayer Like Mama’s.” 

He’s also taken to social media to tease his plans to drop a cover of 3 Doors Down’s “Here Without You.” This song will allow him to show some of his rock & roll side that’s been brewing since he was a child.

On February 24, Allen kicked off his extensive run of shows for the year. He’s next scheduled to perform in Scottsdale, AZ on March 30. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.