Why did Jimmy Fallon have a blind audition on ‘The Voice’? Ask Blake Shelton

A man with a beard wearing a tuxedo and bow tie
“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon was a surprise guest on this week’s episode of NBC’s “The Voice.”
(Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)

“The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon made a surprise appearance on NBC’s “The Voice” this week to send off outgoing coach Blake Shelton with a little bit of musical high jinks.

The “Saturday Night Live” alum, who is a gifted impressionist, was hyped up by host Carson Daly for the Tuesday segment. He took the stage to perform a cover of Michael McDonald’s 1982 song “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)” for Shelton and fellow coaches Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan and Chance the Rapper during the singing competition’s blind auditions. As Fallon performed, Clarkson, Horan and Chance all hit their buzzers to spin their chairs in approval — only to realize they were being fooled by the late-night host.


But Shelton didn’t give in so easily, patiently listening to Fallon’s audition with skepticism. When Fallon realized the country star wasn’t playing along, he walked over to Shelton’s chair and hit the buzzer for him.

“You can’t do that,” Shelton said and laughed. “You broke the rules.”

“I had to,” Fallon replied. “Hi, everybody! I love you! I’m across the parking lot doing our show, ‘That’s My Jam,’ and I texted Carson. I said, ‘I gotta come over and say hey, buddy.’ Twenty-three seasons. Congratulations. You’re a legend.”

The longest-serving coach on the Emmy-winning show, Shelton is indeed leaving the program after a 12-year stint to hopefully do a “little bit of nothing.” The Grammy-nominated country star has been a fixture on the show since its 2011 debut and announced his departure from “The Voice” in October 2022.

Blake Shelton was set to give up ‘The Voice’ in early 2020 until COVID-19 changed his mind. But his plans for life post-coaching are not action-packed.

Feb. 28, 2023

As for Fallon’s stunt, Shelton, 46, said that he knew what was going on and there was no way he was hitting his button for the act. Meanwhile, Clarkson said she turned first so Fallon had to be on her team.

“It didn’t take me long to figure out that it was Jimmy Fallon, and there was no way I was going to hit my button. He does not deserve a chair turn on this show,” Shelton said in a testimonial. “Jimmy’s impersonation is the equivalent of walking up to Michael McDonald and slapping him in the face as hard as you can.”