CT-Based Duo Jim & Sasha Allen Audition For “The Voice” (And More Highlights From The Show’s Season Premiere)


Image via The Voice – YouTube

Ryan Gorneault, Entertainment Editor

The hit NBC singing competition “The Voice” came back for its twenty-first season with a two-episode premiere that would excite music fans across the country. Based on the Dutch “The Voice of Holland,” the show has been running strong since 2011 and has featured a wide range of musical superstars acting as coaches for prospective contestants. This season will feature country star Blake Shelton, singing competition alum and talk show host Kelly Clarkson, EGOT winning soul artist John Legend, and pop icon Ariana Grande (making her “Voice” debut) as coaches.

“The Voice” has become well known for its unique format. The four coaches must choose singers to join their team by pressing the button attached to their massive turning chairs. However, each judge must do so by the time the artist is done with their performance. The coaches cannot physically see the contestant until they press their button or after the performance. This is done to prevent judges from evaluating contestants based on their looks and not solely on their singing abilities.

The auditioning contestants were registered nurses, returning singers who previously did not make it on the show, and professional artists with Billboard Hot 100-charting songs. Still, for many fans of the show (and especially Connecticut fans), the most exciting part of the premiere was seeing the Newtown-based father-son-duo Jim & Sasha Allen audition. Jim is a notable music teacher here in Connecticut and has had much success as a singer-songwriter. Meanwhile, Sasha has gained a notable following on TikTok (575,000 followers and counting) for sharing his original songs, his art (which occasionally gets made into merch), and his experiences as a transgender man.

The duo’s backstory has been making headlines, with many praising them for their openness about their relationship and for breaking down barriers. Sasha explained to host Carson Daly about his journey to finding himself, “I used to write in notebooks, ‘I feel like a boy. I want this so bad.’ And I’d shred it up into such tiny pieces, because I was so scared for anybody to know…The only way to feel like me was to transition to male.” Jim expressed, “While it is such a big and extraordinary thing to absorb, there are fundamental things that don’t change about a person.” Sasha later mentioned that music was vital in helping him get through the roughest times.

Performing a folksy cover of “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by John Denver, the duo was lauded by all four coaches for their great vocal abilities and impressive harmonies. Even though Shelton did not turn for the two, they still praised him as their favorite artist. They even gave him a drawing that Sasha created of the three together. 

Ultimately though, it was Clarkson and Grande who pressed their buttons and turned their chairs, signifying they wanted the duo on their respective teams. Grande expressed that, “The thing about your voices together, the harmonies were so perfectly knit and peaceful that it really transported me. I felt like I was at Woodstock or something. And I really felt it. I felt really connected to it.” Clarkson agreed, saying, “…there is no way I’m letting y’all go home. It’s the family harmony. It’s that vibe that’s so special.”

Despite both singers giving compelling pitches of why they wanted Jim & Sasha on their team, the decision was easy for the performing duo. Sasha quickly decided that they should become members of Team Ariana Grande. It seemed inevitable considering his ecstatic reaction to Grande pushing her button in the first place.

Other highlights of the season premiere included a wild mashup of Sam & Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin'” and Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” performed by all four judges. Grande’s “thank u, next” button was also a highlight. She would press the button every time her fellow coaches could not stop bickering. Then, of course, there were other amazing auditions. Particularly, Vaughn Mugol, Samuel Harness, and Gymani (who covered Grande’s hit “pov”) received much praise for their performances.


To see Jim, Sasha, and the other amazing contestants perform, and to see the rest of the auditions, tune in every Monday and Tuesday at 8:00 PM Eastern Time on NBC.