Gwen Stefani got emotional during Monday night's episode of The Voice, tearing up during contestant Carter Rubin's performance of "Rainbow Connection." Rubin performed the song as part of the show's playoff round, which features the Top 9 contestants singing for a spot in the next round of live performance episodes.
Before he took the stage, the 15-year-old had his coach getting teary-eyed during rehearsal, where Stefani told him that "Blake's mom literally keeps texting me, like, 'I hope your boy gets through!'" She added that she chose "Rainbow Connection" because it's one she sings to her three sons at home, and Rubin dedicated the song to his older brother, Jack, who has autism.
During Rubin's live performance, Stefani was again brought to tears in her chair before she stood to give an ovation. "That was flawless," she said. "That was God answering my prayers... You're so gifted, you're so intuitive, your heart is full of music. I'm so honored that you picked me and I'm crying and I'm so happy and I love this frickin' show. Congratulations!"
"Rainbow Connection" was written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher for the 1979 film The Muppets Movie. The song went to No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards. It was later recorded by Willie Nelson for his 2001 album of the same name.
Rubin is the show's youngest remaining contestant, most recently performing a cover of Mariah Carey's "Hero" that again had his coach wiping away tears. "I'm just so honored to get to know you," Stefani said during last week's performance episode. "You're so talented... and it's so fun to watch you shine and know that you're good at that. And not only good, but like, mind-blowingly good!"
"And just to be here, for America to see, I have tears in my eyes," she continued. "Thank you for choosing me. You're so inspiring."
The Voice is without an audience this season due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Stefani told Entertainment Tonight ahead of the premiere that she's happy to be back in any capacity.
"I think that being able to sit down and watch a show that's so inspiring and will bring inspiration to people, it will definitely bring joy," she said. "Music is the heartbeat of human beings, so I feel really blessed to be here and to be a part of that and to be able to connect around America on the TV."