During a round of blind auditions on Tuesday, September 27, contestant Tanner Howe delivered a rendition of Shawn Mendes‘ hit track “Mercy.” Cabello, 25, for her part, immediately recognized the song, telling her fellow coaches, “Is that my… Is that Shawn up there? I was like, is Shawn onstage?”
The Cuba native ultimately didn’t turn her chair for Howe, saying, “I know [Shawn] better than everyone in this room. The reason I didn’t turn around is that maybe you sounded a little too much like him?”
Howe, however, received support from Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and John Legend. After Cabello suggested that the performer “distinguish” himself from Mendes, 24, Howe admitted he was hoping to be “in [Shawn’s] lane” when it comes to his career.
In response, the “Havana” singer quipped, “I was in his lane … deeply.” Meanwhile, Legend, 43, jokingly questioned if Cabello was “trying to make it as awkward as possible” for everyone.
The former couple originally went public with their relationship in 2019 after five years of friendship. Late last year, Cabello and Mendes shocked fans when they announced their split.
“Hey guys, we’ve decided to end our romantic relationship but our love for one another as humans is stronger than ever,” they wrote in a joint Instagram statement in November 2021. “We started our relationship as best friends and will continue to be best friends. We so appreciate your support from the beginning and moving forward. Camila and Shawn.”
Shortly after the news made headlines, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that the pair have been “staying in touch” after the breakup, adding, “It wouldn’t surprise anyone if they just take a breather, enjoy the holidays then look to get back together down the line.”
Cabello and Mendes’ loved ones, however, expected them to call it quits. “Their friends are all pretty much of the opinion that it was a classic case of too much, too soon,” the source added. “The attention became overwhelming, and it did irritate them, Shawn in particular, to keep getting grilled on how serious they were and whether or not they were going to get engaged.”
Ahead of their split, the former Fifth Harmony band member opened up about how therapy helped their relationship prosper.
“For better, for worse, we’re very transparent with each other. I think that’s why we can trust each other so much, because it’s a very 3D human relationship,” she told Glamour in her October 2021 cover story. “I’ll be venting or ranting about something, and he’ll be like, ‘Have you talked to X about it?’ And I’ll be like, ‘No. I’ve got to do a session.’ And he’ll do the same thing to me. I think even just the language of being like, ‘Hey, I’m sorry that I’ve been distant with you or snappy with you. I’m just struggling and I’m feeling kind of anxious.’ That level of transparency really helps a lot.”
The Canada native also weighed in on the “extreme amount of patience and understanding” that his then-girlfriend offered him. ““I think the truth is that when you’re struggling with mental health, it turns you sometimes into the version of yourself that you don’t like to be — and kind of loving and accepting your person through that, and being there for them through that, is life-changing,” he said at the time. “We give each other so much space and understanding and patience.”