Thinking back on her ex. Camila Cabello was taken aback when a well-known song was played while she was preoccupied with her coaching responsibilities on The Voice.
On Tuesday, September 27, a contestant named Tanner Howe performed the hit song “Mercy” during a round of blind auditions. For her part, 25-year-old Cabello recognized the song right away and asked her fellow coaches, “Is that my… Shawn, are you there? Was Shawn on stage, I wondered.
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, had the backing of John Legend, Gwen Stefani, and Blake Shelton. After Cabello advised the artist to “distinguish” himself from Mendes, Howe, 24, revealed he wanted to pursue a career “in [Shawn’s] path.”
The “Havana” singer said, “I was in his lane… profoundly,” in jest. While this was going on, 43-year-old Legend playfully questioned if Cabello was “trying to make things as awkward as possible” for everyone.
After five years of friendship, the ex-couple made their relationship known in 2019. Fans were startled when Cabello and Mendes confirmed their breakup around the end of last year.
“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.”
After the news broke, a source exclusively revealed to Us Weekly that the couple had been “keeping in touch.” The source also said that it wouldn’t surprise anyone if they decided to take a break, enjoy the holidays, and then consider getting back together in the future.
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.”