updated 05/20/2014 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/20/2014 AT 1:45 PM ET
“His eyes,” Jake Worthington told PEOPLE about his coach, Blake Shelton. “Does that not turn you on?” he joked about his mentor’s crinkly gaze.
In all seriousness, the country kid from Texas, who Shelton, 37, foresees is “going to breathe life back into country radio,” has looked up to the “Mine Would Be You” crooner since before the show even existed.
“I never would’ve thought I’d be friends with him,” said Worthington. “He’s really just inspired me to want to stay true to myself.”
Adam Levine’s powerhouse contestant Christina Grimmie has taken chances all season long thanks to her “hardcore motivator” mentor.
“She’s got amazing instincts,” the Maroon 5 frontman, 35, said of the YouTube star. “All of the things that she thought of that were so inventive and cool, you can’t teach that. I coached her on more of a presentation level.”
As for Josh Kaufman – who actually started off the competition on Levine’s team – working with Usher, 35, has been naturally easy.
“Something just clicks,” he said. “There is a chemistry there. We have a similar approach to things, we understand things in a similar way and when he gives me a pointer, it’s more than just a pointer.”