‘The Voice’ Champion Jake Hoot Says Kelly Clarkson Is His ‘Biggest Cheerleader’
Kelly Clarkson took home her third victory on The Voice Tuesday night (Dec. 17) with her one-chair-turn phenomenon Jake Hoot—who charmed Clarkson with a Luke Combs hit back in September and prompted the coach to hiss at fellow coach Blake Shelton, "Don't you dare, don't you dare."
Shelton accordingly remained hands-off, and Clarkson admitted to Hoot that he'd probably hoped to land on that team, but promised him she had a much better place for him to land. That certainly proved true, as Clarkson groomed the fellow Texan into a not just the "token country" singer on the show, but a multifaceted artist who brought forth surprising depth to his various performances throughout the season.
Hoot tells People he wasn't feeling deep down as self-confident as he seemed onstage, however, and he attributes Clarkson for helping him shape the persona that won the series season. "She has helped me get out of my shell on stage and I say in every interview: You’re the biggest cheerleader and that means more than you know," he relates. “I really do appreciate it."
Hoot added, " I continued to doubt myself and stuff like that, and Kelly continued to encourage me. If I can say anything, it’s stop doubting yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Get out there and take a chance and there’s no telling what you can do.”
As for Clarkson, she herself demurred regarding how much influence she had on Hoot. “He did everything," she said. "That’s all you bro, that’s not me, but I get the trophy too which is awesome.”
Hoot bested Shelton's rocker Ricky Duran, as well as John Legend's Katie Kadan and Gwen Stefani's Rose Short. The season had the distinction of having each coach placing a finalist in the Top 4.
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