When The Voice's most recent season came to a close, the lone contestant left standing was the smoky-voiced Tennessee native Chloe Kohanski, who wowed audiences all season long with a slew of female-fronted hits from the '70s and '80s. CinemaBlend spoke with the singer after her big victory, and when I wasn't finding out about her most nerve-wracked performances and her biggest frustrations from the show, I was learning lots of other fun details from Kohanski about how things went during and after The Voice's season. Let's start off focusing on one of the season's most controversial moments.
What It's Like To Switch Teams
While Chloe Kohanski started off her Voice season under Miley Cyrus' tutelage, everything changed during The Knockouts, as Cyrus chose to keep contestant Ashland Craft, meaning Kohanski was eliminated. Thankfully for all involved, Blake Shelton swooped in and saved her, unwittingly cementing yet another big victory for the country star. Out of curiosity, I asked Kohanski what it was like once she made the shift to Team Blake, as far as communication went with her former mentor.
Whenever I switched teams to Blake, I think I sent Miley a text or an email, and I told her, 'Thanks for everything, and I look forward to seeing you at future shows.' But you don't really want to get too caught up in it, and I don't even know if that's technically allowed. Because really, it's a competition and it wouldn't be great to have input from more than one coach. I think that would get a little overwhelming. So yeah, when I switched teams, it was just me and Blake working together. I saw Miley and we would talk about yoga and our boyfriends and stuff like that, like lighthearted things, but it wasn't about the direction of my performances, because she really need to focus on her artists. And my focus was on me and working with Blake, so yeah [conversations] stopped when I wasn't on her team anymore.
In hindsight, everything Chloe Kohanski said there makes perfect sense. Not that anyone would likely have expected Miley Cyrus to continue offering Kohanski a ton of tips and motivational mantras after eliminating her. After all, Cyrus obviously had her hands full with Craft and her other singers. So even if it wasn't heavily frowned upon by The Voice producers and rule-makers, performers wouldn't ever really have a reason to talk to their former coaches anyway. Except, you know, about yoga and boyfriends.
Two Voice Coach Vets She Wants To Work With
For the Season 13 finale, Chloe Kohanski got to share the stage with Billy Idol for a rousing rendition of his hit "White Wedding." And if that performance was anything to judge her future by, we'll likely see Kohanski teaming up with other hitmakers in the coming years. During our chat, I told Kohanski that she seemed like a natural fit for a duet with Blake Shelton's significant other Gwen Stefani, and it turned out she was also into that idea, and more.
Yeah, I think Gwen would be awesome to work with. I actually met her whenever me and Blake were rehearsing for our duet, and I talked to her for a second. And I got a little nervous, just because she's Gwen Stefani. Yeah, I would love to work with her. But also, Alicia Keys is really cool. I always really liked her vibe on the show. Yeah, I don't know. It's weird. I think I'm just gonna stick with Blake, though.
How's that for loyalty? Chloe Kohanski wasn't even being hammy or silly by saying she was just going to stick with Blake, whom she did get to join onstage during the season, so she knows how comfortable that experience is. But if she were to stray outside of Blake's sight-path, Kohanski would be down to work with both Gwen Stefani and Alicia Keys. After hearing Kohanski's original track "Wish I Didn't Love You," I can totally envision Kohanski and Keys knocking audiences dead together.
*Lots Of People Work Behind The Scenes To Calm Contestants *
Before heading to The Voice for Season 13, Chloe Kohanski wasn't a stranger to the music game, even if she hadn't exactly performed for millions and millions of people. However, many of those competing have zero experience with such matters, and are not at all accustomed to the erratic schedule and varying madness that comes along with weekly episodes. As such, I had to ask, beyond the vocal coaches, if the show employed people meant to coach contestants on how to keep their cool in front of huge crowds. Here's what Kohanski told me:
There's definitely people assigned to kinda help smooth over the whole process. For me, I'm a little bit more comfortable with interviews and talking and performing in front of people. I think for some contestants, they haven't been used to that. The show was like their first real gig we're seeing, and so they have people in place to kinda help them feel comfortable. Almost like a guidance counselor, in a way, just to help you feel like you're not losing yourself. You know, you get exhausted because we don't have regular sleep schedules, and everything gets really intense, especially when it gets to the live shows. So yeah there's a lot of people -- it takes a village -- to get us all to each show in one piece.
When I picture The Voice's backstage area, I picture a caffeine-infused anthill, complete with a cacophonous din making it impossible to concentrate. Of course, those are my own nerves talking, and I'm glad to know that The Voice has more than enough people in place to normalize life for the contestants during such a hectic and unpredictable situation. Especially since that situation can last for quite a while for the most successful performers. Without sleep or a familiar daily structure to adhere to, many people start to come apart at the seams, so while The Voice might be a more interesting experiment to watch without all of those dependable people keeping the peace, it's good they're there.
Waiting For Results Is Super-Stressful
Standing on stage and belting out a favorite song in front of The Voice's massive audience base is stress-inducing enough, but what about after the live episodes finish taping? Why, that's when all the contestants are forced to try and prepare for the next day's performance, even though everyone's minds are locked in on whether or not they'll get enough votes to remain on the show. I asked Chloe Kohanski how stressful things got when the only thing to do was wait on those results.
I think we'd all try to just act like we were chill. Like, 'Yeah, you know, whatever happens happens.' But obviously, week after week, you'd put so much work into it that you're like, 'Man, I really want this.' Of course, we're super-anxious to figure out the results and just know mentally: am I gonna be here another week? Do I need to get ready to get in that mindset of 'I'm not going anywhere,' and I get to do just one more song? I think we were very anxious to know the results each week. That was a very intense process every Monday night after we performed. We were like, 'Oh man, that felt so good.' And then you're like, 'Oh man, I could go home tomorrow.' You know? So it was a very anxious, stressful process. But it's just so worth it in the end. The good outweighs the negative for sure. . . . I think also, you can get lost in an anxious headspace just with social media nowadays. So before the results are in or anything, you're just going off of, 'Oh, let me check iTunes. Let me check Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. Who has more likes? Who has this, this and this?' You get a weird reality out here.
I'm certain that tons of Voice contestants have gone down mental black holes after attempting to forecast results using social media posts as a gauge. It's never wise to try and extract a solution when only one part of the data set is available, and watching Facebook and Twitter likely only serves as a distraction. Even if social media and iTunes numbers do reflect the final results, it's still probably more productive to look forward in preparation than to look back and second-guess things.
She's Not Interested In Being A TV Star
Even though Chloe Kohanski became the most recent Voice champ by showing off her vocal talents, there is no denying that she was often just as impressive from a visual perspective. She rocked a variety of eye-catching outfits, and her hairstyles and makeup were almost always something to marvel at. But just because she's as photogenic as a TV personality can get, that doesn't mean she's ready for a career on the small screen. When I asked about her post-Voice life, Kohanski did not sound eager to return to the visual medium.
Yeah, I don't think I'm gonna do anymore TV shows. I think this is gonna be the only one for me. I think I'm just gonna go home for the holidays, and enjoy that time with my family. And in 2018, I'm ready to get the ball rolling, and ready to start working on a record. I think it's gonna be an amazing year.
Not that she'll be taking her time on The Voice for granted. Kohanski told me her life changed almost instantaneously after the finale, and that she was looking forward to the holiday time with her family as a way to decompress and reenergize herself so that she can capitalize on her successes all throughout 2018 and beyond. But even though we might see a couple of music videos for whatever upcoming singles she'll put out, Kohanski probably won't show up on TV anywhere else.