When The Voice wrapped up its latest season, only the golden pipes of Massachusetts native Brynn Cartelli survived the final voting, thus giving the show its youngest champion ever. It also marked the only season when a first-time coach came out on top, and the ever-jubilant Kelly Clarkson shined brighter than the spotlights. Cartelli spoke with CinemaBlend after the big finale, and I had to ask about the best advice she got from Clarkson throughout the season. And it sounds like The Voice's newest coach thought it most important to help Brynn keep her head on straight. In Cartelli's words:
She talked a lot about breaking into the music industry, and knowing how to hold my ground against people that will try to change me, and try to take advantage of me being young and thinking I don't have an understanding of what I want to do. She talked to me a lot about that and how I needed to stand up to that, and how I need to fight it. Kelly also told me a lot about how I need to remember the normal things in life and still do those things, and have fun and enjoy what I'm doing, because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. It really doesn't matter what you're doing, but you need to be happy in whatever it is that you're doing. And I'm so lucky that I found that so early, and I'm very passionate about it, and I know that music's gonna be a part of my life forever. I want to do this for everyone. I want to write, I want to sing, I want to create music, and she's really taught me if it's that that I want to do, it needs to be something I enjoy. And it's really been amazing working with her.
Kelly Clarkson rose to fame as the winner of American Idol's very first season, as opposed to taking a more traditional entry into the music industry, and she is one of the most successful winners of any reality competition series in TV history. As such, she knows all too well the kind of life and career that Brynn Cartelli could be destined for, as well as the many obstacles and setbacks that have the potential to knock her off the path to success. As such, the biggest pieces of advice she could offer weren't tethered to hitting certain pitches or how to carry on high notes longer.
Instead, Kelly Clarkson kept reminding Brynn Cartelli to keep her drive and focus behind the scenes, where youth can often be targeted by people in power, both for financial mean and for creative means. Even winning The Voice offers no guarantees about what happens next in the music industry, but Cartelli has now gotten a crash course in surviving that world from a superstar who understands it better than most. (Although one imagines that the less successful winners of singing competition would have more detailed advice about the down side of things.) In any case, I hope that the young winner is able to retain all of Clarkson's teachings better than the average 15-year-old student retains school lessons, and that she has fun putting them into practice.
I bet she will retain every syllable, too, since Brynn Cartelli has been a huge Kelly Clarkson fan for much of her life. (She was still seven months away from birth when Clarkson won American Idol.) The two entertainers performed a duet together for the finale, covering Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" in a stellar fashion, keeping the song largely the same while giving it a more modern feel. When I asked about what it was like to take the stage with Clarkson in a one-on-one capacity (and not just as part of the team song with the coach from earlier in the season), here's what Cartelli told me.
When we sang 'Don't Dream It's Over,' I think it was really fun, because it's one of those songs that I think has a really pretty message. I really loved how it turned out. We worked really hard on it. It's been a dream of mine for a really long time to speak with her, literally since I was little, so it was a dream come true, standing up there. But I tell you, no matter what the outcome is, there are so many amazing things that happened.
The Voice fans got to watch a lot of those amazing things happen, and with all the people that tuned in and voted to make Brynn Cartelli the latest winner, I'm betting a lot of those viewers will continue to follow the young star as she reaches her next plateau of success down the road. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more from our interview with the talented artist.
The Voice is currently on hiatus, but it will return to NBC for Season 15 later this year, with Kelly Clarkson returning to defend her championship, as it were, against fellow returning coach Jennifer Hudson. While waiting to hear when it will premiere, head to our summer premiere schedule for everything appearing in the coming months.