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Jake Hoot The Voice NBC

In what was one of The Voice's most unpredictable season finales in a while, contestant Jake Hoot ended up taking home the top prize as Season 17's big winner. It was a moment that truly shocked fans of Ricky Duran, Katie Kadan, and Rose Short, and Hoot admitted to CinemaBlend it's a bit of a shock to him as well.

I got a chance to speak to The Voice's newest champ about his win, and whether or not he had foresaw his imminent victory when he first auditioned for the coaches. Jake Hoot shot straight with his response, and admitted there were several times throughout the process he thought it was his last time appearing in the competition.

Honestly, I still don't know how I won The Voice. I thought it was fake from the first moment that I got invited to come out and audition. And then every step of the way, I said that I was going home the very next week and it was going to be my last performance. And so to actually have won the thing, I'm still kind of in shock trying to figure out how it all happened.

Jake Hoot wasn't all that confident in his chances of winning, which is something that some viewers may have picked up on during his time on The Voice. Coach Kelly Clarkson steadily worked with Hoot on increasing his confidence on the stage, and his improvement undoubtedly helped sway more Americans to vote his way by the time the finale came along.

Hoot told CinemaBlend he was extremely grateful for Kelly Clarkson's mentorship, and will definitely be contacting her in the future for continued advice. The help she provided was invaluable, though Clarkson wasn't the person Hoot originally thought would be his Coach on The Voice. In his words:

I had gone in there hoping it would be Blake because I love Blake Shelton's music, I've loved his career. But the fact that Kelly turned, you know, that definitely meant the world to me. And so I was, I was just over the moon that I got a chair [turn].

As The Voice fans may remember, Kelly Clarkson was the sole chair turn for Jake Hoot's performance in the blind auditions. Blake Shelton later said he believed Clarkson had blocked him, causing him to not hit the button. It's a fairly flimsy defense, especially given that Shelton only needed to hit his button to confirm or deny that presumption.

Obviously, blind audition steals aren't something Jake Hoot is thinking about so fresh off The Voice win. The country singer still got the win under Team Kelly (who has fostered a few champions in her short tenure), and said he harbors no hard feelings about Shelton not making an attempt to put him on his country-fueled team.

Absolutely not. . . . I've talked to Blake a couple of times. He's a super nice guy, but absolutely not, I was just happy anybody turned.

Jake Hoot didn't get to spend a ton of time talking to Blake Shelton, but learned enough to know he's a good guy. It's good to hear there's no ill will on Hoot's end about Shelton overlooking his strong country voice (for whatever reason), and perhaps this is just the start of these two working together at some point down the road.

The Voice is done for now, but it'll be back for Season 18 on NBC Monday, February 24. Stick with CinemaBlend for more information on the new season ahead of its premiere, and for the latest news happening in television and movies.

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