It was a rare season for NBC’s The Voice. While coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani were all eager to get at least one country artist on their respective teams, when it came down to the live rounds, there were only a couple of singers who had a country flavor. Fortunately, one of them rose to the top — Jake Hoot. And he wasn’t even on Team Blake!
Jake, a resident of Cookeville, Tennessee, auditioned during the third episode of the show with his rendition of Luke Combs’ “When It Rains It Pours.” The greatest surprise came in that the sweet singer was just a one-chair turn — Kelly Clarkson.
Throughout the season, it was apparent the bond that he and his coach were building. Following almost every performance, Kelly would declare, “I LOVE Jake Hoot.” At 6’-6”, he towered over his petite coach, but his gentle and incredibly humble nature endeared him to everyone on the show.
An obvious contender for the finale, Jake was often the most streamed artist following live performances of songs like Kenny Loggins’ “Danny’s Song,” Trace Adkins’ “Every Light in the House,” Rhett Akins’ “That Ain’t My Truck,” and the Eagles’ “Desperado.” However, it was a duet of Sarah McLachlan’s “Wintersong” with his coach that may have pushed voters over the edge.
During the finale, country music showed up in a big way with performances from Lady Antebellum, Luke Combs and Little Big Town, who was joined by Jake for their current smash, “Over Drinking.”
The show culminated with host Carson Daly announced the finalists in reverse order and it was a close call. Chicagoan Katie Kadan had been a frontrunner from the first episode with her Broadway voice, sparkling personality and animated performances, however, she came in a surprising third place. And in the end, it was Jake’s name who was called as the winner.
Congratulations Jake Hoot, his loyal and growing fan base — the Hooters — and coach Kelly Clarkson. We’re looking forward to that first record.