The Voice crowned the winner of Season 15, leaving the audience stunned and moving Kelly Clarkson to tears after the finale announcement by show host Carson Daly. The stunning upset put one of the show’s four remaining artists in the front seat and led the series to host another country superstar in its midst.
Chevel Shepherd, the 16-year-old country artist who was coached by Kelly Clarkson, seemed shocked when her name was called as the winner of the season after a nail-biting series of performances from Shepherd, Chris Kroeze, Kennedy Holmes, and Kirk Jay.
USA Today reported that Kelly Clarkson was thrilled for Shepherd, who is the second artist she has mentored in the two seasons she has been on the show that has won the title of The Voice.
“She made it just pure country and it’s beautiful. I was listening to her last night and I was like, ‘I remember like before, when I was like her. You just remember that point of your life,'” Clarkson told USA Today.
“It’s crazy. I feel so excited,” Shepherd told USA Today.
“It feels freaking awesome to win again,” said Clarkson to the outlet.
“I’ve just believed in (Chevel) since the blind auditions. She’s been a little favorite of mine.”
Clarkson then quipped she was happy to win over fellow coach Blake Shelton, a country music superstar who had two country artists in the final four.
“We beat Blake with a country artist!” Clarkson said triumphantly, then bringing her arm down in an overhand motion and exclaiming, “Boosh! That is like the best drop the mic.”
Heading into the final, Shepherd was considered a long shot.
Kirk Jay was favored to win the past several weeks as he turned out one stellar music performance after another, and he seemed likely to be the one to score coach Blake Shelton his seventh win on the show.
“I had no idea what was going to happen because all four artists were incredible and we’re all so different,” said Shepherd after winning the trophy and a major recording contract.
“Each of the country artists, me, Kirk and Chris, were all different aspects of country, so I didn’t know what would happen. I was just out there praying.”
Clarkson was stunned when Shepherd’s name was called. She believed that Kennedy Holmes would take it all. Holmes was coached by Jennifer Hudson.
The 14-year-old powerhouse was the only non-country performer. She sang, danced, and sassed her way through each performance and it was believed she had the competition in the bag, noted popular oddsmaker site Goldderby.
“So, that’s why I kind of prepared her: ‘It doesn’t matter if you win, girl.’ I thought they were going to split the country vote and I thought it would be Kennedy (Holmes),” who finished fourth, Clarkson said.
“It’s amazing it’s Chevel, but Kennedy, Chris, and Kirk deserved it, (too). They all worked really hard. And it matters what you do after, regardless of if you win or not.”
Shepherd plans on putting out her own classic country music in the vein of legends Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton.