The Voice Season 13 Winner Chloe Kohanski Reflects on Her Unusual Collaboration with Coach Blake Shelton

The Nashville native is still processing that she just won The Voice, but she's ready to celebrate the holidays with her family and then get to work on her first album.

by | December 20, 2017 | Comments

THE VOICE -- season 13 "Live Finale" - Chloe Kohanski (Trae Patton/NBC)

The Voice crowned its 13th winner on Tuesday night when 23-year-old Nashville native Chloe Kohanski took home the silver microphone trophy. If you’ve been following along all season, the Team Blake win wasn’t a huge surprise; Kohanski was immensely popular with viewers, who lit up social media each week when she performed.

Kohanski is only the third singer in Voice history to hit No. 1 on the iTunes singles chart three times in one season for her performances of her original song “Wish I Didn’t Love You,” “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner, and “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler. The previous two singers with that distinction are season 3 Voice winner Cassadee Pope and season 9 winner Jordan Smith.

Her competition in the finale included Addison Agen from Team Adam, Red Marlow from Team Blake, and Brooke Simpson from Team Miley, but Kohanski prevailed, winning a recording contract and joining the cast of “The Voice: Neon Dreams,” which premieres in the spring at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

After her whirlwind night, Kohanski told Rotten Tomatoes that she was pleasantly surprised by how well she and coach Blake Shelton worked together and that she can’t wait to collaborate with more artists that might be unexpected partners.

THE VOICE -- season 13 "Live Finale" - Blake Shelton, Chloe Kohanski (Trae Patton/NBC)

Andrea Reiher for Rotten Tomatoes: You just won The Voice. How are you feeling? Has it even sunk in yet?
Chloe Kohanski: I feel pretty insane, honestly. I think it’s still sinking in, like every minute of every hour [laughs]. I know for a fact when I got back to my hotel room last night, I just kind of sat there and was like, “I just won The Voice!” It’s kind of nuts. It’s crazy cool. I’m super excited.

Your blind audition was great and you got three chair turns. What made you initially choose Miley for your coach?
Kohanski: So I kind of went into it thinking I was going to pick Miley because she’s a little outside the box and not afraid to be different. We’re kind of similar and I thought I could learn and grow under her. I think it was a really good team, I really liked being on Team Miley, but for some reason, it just didn’t end up that way and I wouldn’t want anything to go any differently because then I would never have worked with Blake. I think that we’re going to be friends forever, and I really appreciate Blake and everything he did for me.

When Miley chose Ashland over you in the Knockout Rounds when you performed “Landslide,” were you surprised? That came as a huge shock to the viewers.
Kohanski: Truthfully, and I’ve said this to everybody that’s asked this question, that was the only time in the entire season that I felt like I knew I was going to make it and it’s the one I actually didn’t win. [laughs] I was so confident in “Landslide” because I love Fleetwood Mac, I love Stevie Nicks, and I really felt like I truly embodied everything that song represents. I gave it my all, I gave it my best and I was pretty confident. Not cocky, but I was just like, “I got this.” And then she picked Ashland and I was like, “Whoa. I’m about to be off the show!” Luckily Blake stole me and everything worked out, but I was kind of shocked just because I laid it all out on the line with that song, you know?

You and Blake ended up working so well together. How was Blake different than Miley as a coach?
Kohanski: I don’t think that there’s two more different people than Blake and Miley. Miley is extremely hands on. She’s a visionary, she’s a creator. Blake is more laidback, he’s more low key, and he doesn’t focus too much on the visuals … I think if I would’ve stayed with Miley, we both would have had a lot of dreams and a lot of vision and it might have gotten a little hectic. But Blake just letting me do my thing was really the perfect yin-yang relationship, where he just told me if it sounded good or not and I just did my thing. We joked around about how he had no say whatsoever in my outfits because half the time he didn’t understand what I was wearing. [laughs]

Do you have a favorite performance from the season?
Kohanski: Before Monday night, I probably would have said “Total Eclipse of the Heart” just because I really transformed in the middle of that song. Literally, if you watch it on YouTube, in the beginning I’m holding back, I’m overthinking and in the middle of the song I just kind of let go and really gave it my all and really felt the emotion of the song. But then Monday night happened and even though I think it was a risky move, “Bette Davis Eyes” was my favorite performance of the season because I was able to just have fun. Rock is supposed to be fun and I was having the time of my life up there.

Your single, “Wish I Didn’t Love You,” is a beautiful piece. How did you feel about it? Is it the type of music you want to release as an artist?
Kohanski: It was important for the first piece of original music that I release to have a timeless feel because that’s the type of music I want to make. Now, is everything going to sound like that one song? No, because I still want to have up-tempo rock songs as well as ballads, but I think it’s a good representation of me as an artist as far as lyricism goes. It’s a story and it was emotional and a little vulnerable and I think it’s important to sing songs like that. Love isn’t always pretty, it’s not perfect and it’s messy and it hurts and sometimes as much as you want to say you love someone, you have to say I wish I didn’t love you.


After the final performances, social media seemed to think you had it in the bag. How did you feel about the finals? Did you think you were going to win?
Kohanski: No, I never, never, not once thought I was going to win the show. The only thing I knew was that after “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” I started to become somewhat of a “fan-favorite,” I think that’s what they call it. So I saw the social media reactions and I was like, “OK, cool. There’s traction here.” I’m growing as an artist and the fans are growing too and the numbers are growing. And then iTunes was consistently pretty high on the charts. So I never thought I was going to win, but I wasn’t surprised I made it to the finale because the feedback I got week after week was so encouraging. But iTunes was neck and neck Monday night, we were all up there in the Top 10 and that’s not the only way that voting happens, so I think it could have swung either way, anyway. I’m just blown away that I won. I think that’s just wild. For a woman in rock music, that is so cool.

So, what’s next for you?
Kohanski: I think I get to go to Universal [Studios Hollywood] later, and I get to meet the Grinch [laughs], and I get to go to Harry Potter World. No, um, obviously I think I’m going to be with my family for the holidays, but then after that I’ll sign with Republic [Records] … and then I’ll start working on a record and hopefully working with people that maybe are unexpected. I never would have thought I would be able to learn as much as I did from Blake Shelton, so I want to open up the doors to working with people that might not make sense on paper, collaborating with different artists like that, because you can never stop learning. That’s the most important thing.

The Voice returns for season 14 in a two-hour premiere on Feb. 26, 2018, with coaches Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton.

Tag Cloud

a nightmare on elm street Comic Book golden globe awards Television Critics Association james bond anthology slasher 20th Century Fox festival Comics on TV ID breaking bad criterion slashers Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt History 72 Emmy Awards Netflix Christmas movies witnail Avengers what to watch sag awards Thanksgiving blockbusters boxoffice television franchise Mystery spinoff rom-coms The CW dark police drama Spectrum Originals Podcast Trophy Talk GoT The Arrangement HBO Go 73rd Emmy Awards 2019 MSNBC Binge Guide dramedy telelvision FXX Columbia Pictures comiccon psycho sports documentary serial killer FX on Hulu HBO Max TCA Winter 2020 Pixar obituary festivals Spike TCM crime drama thriller Christmas nbcuniversal Epix marvel comics series Rocky PBS Trivia political drama Crackle hidden camera Marvel Studios black anime Pet Sematary Anna Paquin Shondaland know your critic cancelled TV shows Turner A24 renewed TV shows die hard posters spy thriller Legendary Ovation Song of Ice and Fire GLAAD psychological thriller Musicals Showtime superman Watching Series Tubi TV renewals cancelled The Academy Holidays BAFTA Western foreign marvel cinematic universe DC streaming service The Witch LGBT E! SundanceTV strong female leads Superheroes adenture godzilla Tokyo Olympics screenings Sony Pictures pirates of the caribbean Mary Poppins Returns TIFF 45 Black History Month news ratings kaiju Crunchyroll zero dark thirty Apple TV+ Hallmark Cannes Infographic Exclusive Video sequels Brie Larson romantic comedy critics venice Logo PlayStation TCA Awards video on demand First Look RT History cinemax spain australia Toys crime thriller OWN El Rey Travel Channel animated kids FOX Photos TV Land binge cancelled television spanish game of thrones 2016 dragons DC Universe Alien Elton John ESPN joker ABC richard e. Grant Television Academy Marathons cancelled TV series mcc south america scene in color Mudbound Stephen King Action TV One The Walt Disney Company razzies singing competition worst movies space WGN Disney streaming service comic book movie football suspense superhero Lionsgate green book christmas movies Awards First Reviews target fast and furious dceu Extras social media japan toy story halloween action-comedy latino basketball royal family robots Schedule game show documentaries Amazon Prime twilight National Geographic prank Acorn TV Endgame science fiction Netflix Fox Searchlight disaster E3 elevated horror universal monsters APB casting Bravo comics Peacock Broadway ghosts new zealand new york AMC movies fresh Oscars Paramount Plus BET Red Carpet trailers harry potter Apple hist Apple TV Plus Universal Paramount cooking RT21 ViacomCBS 2018 lord of the rings sitcom scorecard doctor who NBA Amazon Prime Video CNN medical drama free movies Premiere Dates 2015 21st Century Fox biography canceled TV shows nature Year in Review young adult 24 frames USA Network Character Guide cops Polls and Games Reality Disney Plus Pop SXSW Sundance TV dc Hallmark Christmas movies Emmy Nominations based on movie 1990s zombie book rt archives international adaptation boxing transformers Rock YouTube Premium monster movies spider-man VH1 DGA screen actors guild Comic-Con@Home 2021 asian-american Walt Disney Pictures Disney The Purge Mary Tyler Moore video Baby Yoda streaming movies concert stop motion canceled critic resources spanish language blockbuster true crime Pop TV Nickelodeon dexter 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards BET Awards TCA 2017 Film Festival french zombies debate TruTV Cartoon Network Chilling Adventures of Sabrina heist movie CBS streaming Mary poppins YA Winners new star wars movies Family hispanic heritage month ABC Signature classics emmy awards CBS All Access Video Games talk show movie biopic Sundance Now NYCC Country BBC One A&E legend award winner Musical indiana jones TV Cosplay IFC Films cats Rocketman YouTube Red 71st Emmy Awards CMT rt labs critics edition 4/20 Valentine's Day all-time Pirates DC Comics saw mission: impossible Ghostbusters Comedy romance Freeform technology Academy Awards ABC Family crossover stoner Summer 90s Kids & Family king kong directors war Esquire TBS Vudu chucky Wes Anderson archives unscripted Women's History Month Lucasfilm Martial Arts Star Trek justice league Sci-Fi OneApp docuseries 2017 Nat Geo remakes deadpool Writers Guild of America Election LGBTQ DirecTV SDCC President Shudder San Diego Comic-Con facebook Mindy Kaling TV movies Opinion historical drama WarnerMedia popular italian American Society of Cinematographers rotten movies we love best Syfy Discovery Channel diversity Amazon indie reboot Turner Classic Movies kong Trailer TNT Interview Fox News Tomatazos BBC America films Quiz comic YouTube The Walking Dead Box Office Masterpiece 99% cartoon Captain marvel Pacific Islander child's play parents sequel book adaptation Disney Channel MTV Certified Fresh TCA Calendar supernatural docudrama satire cults jamie lee curtis independent period drama Heroines See It Skip It GIFs HBO Sneak Peek Best and Worst Black Mirror toronto nfl Biopics live action jurassic park blaxploitation VICE name the review comic book movies feel good children's TV 2020 batman hollywood Pride Month Hear Us Out aliens Britbox 93rd Oscars Marvel Television vampires halloween tv laika Disney+ Disney Plus Creative Arts Emmys CW Seed Image Comics natural history Fall TV Ellie Kemper Grammys Super Bowl crime TLC X-Men dogs IFC Film Chernobyl aapi olympics high school Winter TV Teen adventure Nominations ITV comic books Spring TV Classic Film stand-up comedy Sundance gangster Tarantino Lifetime Hulu rt labs tv talk quibi worst miniseries MCU Tumblr Paramount Network versus golden globes Superheroe BBC scary movies Marvel rotten Reality Competition theme song USA Lifetime Christmas movies revenge king arthur comedies Arrowverse Animation hispanic wonder woman Starz Funimation Fantasy FX women Countdown Dark Horse Comics Warner Bros. Music Emmys composers 007 discovery teaser japanese Awards Tour Food Network Adult Swim Rom-Com Holiday VOD finale Amazon Studios Comedy Central cars mockumentary Horror New York Comic Con Drama travel mutant NBC Set visit 2021 reviews politics Star Wars PaleyFest werewolf