Kelly Clarkson is no stranger to winning a reality singing show, so she was the perfect person for Jake Hoot to get advice from after he was named winner of The Voice on Dec. 17. “I think the best advice is literally coming back to never, ever, ever putting your worth or value in this job,” Kelly told HollywoodLife and other media outlets following the finale. “I think a lot of people fall prey to that mindset and they get lost. They’re not as famous as they were, they freak out, and their identity is kind of….they’re having an identity crisis. This job is super fun. This hobby is super fun and we’d love to be vessels for great songs that might touch people or move people, but at the same time, we have our lives. You’ve got to invest in your family and all that because that’s what’s going to be there through the day, every day. Not this job.”
This advice especially rings true for Jake, who has a young daughter, Macy, at home. “[Kelly] told me…it’s all about being in the moment where you’re at,” Jake revealed. “When you’re at work, you’re invested in work, and if you’re spending time with your family and your kids, it’s all about that. No outside noise, no distractions. So that was a huge piece of advice.” Kelly and Jake have a special bond as parents, and their partnership flourished as she helped coach him to the win. However, Kelly made it clear that she takes NO credit for Jake’s success.
“It’s the biggest joke to me when people congratulate me,” Kelly admitted. “Because I sat in a chair. I just sat there and I encouraged him and I am a pretty good cheerleader because I love humans. Even the ones I don’t like, I try to find something I like. But I’m literally a glorified cheerleader, y’all. I did nothing. He did everything.” Still, Jake assured her that her support was invaluable. He added, “She does a whole lot more than just sit there. She has helped me get out of my shell onstage. [She] is just the biggest cheerleader. That means more than you know.”
Kelly also gushed that she felt “super blessed” to be on this journey with Jake, and said that she “lucked out” by having him on her team. “He is just super humble,” Kelly revealed. “I grew up, my parent’s told me to have a servant’s heart. That’s how you should live your life. And he is a walking, breathing, servant’s heart. He is such a good dude. On top of that, there is, like, a microphone in his vocal chords. It’s just a really cool thing to be reminded of how somebody genuinely loves music and loves singing. Everything is so pure and there is no hidden agenda. He just wants to be here because he wants to sing. That’s a good reminder for us all who get jaded sometimes. He is such a great person, I’m not kidding.”
This marks Kelly’s third win in just four seasons on The Voice (she took home the title in season 14 with Brynn Cartelli and season 15 with Chevel Shepherd, as well). She’ll return to the show for season 18 in 2020, alongside Blake Shelton, John Legend and Nick Jonas, who will also serve as coaches.