Pop singer Kelly Clarkson believed in Jake from his first performance. She guided and encouraged him through the musical journey.
America's top singing competition, The Voice which began in 2011, has been entertaining its audience by showcasing brilliant talent from across the country. This year's season was no different, with contestant Jake Hoot being crowned the winner. The singer from Cookeville, Tennessee was coached by Kelly Clarkson. Having won the title, the 31-year-old thanked Kelly for believing in him. “Having Kelly believe in me from the get-go and being here tonight is just an incredible thing,” said Jake to People after the big win.
He also spoke about his journey and the influence Kelly had on him from day one. Jake landed on the show after receiving an invitation for a private audition. Though he initially thought it was fake, he was soon blown away after realizing the opportunity that came his way. Being a country singer, he looked forward to being mentored by Blake Shelton. However, it was Kelly who turned her chair first. “Honestly, I keep making fun of the other coaches because ‘Why didn’t you turn?’” said Kelly to Parade, after Jake's win.
The country singer credited Kelly for giving him the confidence to perform with everything he had and also added that she always gave him a different perspective. “I think having a coach that’s been through this type of process definitely gives her a different perspective than other coaches. This is not to bash any of the coaches, because everybody’s great, but I feel like with us, Kelly is so involved, whether it’s song choice, choreography, or the arrangement of the song, she’s just so hands-on with us. I think part of it is because she went through it, she knows what it’s like to be on this side of the competition,” said Jake. However, Kelly thinks she was just a cheerleader in a cute dress.
“She does a whole lot more than just sit there. She has helped me get out of my shell on stage. I say it in every interview. She is just the biggest cheerleader. That means more than you know, so I do appreciate it,” said Jake. Though he doubted his place in the show every week, he says he was lucky to have Kelly to encourage him. “And every step of the way, I’m like, ‘All right honey, I’ll be home next week,’ or ‘I’ll be home, after Battles,’ or ‘I’ll be home after Knockouts,’ and then Lives. I continued to doubt myself and Kelly continued to encourage me,” said Jake.
Having been through a similar journey to success, Kelly is able to relate to the experiences Jake has had. “It is cool to believe in something you hear and turn around and then change someone’s life,” said Kelly, who was the winner of American Idol. She remembered how that show became a turning point in her life and says it is important to support talents like Jake. “I know what that feels like because I wasn’t a waitress anymore. I was a good one but I was not a waitress anymore. I know what it is like to go through this process and it can be really hard. Not just Jake, but all my people, they have my number and my email. I love keeping in contact. I love everyone, not just Jake, who I will help, obviously, but I just think it is cool to be supportive of everyone.”
Apart from having similar musical journeys, the two have also delivered some personal and emotional songs. On one of the segments — Live Show nights, Jake performed Loggins & Messina’s “Danny’s Song.” He dedicated the song to his 4-year-old and could not hold back his emotions. Back when she was a contestant in American Idol, Clarkson too had sung about her troubled relationship with her father. It is no doubt Jake thrived under the mentoring of the pop singer.
Having helped Jake with the recipe of success, Kelly had one last piece of advice for the upcoming star. She said, "The best advice is literally to never, ever, ever put your worth or value in this job. I think a lot of people fall prey to that mindset and they get lost." She continued, "This job is super fun and we love to be vessels for great songs that might touch people or move people. But at the same time, we have our lives and 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.”