'Voice' winner expresses shock, gratitude after finale

LOS ANGELES – Nearly 90 minutes after winning The Voice on Tuesday, Tessanne Chin said the feeling still hadn't sunk in.

"It was absolute shock. I can't explain the emotions coursing through my body" when she heard her name called by host Carson Daly, Chin said on the post-finale red carpet. "I know there will be a lot more tears and a lot more celebration. And just feeling so grateful."

The 28-year-old from Kingston, Jamaica, finished ahead of two other finalists in the fifth edition of the NBC singing competition, runner-up Jacquie Lee, 16, of Colts Neck, N.J., and third-place finisher Will Champlin, 30, of Los Angeles.

Adam Levine claimed his second Voice coaching win with Chin's victory. "Tessanne is just a wonderful human being," he said. "When you combine that with the talent that she has, which is so potent, it's going to cause a stir. I believe she possesses all the elements that one needs to succeed in this business."

Levine said he encouraged her to try some classic songs by iconic performers, a move that can backfire if the singer isn't up to the task.

"We felt like she could handle it. The only way for us to go was to those sacred tunes, like Bridge Over Troubled Water, I Have Nothing (by) Whitney Houston," he said. "It was the natural evolution of who she was. We saved it for the end, which is great."

Chin sees the victory as a great step forward in her career.

"It means I get the opportunity to start my international career, and that's what I've always dreamed about. And it means that I get to record an album and go out there with music, not just to represent my country but to represent anybody who has a dream, to let them know it can happen," she said.

At the same time, she appreciates the strong Jamaican support she has received. "They're the first people that ever applauded me. They're the first people who ever gave me a chance to sing," she said. "It means the world to me to be able to represent them on this level and to take the trophy back to Jamaica."

Asked what kind of album she will make, Chin replied: "A damn good one." She went on to say it "will have an island swag, will definitely have a little rock to it and will definitely have some soul."

OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, who wrote Chin's victory song, Tumbling Down, with Noel Zancanella, praised her performance at the end of the show, particularly with all the emotions she must have been feeling. "She killed. I couldn't keep my composure if I'd just won."

The two-hour finale also featured numerous star performances, including appearances by Celine Dion, OneRepublic, Paramore and Lady Gaga, who performed a surprise duet of her song, Do What U Want, with Voice coach Christina Aguilera. (The Voice is averaging 14.5 million viewers this season, up 9% from last fall. It is down 3% in young adults from last fall, but ranks as the top scripted series and the No. 5 series overall in that category for the current season.)

"The Voice has an obligation to deliver for the fans and that was one of those big, giant moments," said executive producer Mark Burnett, who was happy to have kept the duet a secret. "It was a real big reveal. Loved it, loved it. We kept it so quiet."

The Voice will return Feb. 24 for its sixth season, with Levine and Blake Shelton back as coaches. They will be joined by Shakira and Usher, who will take the spinning red chairs of Aguilera and CeeLo Green.

Levine said having the second victory, which puts him one behind Shelton, "creates a little tension. It's good."

Shelton, however, isn't ready to give up first place in the coaching ranks. "He still needs another full season just to tie me. That's how I feel about our rivalry right now," he said. As for Season 6, "I'm coming down with a strong backhand across Adam's face."


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