Her blind audition on The Voice got all four judges to press their buttons. She had not one, but two performances from the show reach the No. 1 spot on the iTunes singles chart during the season. But Season 5 winner Tessanne Chin says she still didn't see her victory coming.
"At the end of it, I was just like, 'Let it be.' We've all done all that we can," Chin told TVGuide.com after Tuesday's results show. "As you can tell, I was very, very shocked."
The 28-year-old Jamaican native was named the victor of Season 5 thanks in small part to her emotional, and subsequently memorable, renditions of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "I Have Nothing." "She consistently brought it performance after performance and she emotionally connected with America," executive producer Mark Burnett said. "I think she's really connected her heart with the viewers. The Voice is a very uplifting show and I think she's a very uplifting person."
The win was not only big for Chin, but also for her coach Adam Levine, whose team hadn't won since Season 1. Levine had two chances at taking home the top prize as both Chin and second runner-up Will Champlin, were voted into the finals. "He's dedicated. He's invested. He has really taken care with the choices that he's made for us and he has been very passionate about it," Chin said of her coach. "There have been times where we've bumped heads and I've been like, 'I don't want to sing that song, and he was like 'Tess, trust me,' and I'm so glad that I did."
Despite her past experience opening for Patti Labelle and Gladys Knight and her limited commercial success in Jamaica, Chin said The Voice changed her "in every possible way" as a performer. "This was like a last cry for me, to be standing here today was just absolutely amazing," she said. "My confidence has gone through the roof. Also I feel like the experience and training we've been put through here is something that I will take with me through my entire career."
Team Adam's other finalist, Champlin, echoed that sentiment: "I just took away a lot of overall confidence in what I do as an artist."
Although Chin and Champlin had to share Levine as a mentor right up until the end, Chin shrugged off any concerns. "We're completely different artists," she said. "I think we are strong in so many different ways. Apples and oranges. [Adam's] a good parent. He knows how to make each child feel equally supported and loved."
For his part, Levine seemed to know he had something special on his hands with Chin. "I believe that she was destined for success whether it was on The Voice or abroad. I knew that this was going to happen in some way, shape or form for her, and I think we all feel that way about our team members," Levine said. "Going into this part of the competition is always something we dread in a way because we want them to understand that success reaches beyond winning The Voice. Tessanne knows this as much as anybody. This isn't over yet. This is just the beginning for her."
Now that she's won The Voice, Chin said she was looking forward to getting into the studio and making an album. "I know that I want to make an album that is true to me and where I am, and I know anything that I do is definitely going to have a little bit of an island [sound] because that's where I'm from," she said. "But I want to have sick beats that people can dance to and that will move people."
As for Levine, Burnett predicted that Tuesday's win for his team would kick up the competition on the next season ofThe Voice. "It's like sports," Burnett said. "I'm sure Adam is so going to win next season to make it three [wins], but I'm sure Shakira and Usher have things to say about that."
The Voice returns for Season 6 on Monday, Feb. 24 at 8/7c on NBC. Do you think the right person won?