Jake Hoot wins “The Voice” season 17

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And, seemingly just like that, it’s over. After weeks of speculation, commenting and reading comments online, judging performances as they aired, it is over. A new winner of “The Voice” has been crowned. Jake Hoot, a six-foot-six country crooner with a humble persona and radio-friendly voice has won.

Did anyone see this coming? Odds are definitely against a singer who only gets one chair to turn for him. Certainly there were singers already voted off who’d had at least two chairs turn for them.

Jake Hoot and “The Voice”

Maybe what made the difference for Hoot was that indescribable element known as “star quality.” For all his no-nonsense approach, Hoot proved he could have fun as he joked with his coach, Kelly Clarkson.

Also, his original song, “Better Off Without You,” did sound like it had already made it to the radio. It registered well even with some people who are not country fans.

The Final Four were ultimately ranked as follows: Rose Short was fourth; Katie Kadan was third, and Ricky Duran was runner-up. In true “The Voice” fashion, the runner-up is not announced. Duran disappeared from the stage as Hoot doubled over in surprise.

Even without being able to qualify exactly why Hoot won, besides the fact that he received the most votes, his star quality is there. He has presence and held his own while performing with Little Big Town.

The winners of “The Voice ” receive $100,000 and a recording contract. For Hoot’s fans, audiences can hope that his writing ability is put to good use on a debut album.

Regardless of what happens next, Hoot has gotten his Hollywood ending. From one chair turn to winning it all, no matter what genre a person favors, that is pretty remarkable. Audiences wait to see what Hoot and the next season of “The Voice” have to offer.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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