"The Voice" mentor Blake Shelton, who has coached two back-to-back winners on the top-rating TV singing competition, was beaming like a proud parent when her ward, 23-year-old Cassadee Pope won over runner-up Terry McDermott and soul singer Nicholas David, to end up as season three's big winner in a two-hour live finale show telecast Tuesday night over NBC. The star mentor was instrumental for the pop-rocker's win, as she had become a strong finalist when he had made her dish out country songs in the competition.
According to Shelton, Pope started to gain ground in the show when she sang his wife Miranda Lambert's song "Over You". She then continued singing country songs throughout the competition, putting her own pop-rock twist to them, and even singing a country star Faith Hill's "Cry" in the finals.
"She's magic. She's just a special artist that God gave a little extra to," beamed Shelton about his protege. "I wish I could sit here and scientifically explain to y'all what it is about her, but the truth is, none of us can explain it. She's just one of those special people that is destined to be a star."
Pope will commence working on her record with Universal Republic, a deal which she got as part of her prize. She's eyeing to do a crossover album as her first professional record.
"I would love to do the pop/rock thing, but I know that I gained some amazing country fans and I know how hard it is to get into that world," Pope mused. "I'd love to add a country music element to it a bit. I used to cover country music when I was a kid and it's stylistically part of my voice somehow."
Season 4 of "The Voice" premieres March 25, 2013, with Usher and Shakira joining Shelton and Adam Levine of %Maroon as team leaders, replacing outgoing mentors Christina Aguilera and Cee-Lo