Credit: Trae Patton/NBC © NBC Universal, Inc. Photo: Cassadee Pope Wins The Voice Season 3! Dec. 18, 2012

If you asked Cassadee Pope if she ever imagined herself winning The Voice this time last year, she would have laughed it off. Though she was crowned the show’s Season 3 winner on Tuesday, the punk rock singer initially turned down an offer to audition.

Cassadee told Rolling Stone that when she was still in her band, Hey Monday, she was approached to try out for Season 2, but she immediately shot them down. However, after she struggled with her solo career out in Los Angeles, she reconsidered — and almost turned it down again!

"I almost passed on it again," she admitted. "I don't know why … just being in the band world, you tend to get a little proud. A part of me just didn't want to do this show because I wanted to do it from the ground up. I really wanted to do it the old-fashioned way, which is kind of impossible nowadays — especially when everyone thinks you're going to sound exactly like your band and no one's interested."

This isn’t to say that Cassadee isn’t grateful for the opportunity; in fact, she called it the “best career decision” she’s ever made, allowing her to break away from her Hey Monday roots and sound “entirely different.”

Though having experience in the business was great, her prior fame that had fans up in arms at the beginning of the season, claiming that she had an “unfair advantage.” However, for her, though it was “discouraging,” it made her push that much harder.

“I had to just prove myself and try to prove people wrong. I thought it was kind of crazy to think that someone like me — who's been working towards this my whole life, since I was four years old, and then toured in bands and did all that, and really has been working hard — doesn't deserve it as much as someone else next to me who's never done it before,” she explained. “I feel like if you have the heart and the passion for it, you deserve it."

Do you think Cassadee had an unfair advantage, and did she deserve to win The Voice? Sound off below.


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