Last night’s live finale was a whirlwind of emotions for the Final 3 contestants on The Voice Season 3. In the last few nail-biting minutes, punk rocker Cassadee Pope was crowned this season’s victor.

Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with the singer just moments after she won to talk about her plans for the future, what it was like to sing with her idol, Avril Lavigne, and her close relationship with coach, Blake Shelton.

Wetpaint Entertainment: Congratulations! What will your original music be like after The Voice?

Cassadee Pope: Maybe just a little hint of country in there. It’s going to be everything that you’ve seen on the show … that kind of ‘90s, early ‘00s feel with kind of a modern twist to it.

Do any of your performances signify what it will be like?

I think “Behind These Hazel Eyes” is a great one. I would totally release a song like that of my own. “Are You Happy Now?” is also up my alley now.

How much have you changed and grown since you started the show?

I think vocally, I’ve become a little more confident. At the beginning, I was very timid and I was very intimidated by the rest of the competition. The further I got and the more I believed in myself, the more I came into my own. I started doing vocal exercises every day and really taking care of myself and my health, and I could feel my voice getting stronger. I’m happy I took it seriously.

Would you want to work with Blake Shelton going forward?

Yeah. Blake and I are totally going to keep in touch. I’ve already made him swear that he will sing on my album.

How do you think that The Voice will help your career?

The Voice has given me an incredible platform that I wouldn’t have gotten any other way. I have triple the amount of fans that I had before — I just have this army behind me now that I’m excited to charge ahead with, so that will be fun.

Credit: Trae Patton/NBC © NBC Universal, Inc. Photo: Blake Shelton and Cassadee Pope in the Live Finale, Dec. 18, 2012

Blake Shelton chimes in: You did a hell of a job!
Why did you choose him?

Cassadee:  I chose Blake because he smells really good.

Blake: Oh my god, I would pay her to be on her record!

Cassadee: Anyway, I picked Blake because I’ve seen the past two seasons, and I love the way he acted with the artists. He let them kind of do their own thing, and I wanted someone that encouraged me and stood behind me but didn’t tell me how to sing or what to sing. He’s been just a great support system.

Besides winning, what’s been the biggest thrill of being on the show?

I think singing with Avril [Lavigne] tonight was probably the biggest thing. That’s something that I never expected to happen to me, and it was my last performance on the show, so I truly feel like the stars aligned in this whole thing.

What did Nicholas David and Terry McDermott say to you after you won?

They have been so supportive and almost encouraging me to win. They’ve kind of stepped back and said, “We think you’re going to win this. You’re good. We think you got it. You gotta win this.” It’s been an interesting ride. It hasn’t been competitive at all. It’s something different than I expected. I was kind of nervous coming into this, [thinking] that people would be competitive and scary and cutthroat, but it hasn’t been like that at all. Terry and Nicholas are two of the best people that I’ve ever met.

Did you think you would win?

No. I mean the closer I got, the more I was like, “Oh my gosh, this could happen.” But at the beginning with all those big voices and all those people, I just felt like I was getting swallowed in the group, but the further I got, I felt like I was starting to stand out a little bit. It was great.

Avril Lavigne looked like she was a big supporter of you today. What were the rehearsals like?

The rehearsals were great because I think she knew that I was a huge fan. She went and watched the songs that I covered of hers on the show and she said that I did a good job. She was just very very sweet from the get-go. She liked what I was doing with the song. It was really cool to perform with her. She’s amazing.

Would you like to have her on your album?

Absolutely! I would love to have Avril on my album. I’m not sure she would do that. She’s got a few things coming up. She’s got an album coming up next year, so [maybe] if she has time.

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