SPOILER ALERT. I did that backwards, didn’t I? Sorry. Kelly revealed the news on her Instagram this morning and it’s all over Twitter so I’m actually not that sorry. When it comes to reality show finales, you should know that you have to watch that sh-t live. Spoilers are saving television.

Since Kelly Clarkson made her debut as the newest coach of The Voice, I’ve been raving about what a smart choice it was for her and for the show. Not only did she bring fresh energy to a coaching panel of artists that have seemed bored and over it for the past few seasons, Kelly Clarkson may have just saved The Voice’s credibility in the music industry. Until now, none of the winners of The Voice have become legit stars. Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbery, both from Team Blake, have done well in the country world but haven’t achieved cross-over appeal like Carrie Underwood was able to do post-American Idol. I can barely remember the names of most of The Voice winners (my personal faves are Team Adam’s Tessanne Chin and runner-up Dia Frampton from Team Blake but both have had lackluster careers) and the show now has the reputation of being more about the coaches than about the contestants. 

Case in point: I’m two paragraphs into this post and I have yet to name the winner of season 14 of The Voice. Team Kelly’s Brynn Cartelli won the season and thanks to her coach, she may just be the first real star to come out of the machine that is The Voice. Brynn is the youngest contestant to win the show (she’s 15!!!) and she’s got an intangible magnetism that a pop star needs to succeed. She’s like the girl-next-door version of Ariana Grande. Even though I loved Britton Buchanan (I called him Little Landry all season, FNL fans, you feel me?), was blown away by Kyla Jade’s vocals and I think country music needs SpenshaBaker, I’m super into Brynn.  

Huffington Post did a deep dive into why The Voice has yet to produce a top-selling artist and while there are a lot of reasons (networks like ABC and CBS won’t promote artists that come from an NBC show for example), one of the biggest is the music. Carson Daly put it like this: 

“A hit song is a hit song is a hit song, and I don’t care who sings it. You can ask Charlie Puth or Meghan Trainor; Fall Out Boy did this back in the day without any help from radio. If you have a hit song, it’s going to happen for you. It’s just a matter of time.”

He’s not wrong. It’s about whether these artists can make it on pop radio after the confetti canon goes and the coaches move on to the next season. It’s about the work. Kelly Clarkson knows this. And she’s been proving for decades that she knows how to make a hit song. After last night’s finale, Kelly told reporters at a press conference that her priority for Brynn was finding a hit single. That they did. Kelly hand-picked Brynn’s latest single called “Walk My Way,” written by Julia Michaels, and it’s a BOP.  I’m slightly obsessed. 

You’re going to have that song in your head for the rest of the day. You’re welcome. 
Kelly Clarkson NAILED IT as the host of the Billboard Awards, as I predicted, and she just won The Voice. When she signed on for both of these gigs, I asked if she needed them. I wondered if Kelly Clarkson’s career would benefit from being on a reality singing competition and hosting an awards show. I think the answer now is a resounding yes. Her latest album Meaning of Life – the one I keep yelling at you to pay attention to – has jumped a few spots on the charts in the past week and right now, she’s basking in nothing but positive press. IF she also puts in the work with Brynn and delivers the first breakout star of the The Voice, that only reflects even better on Kelly. 

The thing about Kelly Clarkson that makes her so delightful (my favourite word to describe her) is that she probably doesn’t give a sh-t if Brynn’s success does anything for her own. We watched her fangirl over Brynn all season. She kept saying that she wanted to do for someone what was done for her on American Idol. She truly wants Brynn to beat the odds and not fade away into reality show purgatory with Taylor Hicks and Javier Colon. If Kelly’s rooting for her, so am I.