In the weeks leading up to the finale of The Voice, Cassadee Pope has comfortably held court at the top of the iTunes charts, but the Florida pop-rocker still appeared completely stunned by her win Tuesday evening.
"Holy moly cannoli!!! I won!!!!!!!!" she tweeted immediately after the results were announced. "Thank you all SO much. I'm absolutely in awe and so thankful for this incredible experience."
Pope, 22, and her fellow finalists - Scottish rocker Terry McDermott and Minnesota soul man Nicholas David - endured a very long two hours of performances, onstage banter and video montages before she was officially crowned the season three winner.
McDermott, Blake Shelton's other mentee, was named the runner-up and Team Cee Lo Green's David came in third.
"I love you guys. You're the weirdest, most amazing men I've ever met," Pope told McDermott and David onstage just prior to the results. "I'm going to miss hanging out with you every single day."
The singer later admitted that she never thought she'd get so far in the competition, let alone win the whole thing.
"I kind of thought at the knockouts that I was done," she told reporters after the show, referring to the early battle round of the competition. "I was not happy with that performance and I remember watching it at home being like, 'Man, Blake took a chance on me!' So I appreciated that and that was probably my lowest moment as far as my performance goes."
Her mentor Blake Shelton, however, said that Pope's self-criticism was unwarranted.
"First of all, I don't know anybody who has ever beat themselves up more than Cassadee does, week after week," he told Us. "Last week she did 'Stupid Boy,' and she was like, 'Oh my god, it sucked so bad. It's over. It's over.' And I was like, 'Really?!' And I held up my phone and she was like, number one on iTunes and dominated, and it was like, 'Well, what are you talking about?'"
"It's never enough and that's what makes for an artist."
Going forward, Pope said she's yet to decide what direction to take her talents, even if Shelton is clearly revving for some country tunes, a la Kelly Clarkson or Sheryl Crowe.
"I would love to do the pop-rock thing that I've been wanting to do but I also know that I've gained some amazing country fans and I know how hard it is to get into that world, so I would add a little country element to it," she said. "I used to cover country music a lot when I was a kid so it's a part of me and it's kind of stylistically part of my voice somehow."
"And also, when I write, I tend to go a little more country and with production it gets more pop, but when I first write a song, it's acoustic and it sounds country at first, but maybe I'll keep that twist in there. You know, try to do a little crossover thing."