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Huntley & Coach Niall Horan Talk Season 24 Win: "Winning The Voice Wasn't Really My Goal"
Straight from the Red Carpet, winners Huntley and Coach Horan reveal more connections and future hopes.
On The Voice Red Carpet Tuesday night, just after Huntley won Season 24, the singer was still floating next to his Coach Niall Horan, processing how quickly his life has changed in just a few short weeks. The former substitute teacher and, at one point, homeless singer told NBC Insider it's been an "insane ride" to be crowned the latest winner.
Asked if he felt at peace after completing his trio of finale performances Monday night, which included "Higher," "Another Love" and his duet of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" with Horan, Huntley said it was actually a "bittersweet" moment.
"I think for me, winning The Voice wasn't really my goal," Huntley said with candor. "Every time I went out there, my goal — every single time — was to create a moment. Because I never genuinely thought that I was going to win The Voice. I just wanted to create a resume to show exactly who I was."
A Repeat Voice Win for Coach Niall Horan
Huntley's win also represents Coach Horan's second win in a row. Two-for-two is a hot streak for any one on such a competitive show, especially a relative newcomer. But was there was a recognizable connection between Season 23 winner Gina Miles and Season 24 winner, Huntley?
"Heart is a big one," Horan said after some thought. "And they're very passionate and know who they are as an artist, I'd say. They are two very different artists but I'd say they were the true lines."
What a Difference Eight Months Made for The Voice Winner Huntley
Speaking of Miles, Huntley shared that he watched The Voice Season 23 finale in May with his daughter, Stella, and that was when Horan the Coach initially made such an impression on them both.
"My daughter was sitting there watching them winning The Voice last year, and the fact that I'm here right now standing with him," Huntley exhaled with disbelief. "But one thing that drew me to him as a coach is how genuine, not only Gina was, but him."
Huntley's Journey to Winning The Voice
Looking back at Huntley's path from Blind Auditions to ultimate The Voice winner, Horan assessed that Huntley's talent was consistent and clear all the way through the season.
"I think all you have to do is just watch The Voice every week to just see how ridiculously talented the guy is," Horan said of his mentee. "The performances this man has put in, week in and week out, for the past eight, nine weeks has just been insane. I always feel that sometimes you're watching a contest and then sometimes you're watching, like the real deal. Gwen always says that when we're sitting in the chair: 'I cannot wait to go watch the concert tonight!' Because honestly, that's what it feels like. It feels like we're going to a gig. And every time [Huntley] comes out... I mean, did you see 'Higher' last night?"
Looking into the Future for The Voice Winner Huntley
As to what's next for Huntley, the singer said that he's going to take the time to put together the right team and continue to take Horan's advice.
"He's definitely helped me find out what my brand is, and also where my brand can branch off to," Huntley explained. "I definitely want to stay true to my rock and roll roots. But I've shown that I can also jump into the mainstream with records like 'Way Down We Go,' 'Daylight,' and also 'Another Love.' This man knows how to pick songs, I'll tell you that.
"I honestly only sang one song on this show that I've ever performed live," Huntley admitted, which shocked Horan standing next to him. "The fact that he's challenged me this whole time has just been insane. I feel very blessed to have him as a Coach. I think that it was definitely a Godsend."
Watch all of The Voice Season 24 now on Peacock.