Over the course of Season 23 of The Voice, a big deal was made of the fact that Team Niall Horan’s Gina Miles was, as Jerry Seinfeld would have called her, a low talker. But Zooming with TVLine about her victory, the effervescent 19-year-old could be heard loudly and clearly — a good thing, too, because she had a lot to say about everything from the debunked theory that retiring coach Blake Shelton had to win to which performance she thought was her standout.
TVLINE | You looked so, so shocked when Carson Daly announced that you had won. How long did it take for it to sink in?
I’m still processing! It was really a crazy moment in my life that is an unforgettable thing.
TVLINE | So you can actually remember it — or was it like an out-of-body experience?
I was gone. I was so far gone! After, we got to the car, and I was like, “How did I get here?”
TVLINE | Were you aware as you went through the competition that the prevailing theory that someone from Team Blake had to win because it was his last season?
For the contestants, we’re really just focused on the music. I don’t think anybody was too worried about winning. We all just wanted to put on really good performances.
TVLINE | Was there a turning point where you started to think, “Hey, I might actually be able to win this thing”?
I was really just going through each round as it came. Every single round, I was just very surprised to be there. I was taking things as they were coming.
TVLINE | Was there one performance over the rest that you thought, “Yeah, I nailed that one!”?
[Laughs] I’m very self-critical after performances, because I do want them to be perfect. But [Chris Isaak’s] “Wicked Game” was one of my favorites that I got to do on the show.
TVLINE | A lot of commenters on our recap (read it here) felt like Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” in the finale was a capital-M Moment for you, because it’s such a big song.
It’s a huge song! I’m very honored that I got to sing it. It was a very big moment for me and an emotional time. I never thought that I would be closing the show. That was really insane to do that. But it was a really fun song, despite how sad of a song it is. It was super cool.
TVLINE | I’ve been listening to your 2022 Who Are You EP on Spotify, and it’s pretty rollicking. Are you planning to go back to doing that kind of pop or stay in the moody lane that you and Niall moved you into?
I put that EP out when I was a bit younger than I am now. I do love it, but I was young and experimenting. I just wanted to write and put things out, you know? At the time, I thought that was what I was going to do. Now, I feel like this is what I’m going to do. I found the spot that I feel comfortable in and a place that I really like, so I think I’ll probably continue moving into this moodier side of myself. But I am a pop girl, and I love a good, upbeat record, you know?
TVLINE | Who doesn’t! Have you and Niall talked about duetting again after the finale?
We definitely chat, and I’m really happy with our performance [of Billy Joel’s ‘New York State of Mind’]. It’s one of my favorites that I got to do, and singing with him was an unforgettable experience.
TVLINE | What were your conversations like after you won — “Here’s the next step” or “God, I’m sorry you’re too young for champagne”?We were both very like, “Oh my gosh, this actually just happened to both of us!” We were just having a great time.
TVLINE | He looked like he was going to projectile out of his seat when your name was announced.
He really did hop up so fast!
TVLINE | There was a lot of discussion on the show about how soft-spoken you are. Do you think you’re going to get louder now that, basically, your life is concerts and interviews?
[Laughs] I definitely have to, as part of my job. And a big part of the show for me [is] that I’ve been able to get a little more confidence to be a bit louder. Because I know people can never hear me when I talk! So I’m trying my best! It’s really not that bad, as I thought it was, but I’m sure I’ll always be like this because it’s just who you are, you know? But I will try my best to be louder… especially at concerts, you’ve got to be loud and energetic. I can’t be like, [Whispers] “Everybody, let’s go! Put your hands up!”
TVLINE | For what it’s worth, I can hear you just fine. But I might have the volume turned way up.
You should have seen — the audio crew at The Voice was like, “Girl!” They were so sweet. Everybody was always so nice to me, but they were like, “Can you please just talk a little bit louder?” and I was like, [Softly] “Mm-hmm.” [Laughs] But I’m trying to get better at it.