The 23-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee, was the last to take the stage during the top 11 performances and brought down the house with her powerful rendition of Bonnie Tyler’s 1983 classic, “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” complete with glittering silver teardrops on her face.
“I’ve been told I have a similar break in my voice as Bonnie Tyler, but it was a challenge,” Kohanski told reporters after the live show. “As soon as I knew this [would be my] song, I was going all out and as ’80s as it can go.”
For the first time in the show’s history, fans selected the songs for the top 11 contestants to perform.
“I probably saw at least 250 requests for this song personally on my own Twitter, Facebook and Instagram,” Kohanski says.
Just hours after the show, Kohanski peaked at No. 1 on the iTunes chart with “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Previously, her rendition of Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide” earned her a No. 12 spot and became the highest-ranking song on iTunes among The Voice artists during the knockout rounds. Kohanski’s success on the charts combined with her unforgettable performances makes her hopeful that she can reach success beyond the show.
“When everybody starts out in the process of The Voice, you do think about the people who have won or that have made it to the finale and what happens,” she says. “I was kind of concerned about that. When my song charted in the knockouts, I remember rehearsing with Blake the next week and he was like, ‘Chloe, you’re literally on uncharted territory. No one has charted this early in the game so there’s no telling what’s going to happen.'”
While it’s yet to be determined who will make it to the finale, Kohanski admits: “It’s crazy, but I feel like I could win.”
“If I made it to the finale, [or] if I won, I don’t feel like there has ever really been anyone like me, and I’m starting to realize that,” she says. “Not in a cocky way, but in a very humbling way. I used to think that it made me less relevant or held me back but for the first time it’s pushing me forward.”
Nicks, Blondie and Billy Idol were among the stars Kohanski listed as dream collaborators if she were to make it to the final show. Her goal is “trying to bring rock n’ roll and classic rock into pop culture.”
Kohanski’s journey to the top 11 wasn’t always smooth sailing, though. After the blind auditions, she joined Miley Cyrus’ team but was almost eliminated when Cyrus chose her fellow top 11 contestant Ashland Craft over her in the knockout rounds. This gave Shelton the opportunity to steal Kohanski for his team.
“Jennifer [Hudson] and Blake pushed their buttons to try to steal me, and instantly I was like, ‘I’m from Nashville, I got Southern roots,'” she says. “Blake looked at me and he was like, ‘Do you like to win?’ Him saying that, I was like, ‘He believes that I could win,’ so then I picked him. I think it’s a really weird Yin Yang pairing, and he just lets me do my thing.”
She adds: “I came on the show just trying to find someone who believes in me.”
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As for what her coach and PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive is like behind the scenes, Kohanski says, “what you see is what you get.”
“On camera, off camera, he’s always the same,” she continues. “He treats the guy who puts electrical tape on the ground the same as he treats the producer of the show. That’s how I want to be.”
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.