The Voice's Katie Kadan, Ricky Duran, Rose Short and Jake Hoot 'Had So Much Fun' This Season
"I feel so grateful and part of me says, ‘Katie you did it. You did it. Stop doubting yourself," Katie Kadan tells PEOPLE
The Voice season finale is almost here!
Contestants Katie Kadan, Ricky Duran, Rose Short and Jake Hoot have successfully managed to impress audiences across the country every week during season 17 of the hit singing competition. On Monday night, the final four contestants gave show-stopping performances once again. Each singer performed an original song, a holiday duet with their respective celebrity coach and one song of their choice. PEOPLE caught up with the finalists after the show and each musician opened up about their journey to the finale which airs live on Tuesday night.
“It feels fantastic,” Kadan told PEOPLE after rocking the stage. “I feel so grateful and part of me says, ‘Katie you did it. You did it. Stop doubting yourself. Stop being so fearful.’”
The Chicago native, who has been candid about her struggles with confidence throughout the season, said her experience on the show has given her a boost. “I’m gonna make mistakes because I’m human and that’s okay,” she said. “I’m not a perfect person, but this whole process has brought me more confidence and it makes me feel a little extra fabulous.”
As for what she’s going to miss the most about the show, Kadan says she’s fallen in love with the entire experience. “The community of The Voice is not just the contestants that are absolutely fantastic and are my close friends,” she said. “It’s everybody, from hair and makeup to wardrobe.”
“I didn’t realize I was gonna like everybody,” she added and jokingly continued. “Sometimes people get on your nerves, but I think that’s the aspect I’m gonna miss.”
Kadan said she’s developed a strong bond with her fellow contestants, but she’s ready to return to Chicago.
“When we’re feeling discouraged, we pray for each other and build each other up,” she said. “I’m going to miss that. But I’m ready to go home too and start what’s next in my life.”
Working with John Legend feels like a match made in heaven for Kadan. “I’m so glad that I chose John as my coach,” she told PEOPLE. “He is a perfect fit for me. We really connected because we have a lot in common. From the church we were raised in to the fact that we were both homeschooled. We just have a lot of similar experiences.”
Kadan said that Legend has helped her find her voice: “I have so much respect for him and there’s a lot that I’ve learned from him — even from orchestration and working with the band.”
“Sometimes that can be an intimidating thing, especially as a woman because it’s such a male-dominated profession,” she revealed. “I noticed myself taking steps back in the beginning with the band, but watching him taking charge made me want to take a step forward and take charge and ownership of the sound that I want to get out there.”
Ricky Duran, who hails from a small city in Massachusetts, is elated to be a finalist on season 17. “It’s incredible and it’s very inspiring to see all these comments and hear from my friends who are like, ‘He’s from Worcester, but now he’s made it. He’s in the top four on The Voice,‘” Duran said. “It’s so incredible.”
Duran nailed his duet performance with his coach Blake Shelton on Monday night. Regarding his experience performing with the country star, Duran said: “I had so much fun with Blake. It was an honor. He’s so charismatic and lively up there and that performance for me was just low-pressure and a lot of fun. I think the audience loved it, so it was great.”
For the musician, The Voice has inspired him to work towards a new goal. “This has helped me grow as an artist and really try songs that I wouldn’t have expected to,” he told PEOPLE. “After this, I’m planning on recording some original music and putting myself out there, so it’s given me a direction.”
The Worcester native said he’s truly going to miss working with Shelton. “Working with Blake has been amazing,” Duran said. “He’s such a fun guy to hang out with. Hopefully we can get together in the future sometime, but I’m gonna miss that.”
In fact, Duran is going to miss much more than his coach. “It’s gonna be a lot that I’m gonna miss,” he said. “It is pressure every week to perform on live television, but it’s such an honor to be out there on that stage so I’m gonna miss that stage for sure.”
As for Florida native Rose Short, the songstress is proud that she’s made it to The Voice‘s final four. “I feel accomplished. I feel like I’ve done a thing. I feel like a brand new person. I feel beautiful,” she told PEOPLE. “I feel fearless. I feel like I can do anything I put my mind to. I feel grateful that my heavenly father gave me permission to go on this journey.”
Working alongside Gwen Stefani, Short says she’s learned a ton. “The biggest lesson that I’ve learned from Gwen is to just be happy with what you have because what you have is enough,” she said.
Short and Stefani hit the stage together to sing a duet on Monday night and it was a rewarding performance for the finalist.
“Being able to sing again with her on stage was so much fun,” Short told PEOPLE. “The exchange that we had on stage was pure love and adoration for each other and we were just having fun. I enjoyed every bit of it so much and I’m so happy,” she said.
On what she’ll miss the most, Short says she’s enjoyed everything about her time on the show. “I’m gonna miss everybody,” she said. “From the cast — I can’t stress enough how important the production assistants and the people behind the scenes are because they’re the ones who are moving effectively to get all this stuff done.”
“People just look at the coaches and are like, ‘Oh,’ but there are a lot of moving parts and it’s like a well-oiled machine,” she continued. “All the people involved were always smiling, always encouraging and loving and supportive. It’s so beautiful. I’m gonna miss all of that.”
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Jake Hoot — who is coached by Kelly Clarkson — has been a force to reckon with since the very beginning. “For somebody who didn’t think he’d get a chair turned to now be sitting here and singing for millions of people is an incredible feeling,” he previously told PEOPLE.
Hoot has learned about self-assurance from his coach, Clarkson. “The biggest thing is to have more confidence in myself,” he said. “She’s such a builder of your confidence and she’s always telling us that we deserve to be here, so we should own it.”
“Having more confidence in myself is really special,” he added. “She’s been incredible.”
Though being on The Voice has been amazing for Hoot, the singer admits that his biggest difficulty is being away from his 4-year-old daughter, Macy.
“I think for me the most challenging thing has been being away from my little girl back home,” the single father told PEOPLE. “It’s tough, you become family with everybody here. But at the end of the day, I miss her and wish she was out here.”
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