Alisan Porter, the 34-year-old mother of two known for her childhood role in the 1991 movie Curly Sue, was a strong favorite all season long, and coach Christina Aguilera couldn’t be more thrilled by her win.
“She’s the essence of such poise and presence as a strong female on this show who’s killing it as a mom,” Aguilera told PEOPLE. “I get very excited when I see females on this show and around because it’s very much a boys’ club.”
The two had a “girl bonding” session when they recorded an iTunes performance song at Aguilera’s house in their pajamas, but Porter says they’ve always had a close relationship.
“We connect on so many levels – women who want to make a difference, mothers, singers, we love the same shoes. Just little stuff like that,” Porter says. “But then the bigger things. I adore her because she was 100 percent real with me at all times. She didn’t put a wall up. She was totally genuine and cool from day one.”
Although Aguilera is the mentor in the singing competition, Porter has taught her a few things along the way as well.
“It’s such a hard juggling act, but if anything, I’m learning from her,” Aguilera explains. “She’s keeping her sanity through it all, which is half the battle of being in a competitive formatted show”
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The Voice wrapped Tuesday, but Porter is just beginning her music career.
“I’m proud of everybody. I’m proud of the season. I think it was such a strong season of incredible performances. I’m just grateful to be a part of it,” Porter says. “The ride doesn’t end here. I’m going
•Reporting by CHRISTINA DUGAN