Kohanski tells TooFab: "If you don't get to where you want to go after 'The Voice,' I believe that's on you."
She may have won "The Voice," but Season 13 champ Chloe Kohanski knows her hard work is far from over.
The 23-year-old Nashville native from Blake Shelton's team took home the trophy on Tuesday night's season finale, setting her up with a record deal with Universal Music Group and a Las Vegas residency the show is launching in the spring, "The Voice: Neon Dreams."
Since Javier Colon emerged victorious in Season 1 in 2011, the show has been criticized for a lack of any noticeable music superstars to go along with its super ratings. While a few winners -- including Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery and Jordan Smith -- have had success, others have failed to even release their debut albums.
Kohanski is determined not to fall into that trap.
"I know it's probably not the answer people want to hear, but if you don't get to where you want to go after 'The Voice,' I believe that's on you," she told TooFab the day after her win. "I'm going to do anything in my power to keep creating the path that I want to go down and I want to be a part of and be involved with, and whether or not that means superstardom or making music for the rest of my life and not having to work at a coffee shop, I'm fine. I'm happy. I'm stoked for whatever opportunity arises."
"'The Voice' changed my life. Nobody knew who I was and nobody cared," she continued. "And because of this show, I have people who are sending me some of the most ... seriously, I'm about to get choked up ... I've got people telling me their lives have been changed in a small way because of something I did, that's crazy. That's all that matters."
At the end of the day, said Kohanski, "The Voice" is fulfilling its purpose as a television show -- and it's on the contestants to "use that platform for exposure week after week" from there. "I started out with 1,000 followers on Instagram and now I have 80,000 followers," she added. "So regardless of whether I won or not, I walked away with a significant larger fan base, which is really what it's all about."
The "Neon Dreams" show will help foster the winner's career more than ever before, though Kohanski admitted she's still in the dark when it comes to the specifics.
"I'm a little less informed about that than I would probably like to be, but I know that the winner is going to be a part of that process, so I'm super stoked and I think it's going to be cool," she explained. "That's a pretty big deal to have a residency in Vegas. I think, whatever that looks like, it's going to be a wild time. Lady Gaga just signed a residency in Vegas, so if she's there in Vegas, I'm down to do Vegas."
Kohanski's win came after Miley Cyrus originally picked her for her team and then dropped her, leaving Shelton to swoop in to keep her around. She explained how she thanked him after her victory: "I owe everything to him making it to the live [shows], I said that to him last night, 'I wouldn't even be there if it wasn't for you. Seriously, Miley let me go and you brought me to the finale and because of you I won,' that's truly how I feel."
As for why Shelton has been so successful -- with 6 wins out of the 13 seasons -- Kohanski praised the country singer for seeing "artists for what they are" and not asking them to change or compromise themselves. And while the show cut off seconds after she was announced the winner, Chloe shared what Blake told her after her crowning moment: "This is just the start for you. We'll talk. You can call me anytime, talk about anything, and I'm gonna be there to support you."
Kohanski is now looking forward to recording her new album and collaborating with "as many people as possible." Her dream collaborator: Stevie Nicks, of course. "I love Stevie Nicks, so even if that just meant sitting down and having a cup of tea with her, I would do that," she said.