Gina Miles might have turned in the best performance of Season 23 on The Voice when she performed “Wicked Game” in the playoff round.
And she might have turned in the best performance Monday night when she closed the show singing “Nothing Compares to U.”
Did that make her the favorite heading into Tuesday’s season finale?
Conventional wisdom had a Team Blake finalist — either Grace West or Noivas — taking the win in their coach’s final season on The Voice.
And the possibility still loomed large when host Carson Daly announced a final two of Gina and Grace, a singer of classic country music.
After all, how often have Voice fans seen Team Blake country singer win the show?
That might explain that shocked expression that crossed Gina’s face when she was announced winner of Season 23.
The shock quickly gave way to tears as confetti fell and Gina’s coach, Niall Horan, rushed the stage to embrace her in congratulations.
But while Gina’s confidence in her own ability was something Niall had her working on during her time on the show, it’s not as though the 19-year-old was a newcomer to music.
Hailing from Paxton, Ill., and now living in Sacramento, Gina’s father was a deejay, meaning she grew up around music.
In “Getting to Know Gina” videos on her YouTube channel, she says she started singing in chorus and show choir at a young age.
She was 12 or 13 when she says she got serious about music and began writing her own songs with the help of an old, out-of-tune piano in her home.
Not only did she write music, she released a five-song EP in January of last year called “Who Are You.”
She also released music videos for two of the songs, “Incredibly Impatient” and “End with You.”
In those “Getting to Know” video, Gina says music has always been therapeutic for her and she hopes her music serves the same purpose for others.
Interviewed after Monday’s show by KCRA3 in Sacramento, Gina said she was feeling very emotional but happy that everyone’s performances went so well.
“Closing the show is a really big deal,” she said at the time. “And I didn’t think that they would give it to me. I’m honored that they thought I could do it.”
As she headed into Tuesday’s finale, she said “I just want to celebrate with everybody. It’s been a really long experience. But one of the best times in my whole life.”
Judging from her shocked expression when Carson called her name, she wound up celebrating even more than she expected.
Here’s a photo gallery of her final two nights on The Voice.