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Blake Shelton & His Country Girl, Runner-up Lauren Duski



Tyler Golden/NBC

Michigan’s Lauren Duski fell short of winning the gold at The Voice 2016 finals but managed to gain the passionate affection from millions of fans. This is especially true in the country music corners of the industry.

The 25-year-old former aspiring dentist came in second to Chris Blue, who squeezed out the win. A win which which was described as the closest in the history of the show.

Lauren continually topped the top #10 singles chart on iTunes during her run on the show. Her finals original song, Deja Vu, reached #1.

“Lauren, let me be the first on congratulating you on writing your first number one hit song,” Shelton said following the performance.

What’s the secret to Lauren’s popularity? Here’s what we think:

  1. Blake Shelton.

Blake is the most popular judge on the show. He formed a special deep connection with Lauren throughout the season and the fans sensed it. He promoted her over Brennley Brown in the Battle Rounds and later over Andrea Thomas in the Knockout Rounds. At one point he described her as “The missing piece in country music right now.” All of us who follow the show know that when Blake feels strongly about someone, they will go a long way.

2. Outreach on Social Media.

If you follow these contestant’s activity on social media, you quickly realize that Lauren stands out in terms of her accessibility and interaction with the fans. Unlike most of the contestants, (and despite her rise and tough schedule on the show), Lauren liked, followed, replied, retweeted, interacted, and shared her journey with the fans through Insta stories. This is a major factor in her success, especially during the later phases of the show when fans decide whom to get behind.

3. Personality.

Fans tend to reward contestants who are genuinely humble and grateful for the opportunity rather than the ones who come in with the attitude of “this is my time, I got this”. Lauren exemplified that humility blended with a special graceful charisma to which fans gravitated toward.

4. Country Music & Nashville connection.

Lauren revealed to her coach during the show that she’d moved to Nashville to pursue her interest in country music. She became friendly with Danielle Bradbery — who won season 4 of The Voice on Blake’s team. Danielle gave her some great advice on how to succeed on the show. A huge part of the The Voice’s passionate viewership is the country music fan base, so it didn’t hurt her at all to have that Nashville connection.

5. Her Voice (duh?)

Finally, we must point out the obvious: her voice! Lauren has a beautiful comforting voice and a stage presence that fans enjoy. That is ultimately what made her rise to the top.

Lauren never missed an opportunity to say how humbled and grateful she is to her coach Blake Shelton, to The Voice, and to her fans.

“There are not enough words for how thankful I am to work with you,” Duski told Blake Shelton onstage.”It has been an absolute honor. Truly, you’ve taught me its not about the destination, its about the journey.”

“It’s pretty amazing how you get up there, and you are vulnerable with everyone, and you see that resonate with people,” she said. “It really blows your mind that people care that much.”

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