By Jordyn Grubisic
Whittlesea resident Tarryn Stokes has taken home $100,000 and a recording contract with Universal Music Australia after winning television reality program The Voice 2023.
Representing Team Rita Ora, Ms Stokes made the final four with Charlie Pittman, for Team Guy Sebastian; Ethan Beckton for Team Jason Derulo; and Ezra Williams for Team Jess Mauboy.
Each artist performed twice during the grand finale with Ms Stokes singing a duet of ‘Simply the Best’ by Bonnie Tyler with her coach Rita Ora, and ‘All by Myself’ by Eric Carmen.
Ms Stokes said the moment she was named winner of The Voice was ‘very surreal and a real moment of joy’ – with it remaining a surprise even to herself until voting lines closed that night despite the program being pre-recorded.
“My family and friends were with me watching at home … and everyone cheered as I literally feel back in my chair,” she said.
“I just thought ‘who would have thought a mum who is 40 would win The Voice’, as it’s never happened before.
“I still have flashback moments thinking ‘did I actually win The Voice?’.”
Ms Stokes said her The Voice journey was ‘really life changing’.
“I really didn’t see this coming and having a challenge like this at this time in my life was what I needed,” she said.
“Even though it was hard, I was nervous, I missed my kids and struggled with my guilt [and] I was sometimes pushing against my negative thoughts. I learnt to be confident in who I am and how I sound and that I am enough, either way.”
During her blind audition, Ms Stokes was recognised by coaches Ms Mauboy and Mr Sebastian after working with them earlier in her singing career.
“It had been over a decade since I had seen Guy and Jess,” Ms Stokes said.
“It was heart warming that they recognised me when their chairs turned for me and I actually still can’t believe the compliment they made about my voice still to this day.”
Throughout the series, Ms Stokes performed seven songs, with two standing out as her favourites.
“The Battles singing with Nyree was a great experience. We sang ‘Alone’ by Heart and it felt like a duet for us,” she said.
“The other I loved was the very last song ‘All By Myself’. I gave everything and knew it was my last song so I enjoyed every bit of it and was relieved when it was over and I had sung all the high notes too.
“Rehearsals with all the crew felt so good. There is a whole amazing team behind the scenes that make it what it is … I feel like when I performed they were there and had my back.
“I loved getting to know the other contestants behind the scenes.
“We had lots of waiting time in between rehearsals and the performance days so we got to know each other really well and share this unique experience together. We are still good friends now, have catch-ups and go to see each other perform.”
Not losing any momentum following the show’s completion, Ms Stokes has released an original single called ‘Nobody’.
“I loved the song as soon as I heard it and even though I am happily married and it’s a break-up song, I could sense this song could mean a lot more and connect with everyone,” Ms Stokes said.
“To me, it’s about leaving things and people that aren’t good for you and that you can listen to your inner voice and make good choices for yourself – that you are enough.”
Ms Stokes will perform at Carols in the Domain in Sydney next month.
“I am so excited to be singing at Carols in the Domain. It will be such a special moment for me,” she said.
“I have always sung in carols over the years at my church and I’ve loved this season with my kids as they learn about Christmas and they get to experience the joy of this season.
“My dream is to release a Christmas album sometime too.”