While Jordan Smith's The Voice victory may not have come as a surprise after his repeated reign of the top of the iTunes singles chart, Smith said he didn't want to risk disappointment. This season of The Voice was his second encounter with the singing competition; when he first auditioned in 2014, he was rejected.
"It was difficult because it was something that I wanted very badly," Smith said at the press conference. "I had this dream in my heart to be a part of the show and I thought that I was meant to do it. I really thought for a very long time, for a few years, that I was meant to do this. When I auditioned and didn't make it, it was a little devastating."
The former Lee University student returned "home" this week with a special chapel service and press conference.
Now, Smith said he sees that he wasn't ready the first time, and that his year-long wait prepared him through what he described as small, everyday things: working two jobs, attending class, traveling with Lee singers and performing in Lee's alternative chapel band.
"With that whole entire year of preparation, I see that when I actually got to be on the show was the exact right time," Smith said. "I'm a very firm believer that even the right thing at the wrong time can be the wrong thing for you."
Since his win, Smith has performed at the People's Choice Awards, sung the national anthem at various sporting events, traveled around the country meeting with press, and spent many late nights recording his newly released album, 'Something Beautiful.'
Throughout Smith's success, he said it's been important to stay grounded in his faith by reading the Bible and keeping an active prayer life.
"It's very important for me to keep that foundation so I have that to build everything else on," Smith said. "It allows me not to to get caught up in this whole whirlwind ... It's easy to get caught up in that and become stressed and worried but ... once I prepare myself in that way, I go into every situation feeling already prepared, already ready, knowing where my strength comes from [and] knowing where my help comes from."
Upon deciding to audition for The Voice a second time, Smith made a prayerful decision about the attitude he would maintain throughout his music career.
"I said, 'I don't want to use God's name to promote my position, but I will use what position I have to promote Him and His name.' When I started gaining this platform, that was something I had to keep reminding myself of," Smith said.
Smith said his relationship with Christ is not the only important bond he must intentionally maintain; he also chooses to prioritize his fiancée and family.
"They are reality," Smith said. "This whole journey that I'm on; it's all so new that it hasn't settled in that it's real life yet, but I know that those people have been with me through this whole thing. They've made sacrifices and they're still making sacrifices for me to be able to [sing] as a career and do what I love, so it's important for me to remember that and stay grounded in that."
Smith's family includes Lee, where the singer still plans to finish his degree at some point in the future.
"The people [at Lee], and the school and everything I did here formed me into the musician, and the person and the man that I am," Smith said.
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