Australia was far from surprised when the incredibly gifted Bella Taylor Smith won The Voice 2021.
From her very first blind audition through to her stunning rendition of The Greatest Showman's Never Enough and emotional duet of Andrea Bocelli's The Prayer with coach Guy Sebastian, the 23-year-old wowed audiences and moved us to tears with her powerful voice.
As the 2021 finale was recorded months before its Sunday night airdate, and four different versions of the night were filmed, Bella was sat at home like the rest of us when she learned she'd won.
"I was sitting on my couch not really sure what to think of it all, and all of a sudden, my name was called, and I was so filled with joy," Sydneysider Bella exclusively tells TV WEEK.
The church singer adds that she was completely shocked to discover she won.
"I just think you don't know these kinds of things until you know, and all of the top four were so so deserving like I really mean it, they're incredibly talented in their own rights. So, I could never bring myself to assume or to think it would probably be me."
In a tender moment, Bella was overwhelmed once more when her mentor Guy invited her to support him on his tour and explains that she was very much caught off-guard.
"It was definitely a huge surprise, and the funniest part of it all was when he said, 'no pressure' and 'like you don't have to answer now'," she recounts.
"It's like the biggest honour, and when you really stop and think about musicians, and how they build their whole lives and careers to do things like tour and release albums and for him to entrust me coming with him, that is an incredible honour and privilege."
Over the experience, Guy and Bella bonded not just over their passion for music but also over their faith.
"I think, you know, faith is a really important part of my life, and not to speak for Guy, but I know it's something that is really important for him as well," she says.
"And those values and kind of life lessons that come along with that is something that can be really defining for an individual, so I felt like he really understood where I was coming from and could understand what I was passionate about."
Throughout her journey on the show, Bella spoke openly about her father's addiction and his 2020 arrest, and explains she shared her own story in a bid to help others.
"I think it is important to recognise that everyone has their stuff and for me, it's been really defining in my character and the ways I am who I am, you know, I wouldn't be who I am today without the things I have been through, just like everyone else," says Bella.
"So, for me sharing those things, I had hoped it was an encouragement, and also to shed some light on why what I do is so important to me, and why I sing the way that I do, and why I perform the way that I perform, and where that all comes from."
Bella's dad is currently in a rehabilitation facility where he is awaiting his trial but was able to celebrate with his daughter virtually.
"He Zoomed last night, which is so funny… actually, he was with all the other guys [in the facility]," Bella says with a sweet laugh.
The Voice winner receives a $100,000 cash prize and a lucrative recording contract with Universal Music Australia and whilst it's a life-changing gift for any performer, for Bella it has genuinely transformed her life.
Due to the pandemic, Bella, like many artists around Australia, found herself out of work and struggling to pay bills.
"Honestly, this whole process has been so funny. Because of COVID I haven't been working and with family stuff it has been challenging, so even paying my rent is not something that I have had the luxury of being able to do," she says.
"Really, it's been really tough, so just the idea of getting out of some debt, being ahead and just being financially stable is the biggest burden, and weight lifted off my shoulders ever, so that is huge for me."
Fans will be pleased to hear that Bella has been writing and recording music on her own, which she is excited to share with the world eventually.
When asked about how she would describe her music, she muses on the words, "Warm, emotive, and safe."
We can't wait to hear it!