Hoot wasn't initially a judge favorite. Clarkson was the only judge to turn around for him
"I don't know (why). They had lost their damn mind," Clarkson said to USA Today about why the rest of the judges didn't turn their chairs for him. "I remember looking specifically at Blake going, 'What is wrong with you? But thank you!'"
Clarkson fully credits Hoot for his success on the show.
“It’s the biggest joke to me when people congratulate me,” Kelly admitted to HollywoodLife. “Because I sat in a chair. I just sat there and I encouraged him and I am a pretty good cheerleader because I love humans. Even the ones I don’t like, I try to find something I like. But I’m literally a glorified cheerleader, y’all. I did nothing. He did everything.”
Jake quickly retorted that he couldn't have done it without Kelly's help.
He added, “She does a whole lot more than just sit there. She has helped me get out of my shell onstage. [She] is just the biggest cheerleader. That means more than you know.”
Kelly admires Jake not only for his talent but for who he is as a person.
“He is just super humble,” Kelly revealed. “I grew up, my parent’s told me to have a servant’s heart. That’s how you should live your life. And he is a walking, breathing, servant’s heart. He is such a good dude.
On top of that, there is, like, a microphone in his vocal cords. It’s just a really cool thing to be reminded of how somebody genuinely loves music and loves singing. Everything is so pure and there is no hidden agenda. He just wants to be here because he wants to sing. That’s a good reminder for us all who get jaded sometimes. He is such a great person, I’m not kidding.”
Kelly then offered the singer intelligent advice.
“I think the best advice is literally coming back to never, ever, ever putting your worth or value in this job,” Kelly said.
“I think a lot of people fall prey to that mindset and they get lost. They’re not as famous as they were, they freak out, and their identity is kind of….they’re having an identity crisis. This job is super fun. This hobby is super fun and we’d love to be vessels for great songs that might touch people or move people, but at the same time, we have our lives. You’ve got to invest in your family and all that because that’s what’s going to be there through the day, every day. Not this job.”