After being declared the winner of season 24 of The Voice on Tuesday, December 19, Michael Huntley isn’t rushing the next phase of his music career. The dad of two, who was referred to by his last name on the show, opened up about why he plans to slow down a bit now that the singing competition is over.

“I think that my main concern is to take a step back and just breathe and really take everything in,” Huntley, 33, told Entertainment Tonight after his win. “This experience has taken half a year. I’ve spent six months away from my kids. My son is speaking in full sentences now. It’s insane.”

Despite wanting to take some time for himself, Huntley still has big plans for the future. “This has all been so worthwhile,” he gushed. “I just want my career. I’m so hungry for this. John [Legend] said he could see me singing in arenas around the world and that’s something I’m very hungry for. Y’all are not getting rid of me.”

The Voices Huntley Admits He Couldnt Believe It When He Won Season 24 and Reveals Future Plans
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Huntley and Niall Horan.

Huntley represented Niall Horan’s team in The Voice finale and admittedly “couldn’t believe it” when host Carson Daly announced him as the winner. The Virginia native, who had all four coaches turn around for him during his blind audition, previously said that he would have chosen John, 44, as his mentor, but went with Niall, 30, because it’s what his daughter wanted. After the finale, he had nothing but praise for the “Slow Hands” singer.

“Whenever I feel like I’m too busy or complaining about this process, I kind of just think back and I’m like, ‘This dude’s literally flying around the world and still messaging me back on my emails. It’s pretty cool. I respect it very, very much.”

Huntley’s victory gave Niall back to back wins on The Voice in his two seasons as a coach. “When I took this job, I told myself that no matter how busy I was in my day job, I was going to commit 100 percent,” the singer admitted. “I’ve been on a show like this, and I know what it’s like to have a strong mentor. Maybe that’s what the secret sauce is.”

Niall is stepping away from the show for season 25 and will spend most of 2024 on tour. When the show returns on February 26, John, Reba McEntire, Dan + Shay and Chance the Rapper will be the judges.