One talented Shoreham teen is going to join the list of other famous Long Island artists.
Carter Rubin won over the hearts of Americans after they voted him as season 19 champion of NBC’s singing competition, “The Voice” the night of Tuesday, Dec. 15.
The 15-year-old Shoreham-Wading River High School sophomore is the youngest male winner on the show, who participated on Team Gwen, headed by No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani.
“Gwen’s taught me so much, but the best piece of advice she’s given is for me to be myself when I perform and just in general,” Carter said the morning after his victory. “She’s helped me believe in myself more and she’s boosted my confidence.”
Carter began his “Voice” journey over the summer at just 14, when he auditioned for the show. He previously told TBR he had to keep it a secret until the show’s airing early October. And since then it’s been a whirlwind for the teen, spending months away from Long Island, his family and friends while performing and competing on the show.
“For the blinds, battles and knockouts, I stayed in LA with my mom for almost three months,” he said. “It was hard being away from the rest of my family, but I knew I was there for a reason. Luckily, I got to go home and see my family and friends before coming back to LA for the live shows.”
But after weeks of singing and traveling, the two-part season finale aired eventually on Nov. 16 and 17. Carter, along with his competitors, performed one last time and waited for America’s votes.
During the finale, Carter premiered his own new song, “Up from Here,” and then sang alongside Stefani on her — and fiancé/fellow judge Blake Shelton’s — hit Christmas song, “You Make It Feel Like Christmas.”
This was Stefani’s first win as a judge while Shelton’s team with singer Jim Ranger, came in second place.
And while singing his original song was incredibly special, he said, his favorite performance came from the semifinals last week, when Stefani asked him to sing “Rainbow Connection” from “The Muppet Movie.”
Carter was ecstatic and dedicated it to his autistic older brother, Jack.
“He could not be more happy for me,” Carter said. “He’s been so proud and understanding throughout this whole experience, and I’m so happy to call him my brother.”
Carter’s mother, Alonna Rubin, founded the Shoreham-based nonprofit Families In Arms, which helps to support families with autism.
“I am so grateful that Carter was given the opportunity to show the world his God-given talent on such an iconic stage,” she said. “But more importantly, the world now sees how beautiful he is on the inside as well. Proud is not a big enough word to describe how I feel. We will be forever grateful for all of the love and support out there. This is just the beginning for him.”
Carter added that as his coach said, it’s time to start writing and recording more music.
“Gwen says that it’s time for me to start writing songs, and that’s exactly what I plan on doing,” he said, enthusiastically. “I also want to get in the studio, record some music and I want to perform for live audiences again — once COVID is over.”
Confetti poured around Carter when Carson Daly announced his name. He buried his face in his hands, while Stefani repeatedly yelled, “You won!” Carter was in disbelief. On camera, Stefani was heard asking if she could hug her winner but, due to COVID-19 guidelines, they had to celebrate while social distancing.
“I’m still in shock,” he said. “It hasn’t hit me yet, but I just want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who’s voted for me and supported me throughout my entire journey on this show. I couldn’t possibly be more grateful.”
And his community couldn’t be prouder. Earlier this week, the new star met virtually with second-graders in Courtney Von Bargen’s class at Miller Avenue School. In Google Classroom, they listened to Carter talk and asked him questions.
Claudia Smith, principal of the school, said, “Carter is bringing so much joy to the Shoreham-Wading River school community.”
The second-graders created posters and banners to continue cheering on Carter before the finale.
“I come from a small town where everyone knows everyone, and the support that I’ve gotten from my community means everything to me,” he said. “I couldn’t possibly thank them enough.”