'The Voice': Cassadee Pope's advice for the Top 5

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cassadee-pope-the-voice-nbc.jpgOn Tuesday (June 4), Cassadee Pope, winner of "The Voice" Season 3, returned to the stage that made her a star to debut her new single, "Wasting All These Tears." As one of a small group of people able to advise current contestants on what's in store for them, Pope wants to make one thing clear: Never stop working.

Zap2It caught up with the songstress backstage, where she revealed her advice for this season's Top 5. "I think people have this misconception of 'Okay, I just did this huge show. Who's gonna offer me what?' It doesn't work like that," Pope says. "You've got to get through this show and use it as a platform and then get off the show and not stop. You have to go full-fledged, full speed ahead and work your a** off. There's no stopping.

"People need to not think that they are comfortable and safe," she adds. "Even the winner. Like, you're not gonna stop, you know? Just because you won doesn't mean everything's gonna come to you. I mean, I've been out there on the road, just promoting and pushing the single, hanging out with radio people ... It's hard work. Keep working."

Pope knows from what she speaks. The Team Blake Shelton champ has nary had a day off since her season ended back in December 2012, she tells us. "The first few days after I won, I had press days and it was so long and crazy -- I didn't sleep for, like, two days. It was crazy," she says. "From December 20 to January 1, I was off, and then January 2, I was down in Nashville and I started writing and recording, so it's non-stop."

As for what it was like to return to "The Voice" and perform as a guest and not a competitor, Pope admits that the familiar pressure was still there. "It felt the same, I'm not gonna lie. I was just as nervous, but it was really fun," she reveals. "I felt a sense of pride just knowing that I went through what these artists are going through and I made it through and look at me now. It was a different kind of nervous."
Photo/Video credit: NBC