The newly crowned winner of New Zealand's Got Talent has described her success in the competition as "crazy".
Singer-songwriter Clara van Wel, 15, told TV ONE's Breakfast this morning she was surprised to hear her name when the winner was announced at last night's finale.
"It never would have even crossed my mind to think of winning or getting on top the semis," she said.
"I just kind of take any opportunity that I can. To get into the semis, it blew my mind, but the fact that I've won, I don't think I'll ever come to terms with it.
"The adrenaline's pumping, and I heard my name, and it was crazy."
The Blenheim-based student won the votes of the public with her accomplished original compositions and poignant performances.
"It just comes out. I can't think, 'okay I'm going to write a song'," said van Wel, who credits Bic Runga and Hayley Westenra as her main inspirations.
"It explodes and I have no control over it. I think that's what makes it quite special because it's coming from quite a true part of yourself."
Van Wel said that she had developed friendships with the show's runner-up Jessie Hillel and third-place contestant Evan Sinton.
"Jessie and Evan are just like family to me now. It was such fun being in the top three together," she said.
'Quite a big moment'
However, despite being named the winner of the show, van Wel said that her favourite memory was actually her first audition.
"I think that very first moment, when I auditioned and I walked off stage and Tamati was there, and they said amazing things, it was a moment that I'd kind of dreamed about.
"Things were just starting to happen, and it was really exciting and quite a big moment, it was quite overwhelming," she said.
Clara's father, Alex van Wel, told Breakfast that he is extremely proud of his daughter's achievements.
"Extremely proud and very grateful... There is such amazing talent throughout the competition, for Clara to come up top, wow," he said.
A prolific songwriter with close to 50 tracks already penned, van Wel has been singing and playing guitar from a young age.
Prior to entering New Zealand's Got Talent, she had won the Marlborough Smokefree Rockquest for two consecutive years in 2011 and 2012.
She will enter the studio in the New Year to record a full length album, scheduled for release in February.
Van Wel will release her winning single, the self-penned Where Do You Find Love on December 7.