Season 18 of NBC’s The Voice didn’t waste any time rolling in the talent and coach Blake Shelton didn’t waste any time snatching up Meridian, Mississippi’s Todd Tilghman.
The enthusiastic 41-year-old father of eight delivered a surprisingly flawless performance of Bob Seger’s classic ballad, “We’ve Got Tonight,” earning him the first four-chair turn of the season with new coach Nick Jonas and veterans Kelly Clarkson and Blake turning almost simultaneously and John Legend eventually bringing up the rear.
After his stellar set, Todd, who had only ever performed in church, listened as each of the coaches make a plea for their respective team. John told him, “I was the last one to turn, but once I turned, I just saw the joy and the spirit that you have.” He went on to use the church angle to work in his favor. “My grandfather was a pastor. My mother was the choir director. I was at church on Sunday morning, Wednesday night, sometimes Friday night,” he said.
Nick then chimed, “Todd, I’m a P.K., so I’m actually a pastor’s kid. My most fond memories are with my dad at the piano singing praise and worship song,” before breaking into a tune from Christian group Phillips, Craig and Dean with Todd joining him.
Kelly played up to Todd’s sensibilities as a father. “I have a lot of kiddos, too,” she said. “We have four and it’s a lot to hold down, being a parent and trying to achieve this kind of dream.” She added, “I grew up singing in church, too. I love that you have that Chris Stapleton, Kenny Rogers rasp. You were 110% in it.”
Blake also had plenty to say about the aspiring star’s performance. “I love your voice. I love the passion. I love the range. I love how not-smooth it is. It gives you something to get a-hold of,” he said. “And you got a great hop,” he added, referencing Todd’s energy on stage. “That’s a holy hop.” Blake finished by saying, “You are so amped up and it reminds me why I continue to want to be a coach on this show is to work with people like you.”
When John asked who would be his coach, Todd felt as if he could relate most to Blake, making him the newest member of Team Blake.
And the competition has begun.