“The Voice” returned on Monday night for season 18 with judges Blake Shelton, John Legend, and Kelly Clarkson, along with new judge Nick Jonas as a replacement for Adam Levine.
The first contestant of the night was already a winner in many people’s eyes.
“I’m 41 years old, and I’m from Meridian, Mississippi,” Pastor Todd Tilghman said. “I am married for 21 years to my beautiful wife, Brooke. And we have eight kids. Two are adopted.”
He added, “The biggest running joke in our family is that my wife said she wanted three kids, and I wanted two, so we compromised on eight…After we had the three boys, I really just began to feel the pull of adoption. In 2010 is when we flew to Korea to get [our daughter] Judah. You know, when I saw her, it was just, like, this instant connection, like, ‘This is our child.’ And then we had a phone call from the adoption agency, and they told us Judah had a baby sister born from the same biological mother. We just said yes. And then after that, we had three more!”
After singing a rendition of Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight”, which resulted in a four-chair turnaround, each judge (minus Shelton) tried to relate to Tilghman with their own church connection. Yet, in the end, Tilghman went with Shelton for his “relatable personality.”
“I figured it out,” Clarkson quipped. “He’s trying to save your soul. He figured we’re all safe.”