Pastor Todd Tilghman was recently crowned as the winner of NBC’s “The Voice” on the show’s eighteenth season. A father of eight, Todd is the oldest competitor to win the show in its eight-year history.
Todd Tilghman’s audition on “The Voice” season 18 was the first viewers saw when the show started airing in February. On Tuesday night, his participation in the Emmy Award-winning series came full-circle when he was crowned as the winner.
THE VOICE -- "Blind Auditions" Episode 1801 -- Pictured: Todd Tilghman | Photo: Getty Images
FIRST WINNER TO BE CROWN REMOTELY
At 41 years old, Tilghman is the oldest contestant to have won the show, a distinction that he has embraced with enthusiasm, as he told TV Insider:
“I’ll take it! I hope what I have done with ‘The Voice’ could be an inspiration to other people that it’s never too late to give it a shot.”
Tilghman, who didn’t have any vocal training before joining the show, is also the first winner of “The Voice” on its socially distanced format, and the 7th contestant on Blake Shelton's team to win the competition.
Although he had the chance to perform on stage in front of a live audience, half of his performances were made from home as he quarantined with his big family amid the restrictions imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19.
MEET TODD TILGHMAN’S WIFE
From the moment he took the stage on the blind auditions with an energetic performance of Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight,” Tilghman pocketed the audience and the judges—he had a four-chair turnaround—with his likable personality.
On top of that, Judah and Olivia have a third sister. Sadly, the Tilghmans weren’t able to adopt the girl.
A resident in Meridian, Mississippi, Tilghman has been on the staff at Cornerstone Church since 1996 and pastor duties since 2011.
After his audition, Tilghman claimed he had never sung before on a big scale, just on his church, and then went on to shout out to his wife, Brooke, with whom he has been married for 21 years.
Brooke offered a glimpse into their love story ahead of the big finale, sharing a lovely post on Instagram, where she expressed how proud she is of her husband for going after his dreams.
“We chose not to listen to most of the more logical folks and go after some of the wildest things and guess what....they ALL came true.”
One of those “wildest things” might refer to the eight children they share, two of whom are adopted, as Tilghman revealed on the show.
THE TILGHMAN FAMILY
“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,” Tilghman explained.
After the couple had three sons—Asher, Eagan, and Shep—Tilghman started to consider adoption to enlarge the family.
So, with the help of his congregation and friends, he and Brooke flew to Seoul, South Korea, in 2010 to adopt their daughter Judah.
“When I saw her, it was just, like, this instant connection, like, ‘This is our child,’” Tilghman recalled. But there was more in store for the family.
Shortly after, Tilghman got a phone call from the adoption agency, telling him that Judah’s biological mother had another baby girl, and she too needed a home. “We just said yes,” Tilghman said, and they welcomed Olivia home.
Afterward, the already busy parents went on to have three more kids, two boys, Louie and Hosea, and a girl, Winnie.
On top of that, Judah and Olivia have a third sister. Sadly, the Tilghmans weren’t able to adopt the girl because of family size restrictions.
However, a couple of friends that live just a few hours away came to the rescue and adopted the girl. Now, the three “Seoul sisters,” as Brooke calls them, can meet each other frequently.
TODD TILGHMAN’S SON EAGAN IS A STAR
Although “The Voice” was Tilghman’s first time in front of the cameras, his eldest son Eagan was already familiar with a television set.
The 20-year-old was a contestant on NBC’s “Making It” in 2019. The show, hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, featured crafty and creative people who competed for $100,000 and the title of “Master Maker.”
Eagan, who dropped out of high school at 17 after dealing with severe bullying, had started making costumes for his younger siblings at age 10.
Although Eagan was eliminated in episode 5 of the reality competition, he learned a lot from his fellow contestants and the helpers and hosts. Eagan is now working toward his goal of becoming a set designer in the creative industry.