Todd Tilghman (‘The Voice’) on winning Season 18 for Team Blake Shelton: ‘I can’t believe this happened to me!’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“In the moment I thought, ‘Holy crap! I could win,’ and the panic did set in a little,” declares an excited Todd Tilghman as he recalls the seconds leading up to host Carson Daly announcing him as the winner of Season 18 of “The Voice.” “Going into it I never really dreamed I would win,” he admits. Todd joins Gold Derby senior editor Marcus James Dixon and contributor Denton Davidson to discuss his thrilling victory and his roller coaster of a season that was nearly upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch our exclusive interview in the video above.

Todd became Blake Shelton‘s first champion since Season 13 and his seventh overall. Toneisha Harris from Team Blake finished in second while Thunderstorm Artis from Team Nick Jonas, CammWess from Team John Legend and Micah Iverson from Team Kelly Clarkson rounded out the Top 5.

“When I [auditioned] I was pretty sure I was going to pick Blake,” he reveals. “I had thought if they were to both turn, I might lean towards Blake or I might lean towards Kelly. Kelly does sing more like me so I thought back and forth, but in reality I was always leaning towards Blake.”

At 42 years old, Todd made history on “The Voice” as the oldest winner in its 18-season run. “Frankly, the reason that I didn’t audition for this for so long is a couple of reasons,” he explains. “The less important one is if you watch ‘The Voice,’ these people are like the cream of the crop. I didn’t really feel like I stacked up against them. Secondly, I was really content with my life. Just a couple of years ago something inside of me said, ‘You’ve got to do something else.’ I knew it was a shot in the dark. I was scared and intimidated the whole time, but I would tell people to go for it!”

Over the course of the season Todd delivered eight performances on his path to victory: “We’ve Got Tonight” (Blinds), “Ghost in This House” (Battles), “Anymore” (Knockouts), “Glory of Love” (Live Playoffs), “Love, Me” (Semifinals), “I Can Only Imagine” (Finale), “Long Way Home” (Finale) and “Authority Song” (Finale).

Throughout the interview Todd also discusses his relationship with Blake, how COVID-19 impacted the competition, plans for future music and his #1 hit “Long Way Home.” More than anything else, Todd wants to thank his fans. “I just want to say I love you and thank you,” he remarks with a smile. “I’m so grateful. I can’t believe that this happened to me.”

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