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‘The Voice’ is about to premiere — and there’s already a frontrunner

Todd Tilghman, the most recent winner of “The Voice,” called the show’s upcoming contestants “phenomenal vocalists.”

Kelly Clarkson is pictured during the Knockout round of this past season of “The Voice.” Clarkson returns Oct. 19 for a new season.
Trae Patton/NBC

After a history-making season that ended remotely, “The Voice” is back for season 19. It’ll look a little different this time around, though — Nick Jonas isn’t returning as a judge, and there are some format changes.

Todd Tilghman, the most recent winner of “The Voice,” has already seen screenings of some of the blind auditions. He called the contestants “phenomenal vocalists.”

“I have a whole different perspective now,” he told the Deseret News just hours before the season 19 premiere. “In my mind I just can’t help but think, ‘What a remarkable thing they’re doing.’ Because I know how scared they are.”

Here’s a rundown of how to watch Monday night’s premiere, and what to expect this season.

How to watch:

  • The new season of “The Voice” premieres Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. MT on NBC.
  • Episodes will air weekly on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Episodes are available to stream for free on Peacock and NBC.com the day after they air, according to Decider.

What will be different

  • After just one season, Jonas is being replaced by Gwen Stefani, a longtime “Voice” judge who recently finished up a residency in Las Vegas, Newsweek reported.
  • Stefani joins returning judges Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend in the red swivel chairs.
  • Continuing to make adjustments amid the COVID-19 pandemic, “The Voice” will have a virtual audience, according to CNN. Faces will appear on screens behind the judges, so viewers can still watch the reactions of the contestants’ family members.
  • The show’s executive producer, Audrey Morrissey, recently said the results of having a virtual audience were “absolutely shocking,” according to Billboard.
  • “It’s definitely one of our better singing vocal seasons,” Morrissey said. “And a lot of us are wondering if that has something to do because there was no audience, and maybe the singers could actually hear themselves better without the crowd. I’ll tell you that the coaches commented that they felt they could hear the singing better, which makes sense because they didn’t have the audience.”
  • The show also has a no-touching policy in effect, which means the judges can’t hug the contestants, according to Decider.

What else to expect …

  • Musicians Leon Bridges, Julia Michaels, Miguel, Kane Brown and Usher will appear on the show as advisers to the contestants, Decider reported.
  • The blind auditions were taped in August, and “The Voice” has already leaked a performance that had all four judges on their feet.
  • Tamara Jade, a 30-year-old singer from Maryland, performs Lizzo’s “Cuz I Love You” for her blind audition. According to Billboard, the performance marks the first four-chair turn of the season, where all four judges fight for the chance to coach a contestant.
  • According to Hollywood Life, Jade was one of Lizzo’s backup singers/dancers at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards.
  • Shelton, whose former team member, Tilghman, won this past season of “The Voice,” told Jade: “I in my heart think you can win this thing.”
  • The premiere also features an audition from 16-year-old Lauren Frihauf, a singer from Colorado who performs Melissa Etheridge’s “Come to My Window,” according to Billboard.
  • “I turn very quickly when I fall in love with a voice,” Legend said, according to Billboard. “You forget how much you miss hearing people sing live until you have it taken away for a while.”

Who is the most recent winner of “The Voice?”

  • Tilghman, a 42-year-old pastor and father of eight from Meridian, Mississippi, made history in May as the oldest contestant to win “The Voice.”
  • His audition was the first one to air that season — marking the first time in show history that the first singer to audition was the last person standing.
  • Aside from singing at his church, Tilghman had never performed prior to his audition for “The Voice,” the Deseret News reported.
  • “I don’t mind telling everyone, I was scared the whole way,” he told the Deseret News after his big victory. “You just do it afraid. You just never know what could come out of it.”