The Voice Season 17 kicked off Monday (Sept. 23) with the famed blind auditions—allowing returning coaches Blake SheltonKelly Clarkson and John Legend, as well as returning alum Gwen Stefan, to take cracks at their initial team builds. Viewers are no doubt enjoying country standout Shelton facing competition not only from genre-fluid Clarkson, but also from his real-life girlfriend Stefani, who replaced Adam Levine on the show. 

The first country-oriented contestant of the night was Brennan Lassiter, a 20-year-old from South Carolina. "I'm from such a small town," she explained in her intro. "This is my very first time on an airplane. Oh, my gosh! This is the biggest thing I've ever done." 

"My parents had me when they were really young, and, at the time, they were unfit to care for me, she further elaborated. "Luckily, my grandparents stepped in. I get very emotional thinking about my grandparents. They didn't have to do what they did. They raised their kids. They didn't have to step up and say, 'Okay, well, we'll do this all over again from the top. Let's go.' It was hard, but it helped me become strong, independent."

Lassiter chose to put forth a country version of the standard "You Are My Sunshine," which she dedicated to her grandparents. From the very first stanza, she pulled a four-chair turn.

Clarkson went into defense mode immediately, grousing about how of course this singer was going to choose Shelton and how she should have immediately used a block—but still had enough composure to remind Lassiter that she'd recently won with the very country-oriented Chevel Shepherd.

Meanwhile, Stefani calmly noted, "Blake's my best friend. If I ever have to tap in for an emergency, he's gonna help me... You get me, you get him." Legend praised the "power and beauty" in her voice. 

Shelton swept all of these under the rug with the observation, "These people know as much about country music as I know about getting a Pap smear."

"You just scared her," sagely noted Stefani. That said, Lassiter decided to go with Team Kelly, resulting in an ear-splitting shriek from Clarkson.

"I think I was just so desperate, she felt bad for me," Clarkson admitted. "But it worked...I'm definitely gonna run back there and rub this in [Shelton's] face!"

We'll be following along each week to keep up with the Season 17 competition, so be sure to check in weekly to check the progress of your favorites on the show.

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