'The Voice': Country Artist Snubs Blake Shelton for Kelly Clarkson

The Voice season 15 started off with a bang on Monday as a country crooner picked Kelly Clarkson as his coach over Blake Shelton.

Mikele Buck, 39 years old, stunned the judges with his rendition of "She Used to Be Mine" by Brooks & Dunn this week. His performance was about as country as it gets — he held an acoustic guitar with practiced hands and looked right at home in a flannel and faded jeans on the TV stage. The opening notes of the song caused an immediate stir among the judges, particularly Shelton and Clarkson.

"Oh, Brooks & Dunn!" Shelton said with recognition.

"Aw, I love this!" Clarkson said, looking over at him.

It seemed like the two would be battling it out to get Buck on their teams, yet they both waited until the very end of the songs to turn their chairs, which they did at nearly the same exact moment. Clarkson got up to to smack Shelton on the arm, angry that he had seen through her last-minute strategy. Adam Levine, the usual instigator of these kinds of maneuvers, advised Clarkson on how to win.

"Your move is rookie at best," he said.

The two both vied for Buck to join their team, alternately telling him their track record with performers of his style, and trying to find common ground with him. Clarkson reminded him and the audience about Kaleb Lee, a country singer who chose her over Shelton last season and went far under her guidance.

"He was my date for the CMT awards! He's making his record right now!" she said.

Shelton, on the other hand, slipped up in his small talk after Buck told him that he is from Greenville, North Carolina.

"That's where they make Wranglers, did you know that?" he said.

"They make Wranglers in Greenville, South Carolina," Buck corrected, to Shelton's chagrin.

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Ultimately, after all was said and done, the audience chanted overwhelmingly for Buck to choose Clarkson. After a moment's hesitation, he did so. The singer was so pleased she jumped up to hug him on stage.

The Voice is just getting started for the season, and plenty more upsets are likely on the way. The singing competition is back to two nights a week, allowing for a competition night and results night later on in the season. The show airs every Monday and Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.