“I’m from Sanford where it’s not small enough for everyone to know each other but it’s small enough for everyone to know of each other.” — Britton Buchanan

So the local #TeamBritton watch parties barely had time to get comfortable as The Voice Season 14 kicked off tonight with Sanford’s own Britton Buchanan.

Three minutes in — after a quick introduction of new coach (and former American Idol champ) Kelly Clarkson — there was Britton, 18, walking through Sanford on a bright, sunny day, talking about looking like Matt Damon, how his parents like to scare him while filming him and how he used to pick flowers in the outfield in Little League.

“Getting a coach would be an enormous blessing,” Buchanan tells the camera. “I know what it’s like not to fit in. [To get picked], it’s like you’re invited to a party. It’ll be the first party I’ve ever been invited to. True story.”

As we knew from his blind audition footage The Voice leaked last week, Britton was not only the first contestant this year, he was the first to inspire a judge (Blake Shelton) to use the new “block” feature to keep Adam Levine from picking the young man … much to Levine’s chagrin.

“Hey, you’re awesome,” Levine told Buchanan after his performance of Ray LaMontagne’s 2014 hit, “Trouble.” “But I’m out. They’re afraid of me, Britton.”

What we didn’t know heading into tonight was who Buchanan would pick. Despite Shelton using his only block of the season on him, Buchanan chose Alicia Keys as his coach.

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“Britton was fantastic,” she said afterward. “Something about him is very pure and very genuine. I did win the last time I was here, and I’m looking to win again.”

“I love her music. I love her voice, and I think she’ll push me in a good direction,” Buchanan later said.

There will be more of these “blind audition” episodes before each coach’s roster is full, and the “winners” will go on to compete against each other in one-on-one battles and eventually through fan voting.

Social media seemed almost entirely positive toward Buchanan’s performance (that’s no small feat) … enjoy a sample below. As for the rest of the episode, Buchanan was definitely the bright spot of Hour 1. The artist who led off Hour 2, Kelsie, was pretty outstanding as well.

The Rant will follow Buchanan’s reality TV ride as it unfolds with recaps on show nights and more.