By Henry Goldblatt
Updated November 10, 2011 at 01:00 PM EST
Justin Boruki/VH1

You can tone down the instruments around her, but you can’t unplug Kelly Clarkson’s voice, which generates so much power that OPEC, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Exxon Mobil should investigate it as an alternative-energy source.

Clarkson shines in a five-song acoustic set she recently taped for a VH1 Unplugged special (airing on Thursday, November 17 at 7 p.m. and then on VH1 Friday, Nov. 18 at 11 p.m.). The set list includes three tracks off her new album, Stronger, a fan favorite (rhymes with: “Shmince U Been Gone”), and an unexpected cover of Carrie Underwood’s “I Know You Won’t” — from Underwood’s 2007 album Carnival Ride — that pretty much TKOs the original. Watch the exclusive clip below:

The entire special wasn’t available to preview, but if our experience at the taping is any indication, Clarkson is just as vivacious when she isn’t singing, joking about her gorgeous dress (“This is my diva outfit. You would never see me in this on tour. Maybe for one song I would come out like this and be like, ‘Look I’m a girl!'”), and lack of cleavage (“I realize God didn’t give me boobs because if I had them, I’d show them off”).

Of course, fans will be watching for the music, and they’ll be thrilled: Three-quarters of the way through “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger),” she hits a note that reminds the world that there’s no other voice out there that’s as full, raw, and technically amazing.

What do you think of the clip? Do you prefer Kelly’s rendition or Carrie’s original version of “I Know You Won’t”? Are you excited to see Kelly get the Unplugged treatment? And who else should VH1 tap for the show next?

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