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Southern Miss alum wows coaches during blind auditions of ‘The Voice’ season 25

Karen Waldrup (Photo from "The Voice")

Southern Miss alumnus and country cover veteran Karen Waldrup took the first step in amplifying her career with a stellar performance on Tuesday night’s episode of The Voice.

The Mandeville, La., native rocked the stage during blind auditions with a powerful rendition of Dee Messina’s “Bye Bye.” Within seconds, all the coaches were smiling with Dan + Shay landing Waldrup but not before blocking fellow country music coach Reba McEntire from doing so.

“We know how hard this is, and you’re a pro,” Dan Smyers of the show’s first-ever coaching duo said. “So much charisma, no nerves. We turn around and you were working the crowd like you’ve done it for your whole life, and it was just incredible. You’ve got what it takes to do well.”

While John Legend and Chance the Rapper passed on Waldrup, the two coaches did predict that she could make a big run as The Voice season 25 moves along.

“There’s been a little feud started here between Reba and Dan + Shay as this is the first time we’ve ever had two country chairs on the show,” Legend said. “They’ve been blocking each other to get the country artist they want, so take it as a sign of respect and love for your talent that they chose to use their only block for the opportunity to work with you … I think you’re going to do great.”

“It sounded like an amazing performance,” Chance added. “I didn’t turn around either, because I feel like you would be better off working with Dan + Shay or Reba … As the show progresses, we’ll all get an opportunity to possibly take you away from Dan + Shay. Congratulations on making it.”

Waldrup, who now lives in Nashville, has been touring the highways of America for 12 years trying to get her big break. Most recently, she’s achieved viral fame with a series of country covers that have earned millions of views on YouTube and hundreds of thousands on Spotify.

The Voice season 25 airs on Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC.

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