Karen Waldrup And Ryan Argast Pair Up For Impressive Dan + Shay Cover On ‘The Voice’

This powerful performance made it “very difficult” for the country music duo to choose a winner.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

March 19, 2024

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Karen Waldrup, Ryan Argast; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney of Dan + Shay experienced their first ever battle rounds on Monday night’s episode of NBC’sThe Voice. The first set of contestants to perform together from their team were Karen Waldrup and Ryan Argast, who made their Double Chair coaches proud with a sensational performance of their 10th chart-topper, “Save Me The Trouble.”

The Singers Came Out Strong

The lights rose around the stage, illuminating Waldrup in her dazzling rhinestone fringe shawl and Argast in his elegant black silk suit. The singers took turns delivering the opening verse, both starting off with a tenderness in their voices before slowly building up the power and letting their wide-ranging talent explode throughout the chorus. 

Dan + Shay watched intently as the female country artist from Mandeville, Louisiana and the soulful rocker from Plainfield, IL dominated the stage, leaving no crumbs left behind. It was clear that they both poured their heart into the pre-breakup song and drew from their own experiences with being let down to help put themselves into the song.

Karen Waldrup, Ryan Argast; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC)
Karen Waldrup, Ryan Argast; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC)

All Five Coaches Were Impressed

Throughout the performance, Dan + Shay had prideful reactions painted across their faces, while watching their team members battle it out. Once their song came to a close, all three of the other coaches revealed that they shared the same excitement for the amount of talent in front of them.

First to comment was John Legend, who made it a point to commend Dan + Shay on the song, which they both had a hand in writing alongside Jordan Reynolds, Ashley Gorley and Jordan Minton. 

“That song is nice. You guys got a future in this business,” Legend joked, leading Smyers to admit that the rendition by their team members was “better than the original.”

“That was so good,” he told the contestants. “The energy, the passion, the power coming out of you two. Ryan, I think your superpower is that rasp in your voice. My only caution, sometimes it can feel like you’re just yelling, so you have to watch that balance between yelling and singing. Karen, oh man. I’m mad. I didn’t turn for you. It was like, what was I smoking? I loved your tone. The vibrato is a very kind of quick vibrato, but it’s really nice. If I were to choose, I would say, Karen,” Legend said with confidence. 

Watch Karen And Ryan Battle It Out

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Reba McEntire then reminded them of the fact that she did turn her chair around for Waldrup during the blind auditions but ended up being blocked by Dan + Shay.

“Anyway, I think you’re fantastic,” she continued. “I love the way you move on stage. You look fabulous, Ryan, I love that growl in your voice. You guys are a great duet.”

Then it was Chance the Rapper’s turn to share his thoughts on the powerful performance. As he commended the pair on their delivery, he made note of the fact that he too regrets not turning his chair for Waldrup in auditions. 

“I thought it was an awesome performance, but the energy levels were kind of mismatched. I felt like, Ryan, you were a little bit more passionate, but Karen, you have this true talent. There was a storm around you, and you were just shining through it. It made me wonder how I didn’t turn for you…Great collaborative performance, especially that ending where you guys got a little steamy. I don’t know what was happening there. It was cool though. It was awesome.”

“I’m Just So Proud Of You Both”

Karen Waldrup, Ryan Argast; Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC
Karen Waldrup, Ryan Argast; Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC

Before announcing the winner of this battle round, Dan + Shay both took a moment to celebrate their team members on a job well done, which they admitted made it “very difficult” to choose just one to advance in the competition. 

“First of all, I’m just so proud of you both. I like that better than how we do it,” said Smyers. “Ryan, your presence on stage is incredible. I can tell you’ve been doing this for a long time. We put you up for another country song and I could tell you’re more of kind of a rock singer. You got that big powerhouse voice with a lot of growl to it. Karen, it’s a guy song, so you had to interpret it and make it your own and you rose to the occasion and it was amazing as well.”

Mooney chimed in saying, “Karen, your voice is so fantastic. It reminds me of old country stuff that I grew up listening to and I love that sound. It’s very unique. And Ryan, your voice, it’s powerhouse man and I love it.”

Dan + Shay Announce The Winner Of The Battle Round

Karen Waldrup; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC
Karen Waldrup; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

The pair of award-winning country stars then took a moment to solidify their decision before revealing Karen Waldrup as the winner. This means she will be continuing on to the knockout rounds. 

“Ryan made this very difficult decision, but in the end, I feel like Karen really has this stuff to be able to win this show,” Mooney later added. “Her charisma and overall stage presence is very impressive, so you can tell that she’s really cut her teeth for many years and just knows how to work a room and I feel like Team Dan + Shay is stronger because of Karen and I’m excited to see where she elevates.”

The Voice airs on NBC on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.