Though her compilation album got off to a better start than that of season three winner Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery, who officially won season four of “The Voice” this June, launched her single with less of a bang.

“The Heart of Dixie,” Bradbery’s debut single, garnered 78,000 opening week sales, marking a significant decline from the 125,000 opening figure for Pope’s “Wasting All These Tears.”

Pope’s track rode its strong opening sales to a debut at number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100; Bradbery’s song enters at 58. Among hot country songs, “Tears” debuted at number 7, besting the number 16 entry for “Dixie.” In terms of country airplay, however, the chart positions were similar–Pope’s single started one place higher at number 54.

While “Wasting All These Tears” irrefutably performed better across the board, it benefited from an important ingredient that makes an apples-to-apples comparison impossible. The former Hey Monday frontwoman launched “Tears” with a live performance on “The Voice” and thus had direct exposure to a passionate, supportive audience.

With “The Voice” on hiatus until the fall, Bradbery did not have that luxury and thus faced a more arduous battle on the charts.

But not everything skewed in favor of Pope. Taking advantage of the quick release strategy that “American Idol” wanted to–but ultimately failed to use–for its winner Candice Glover, Bradbery’s single was released roughly a month after her victory. Still fresh in the minds of “Voice” fans, Bradbery was not without an opportunity for making a splash on the charts.

Also worth noting is the fact that Bradbery was hyped for her immense marketability; most assumed she was the NBC reality series’ surest ticket to a bona fide music superstar. Her failure to score more debut single sales than Pope tempers such a notion–she is obviously not yet a superstar–but the game could still greatly skew in her favor over the long run.

“Wasting All These Tears,” though far from dead, has not lit up the country world since its release, so there is definitely an opportunity for “The Heart of Dixie” to win the longevity battle.

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