The Voice winner's big change
She was the girl with the nose piercings, the tattoos and the voice to die for. She was also the girl who never wanted to be on a talent show.
So to go from busking at local markets around New South Wales to winning TV tour de force The Voice has meant colossal changes for Karise Eden.
Kiwi fans of the TV2 show saw the 20-year-old take out the title when the episode finally screened on Friday night, but for Eden the life-changing moment actually happened three months ago.
Since then she has had number one singles, and her album My Journey has gone double platinum in Australia. And in the three days it's been available here, it's gone straight in to the number two spot on iTunes.
But on a whirlwind promotional tour to Auckland this week, the singer says she still finds it hard to comprehend the massive path she has travelled this year.
"It's such a huge change, going from wandering around, not knowing what I wanted to do. I knew I liked singing, but I didn't know it was something that was going to take me anywhere."
And it was certainly never meant to be a reality TV show that would make her change her mind.
"To be quite honest, I never wanted to be seen on a bloody talent show. I don't know how I ended up auditioning for it, I don't know, it was just weird. But there was something in me that thought 'oh you might get through this round and this one.' There was a little fire and it ended up carrying me through to the end - last man standing."
In fact for Eden, apart from that little fire, there was no "big picture plan" on the fateful day she auditioned for the show. It was more about escaping the realities of what was a less-than-idyllic everyday life.
Her childhood was littered with heartbreak and demons - self-harming at age 11 before dropping out of school, and a diagnosis of agoraphobia at 13.
She spent many of her teenage years bouncing between women's refuges, before being fostered by the couple she now refers to as her aunty and uncle.
"The only thing I wanted out of life was to get off CenterLink [the Australian version of Work and Income] - it was the only thing I thought of that was positive for the future.
"It sounds really stupid, but I don't think of stuff like [winning]. I get too caught up in mini-dramas that happen on a daily basis. I just don't think about career and life and four months from now, or four days from now. I'm a very 'right here' person."
But even from her very first trip onto The Voice's stage, it was clear this was going to be something big for Eden.
Not just one, but all four of the celebrity mentors were desperate for her to choose to work with them. In the end, Delta Goodrem, Keith Urban and Joel Madden were passed over by Eden in favour of British soul singer Seal.
The partnership, and faith he showed in her, allowed Eden's confidence to grow and her voice to flourish.
"I really love getting deep, deep, deep into the roots of music...and he let me run my own ship during the show and that made me feel good, that he trusted my instincts, musically.
"For someone who has been in music for so long to trust little Karise from Wyoming, it makes you feel pretty cool."
Karise Eden's debut album, My Journey, is out now.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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