In the end, it really did come down to the voice.
After beating competitors Sarah de Bono, Rachael Leahcar and Darren Percival to take out the title of The Voice Australia an emotional Karise Eden was lost for words when asked how to describe her journey from state ward to singing sensation. "I'm really just feeling so shocked ... I just won The Voice," the teenager from the NSW Central Coast told reporters just minutes after her triumphant win. "I just never thought this could happen."
Her surprise is warranted. Eden, 19, grew up living in more than 20 women's refuges before she was eventually fostered out to a family who owned a music store. But while she had always loved singing, her talent was given a national spotlight on The Voice after she was selected to be part of British singer Seal's team. From the blind auditions through to her remarkable chart success at the end of the series, Eden's unique vocal ability and resounding talent captivated the nation — who threw their support behind her on itunes. Eden seized number one on the iTunes charts on June 18 with her cover of Ruby Turner's "Stay With Me Baby," number two with her original composition "I Was Your Girl" and number four with last week's performance of "Hallelujah."
While she wins a recording contract, a car and $100,000 after edging out her fellow competitors, Eden's personal journey is equally as rewarding. She credited coach Seal with helping her to begin the process of overcoming the crippling insecurity and emotional issues that have dogged her since childhood. "Seal just told me, there is nothing else but you and the decisions you make about who you want to be," said Eden. "And I have a much better understanding of that now."