Holly Byrnes, The Herald Sun, reports
You think you know a girl, especially a famous one like our own Delta Goodrem.
It's easy to think a sweet-as-pie pop princess who made her music debut almost a decade ago will just slip into place beside international stars Keith Urban, Joel Madden and Seal on Channel 9's much-hyped talent series, The Voice.
But here's the twist. This is a competition - four celebrity-led teams battling to find the next singing star - and Delta Goodrem is about to show Australia just how she can get her game on.
Watching her match wits and even trash talk her co-stars during blind auditions will expose a side of the songbird the public has not seen.
When more than one celebrity "coach" shows interest in a contestant, a war of words can erupt.
Sitting in the audience for one pre-recorded battle, it's obvious her male counterparts are, at times, taken aback by Goodrem, who is flirtatious one minute and dismissive of her rivals the next.
Unsettling them is part of the game. Surprising them is how she likes to operate.
"Maybe it's just that people have known me since I was so young and I was really shy when I first stepped on the scene," Goodrem says.
"I was always this fun, jokey, relaxed (person) with that fighting spirit, outside of music.
"This show has been great to just be me up on stage and have all these sides (to my personality). I'm really glad after 10 years that people are still being surprised by me."
Aggression and ambition have gone hand-in-hand during her career, Goodrem, 27, says.
"How do you think I've stayed around so long? How do you think I'm still here?" she asks, and laughs.
It may be part of reality TV "sport", but going after what you want, never giving up on your dreams, has characterised Goodrem's career.
Like many of the professional singers who appear on this show, looking for a second chance or the break they've been missing to launch into the big time, Goodrem has had her share of set backs.
At 15, she burned bright as one of Sony Music's most promising young stars.
But a health hurdle three years later - diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2008 - derailed the next phase of her career: a planned assault on US charts.
It would come later, once the battle with cancer was won, but not secure her the kind of success she had enjoyed in Australia or had expected to find overseas.
Undeterred, Goodrem moved to Los Angeles to record her fourth album, sharpening her eye on the prized US market.
After calling off her engagement to former Westlife singer Brian McFadden, she also found love in LA, with another pop star and Disney idol, Nick Jonas (they split earlier this year).
But her career focus and determination is what long-time friend and The Voice rival Joel Madden admires most about her.
"To me, Delta is a great example of what I love about Australian women," he says.
"She is strong, she's been through a lot. She knows who she is and she's first and foremost a writer and musician. At the same time she can take the punches, can laugh and doesn't take it so seriously. It's a quality I love about Australian people."
It's easy to see why the rapport between Goodrem and Madden sparked scuttlebutt their relationship had gone beyond friendship.
Last month, the American - fiercely protective of his wife Nicole Richie and their children, Harlow and Sparrow - stomped on the gossip, releasing a statement that defended his family.
Further skewering the rumours, Madden jokes that Goodrem is "like my little sister, who's taller than me".
One half of sibling rock duo Good Charlotte, Madden, 33, admits he's been awestruck by the chance to work beside Goodrem, as well as get to know Seal and Urban.
"I just claw on everyone I meet," he says.
"As soon as I meet you, I'm like a monkey, jumping on your back and riding you around. I did that with Delta the first time I met her. I've got to know Seal and Keith and I just love 'em."
His real family will join him, with brother Benji playing a mentor for Team Joel, and his wife and kids will head here when she's finished filming a role on another reality series, Fashion Star.
Benji also has immersed himself in the local music scene, hitting the studio to write with The X Factor winner Reece Mastin.
Coming home has also empowered Goodrem, who is back in her comfort zone.
"I'm just so happy to be in Oz, to be around Australians, having that Aussie spirit surrounding us. It feels great," she says.
The Voice, Channel 9, Sunday, 6.30pm