Taking the stage as a 24-year-old, Em made her debut on Australian Idol and Australia watched on as she became a finalist on season two of the series.
The nation was utterly captivated by her talent, even more so when they found out she had never sung in public before, and had no formal voice training. But being in the limelight wasn't easy.
"I was a mother of one, with no TV experience, no music experience, no entertainment experience and put on a show watched by two million people a week," she told Stellar in an interview this year.
"I didn't love my experience. I loved the career it gave me, [but] at the time I thought I was going to die," she told the publication.
She ended up finishing in ninth place on the show, but it was just the beginning for Em, in what would be a long and tumultuous career.
Shortly after her Idol stint, Em turned to radio, where she had multiple co-hosting gigs, and was most recently at 2Day FM's breakfast show alongside Harley Breen. She joined the breakfast show in 2017, before departing a year later to focus on having a baby.
At the time, there were multiple reports about the challenges that rose when Em co-hosted the show with Grant Denyer and Ed Kavalee in 2018.
In a now infamous chat with Will Anderson on his podcast Wilosophy, Em admitted she wasn't a team player and confessed she didn't react well when she was told she was getting two new co-hosts (Grant and Ed) after her co-host Harley Breen resigned.
"All of a sudden, got two co-hosts that I’d never really met or spoken to, and then I’m expected to have this instant chemistry with. And it was just hectic. And it was The Em Rusciano Radio Show. It was my show, and all of a sudden Ed’s anchoring, the show’s called The 2Day FM Breakfast Show, like I took all these big ego hits,” Em said.
She added: “I often get put together with people I would never pick to work with, just because of my personality type.”
Earlier this year, the 42-year-old reflected on the ups and downs of her former career in commercial radio, and said it had "been hard fought".
"There have been so many times I had been laid flat and my soul bared and thinking my career was over and thinking something was wrong with me, because I kept getting these jobs in radio," she said.
"I was constantly being told who I was, I needed to make myself a bit smaller, not be as opinionated, don't talk about periods, the messy stuff of life," she said.
Since moving on from radio, Em has been performing on stage with a number of tours, and in April this year, she announced her LIVE & Unleashed tour, where she'll be joined by her family in the performances.
"After nearly a year of hibernation, my Live At The Bowl show in Melbourne gave me a taste of what I've missed most about performing, my audience and the enthusiasm that they bring to each and every show," she said.
"I am so thrilled that this time around I'll be able to share the stage with my daughter Chella and father Vincie.
"To have three generations of my family on stage with me has long been a dream of mine. Old power-stance Rusciano is back."
Set to take place in May 2022, Em will perform for Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane audiences.
This year, Em also launched her podcast, Emsolation, during Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdowns, and signed a contract with Spotify Australia to make it Spotify Exclusive. The partnership will see her have full creative control, which Em found to be "so validating".
"[Spotify] enjoy me and don't endure me, which has so often been the case in the past with previous employers," she said.
"They have been incredible. To have one of the biggest listening platforms in the world love what I do and believe and back what I do and not ask me to change a thing."
As for whether or not Em's latest gig will in fact be The Masked Singer, we'll just have to stay tuned.