Singing nun wins The Voice, Italy

She wears sensible black shoes, ankle-length grey skirts and her habit has nothing to do with drugs: an Italian nun has won the final of The Voice of Italy talent show.

Jun 13, 2014

MILAN: She wears sensible black shoes, ankle-length grey skirts and her habit has nothing to do with drugs: an Italian nun has won the final of The Voice of Italy talent show. Sr Cristina Scuccia, took 62.3 per cent of the vote. She ended her run in the competition by reciting the Lord’s Prayer on stage. She wins a recording contract with Universal.

The wholesome 25-year-old has won over audiences in this predominantly Catholic country with a self-effacing manner and soulful renditions of pop classics including The Time of My Life and Girls Just Want to Have Fun.

Pop star Alicia Keys defined as ‘pure energy’ the Sicily native’s startling debut in March with a cover of her hit No One, which wowed judges and quickly propelled the jiving nun to Internet music fame with more than 50 million clicks on YouTube.

The singing sister has already sung alongside Kylie Minogue and Ricky Martin as she fended off other contestants and she even received an endorsement from actress Whoopi Goldberg — the star of the 1990s comedy Sister Act where she is a singer playing a nun. Sr Cristina performed a more demure song for the final. — Beautiful That Way by Noa, which is the soundtrack to Oscar-winning Life is Beautiful.

“I’m not here to start a career but because I want to impart a message,” Sr Cristina said during the final. “The idea of a challenge doesn’t really fit with my habit but it’s helped me grow inside,” she said.

With a musical career looming amid media rumours of a possible impending world tour, Sr Cristina still defines herself a humble servant and ascribes her sudden success to a thirst for joy among viewers.

“Since Pope Francis talks of the Joy of the Gospel I think I’m on the right track,” she said in the run-up to the showdown with three other finalists.

She said she was leaving her future “in the hands of providence”, adding: “I live in the moment”.

Fame has brought media scrutiny to her past, including interviews with an ex-boyfriend and with Claudia Koll, the director of the musical academy where she trained — herself an ex-starlet who is now a lay sister.

“Cristina’s personal journey has brought her to maturity and artistic fullness thanks to a mysterious and special force. By giving herself to the Lord, she has enriched her art,” Koll said in a recent interview.

Sr Cristina has said she used to rebel against religion when she sang in a band but was inspired to be a nun when she auditioned for a part in a musical about the founder of the Ursuline Order, St Angela Merici.

She became a novice in 2009 and worked for two years with poor children in Brazil before formally joining the order and still has to take her final vows. --Catholic Resources

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