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Originally published June 6, 2014 at 5:49 PM | Page modified June 6, 2014 at 11:33 PM

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Singing nun wins Italian TV talent show

A big question in a country where some polls suggest a majority of Italian women aspire to television fame is whether success will go to the head of Sister Cristina Scuccia, 25, possibly leading her astray from her calling.


The New York Times

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ROME — She trilled and thrilled millions of YouTube viewers with songs by Alicia Keys, Cyndi Lauper and Bon Jovi. She belted out a duet with Kylie Minogue, both of them clad in black, albeit with vastly different approaches to style.

And early Friday, Sister Cristina Scuccia, the Sicilian singing nun who has become a worldwide sensation, won the second edition of the TV-talent competition “The Voice of Italy” after singing a rousing version of “Flashdance ... What a Feeling,” the Oscar-winning song from the 1983 film “Flashdance,’’ accompanied by a chorus line of dancers dressed as monks, who threw off their habits to reveal pastel-color suits.

“My dream is to recite Our Father together,” Scuccia said upon winning, intoning the Lord’s Prayer, while the show’s judges shuffled their feet and mumbled, visibly uncomfortable. The show’s host noted her “very original way” of accepting.

On the wave of the global success of the video showing her singing Keys’ “No One,” viewed online by 51 million people since it was posted in March, Scuccia’s victory — with more than 60 percent of the votes cast — came as little surprise, even as Italian media unfailingly joked she may have had a little help from above.

The bigger question in a country where some polls suggest a majority of Italian women aspire to television fame is whether success will go to the head of the 25-year-old nun, possibly leading her astray from her calling. Winning the competition, after all, comes with a recording contract.

“There are plenty of people guiding her who will help organize her artistic activity. I think she has a lot of support,” said Claudia Koll, an actress who enrolled Scuccia at the drama school she runs at a convent in Rome after hearing her perform. “She is supported by prayer and by people, so she’s not as much at risk as people think,” Koll said in a telephone interview.

At a news conference Wednesday with the finalists of “The Voice,” Scuccia said she would follow the orders of her superiors regarding her future, which could include tours and recording contracts. She said that if asked to, she was ready to return to the church choir where she sang before.

Scuccia defeated four rivals Thursday to grab the title, and the final came down to the nun and a 28-year-old rocker channeling a 1970s heavy-metal look.



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