Who is Sister Cristina Scuccia?
Until just days ago, 25-year-old Sister Cristina Scuccia was but one of thousands of Catholic nuns in Italy. That is until she did a blind audition for The Voice of Italy, a TV singing competition, and wowed the judges with her rendition of Alicia Keys' “No One”.
How shocked were they to see a nun on reality TV?
Judge Raffaella Carrà reacts on realizing Scuccia in a nun. Screenshot: TheVoiceofItaly/YouTube
What happened next?
Scuccia impressed all four judges and chose Italian rapper J-Ax to be her musical mentor. The unlikely pair are “like the devil and holy water”, as J-Ax said.
She will now have to battle against other contestants vying to be crowned The Voice of Italy.
What are her chances?
High. Talent aside, the Sicilian nun’s story has gone global and a video of her audition has already gained over three million hits on YouTube.
How did Scuccia go from convent to TV career?
Music was her first religion, according to The Voice website, which says “her childhood dream was to become a singer.”
It wasn’t until 2008 that Scuccia went to a music hall event organized by a group of nuns in Milan, where she was then living, that she turned to the Catholic Church.
She joined the convent and just recently was convinced by her Mother Superiors to apply for a singing spot on The Voice.
What is daily life like for Scuccia away from The Voice?
Nuns at the Orsolina of the Holy Family (Orsolina della Sacra Famiglia) convent, on the edge of Milan, are involved in community activities such as teaching school children, as well as taking part in the life of their local parish.
What does the Vatican make of her?
On Thursday Scuccia won the backing of Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican’s culture minister, who published a supportive bible quote on Twitter. “Everyone, according to the gift they have received, should put it in the service of others,” Ravasi wrote, with the #suorcristina hashtag created for The Voice star.
Ciascuno, secondo il dono ricevuto, lo metta a servizio degli altri (1 Pietro 4,10) #suorcristina
— Gianfranco Ravasi (@CardRavasi) March 20, 2014
Pope Francis has been less vocal, although on the TV programme, Scuccia said she hoped the pontiff would call her.
What if Scuccia doesn’t win The Voice?
She could follow in the footsteps of Sister Mary Clarence, the all-singing, all-dancing nun from the 1992 blockbuster Sister Act. Scuccia has already been likened to the character, played by actress Whoopi Goldberg, who injects life into an inner-city convent and leads its choir all the way to a papal audience.