Singing Nun Crushes the Competition

The Singing Nun, Sister Cristina Scuccia shows her cross following her victory in "The Voice of Italy" singing competition. June 5, 2014

The Singing Nun, Sister Cristina Scuccia shows her cross following her victory in “The Voice of Italy” singing competition. June 5, 2014

Dear Blog Readers —

Mozzarella Mamma is not moving fast enough and I missed the 24 hour news cycle on this one….so you have already probably heard about Italy’s now famous singing nun on the BBC, NPR or in The New York Times– the nun has even gone viral.  Nevertheless, this little piece of cheerful news deserves a blog post.

On Thursday night,  Sister Cristina Scuccia (pronounced Scoo-Chah) of Sicily blew out all the competition on Italy’s national TV singing competition show and won “The Voice of Italy” earning over 62 -percent of the phone vote.

The spunky 25-year-old nun, dressed in a black habit with black shoes, danced about the stage singing “What a Feeling” from the movie “Flashdance.”  I have to admit I was busy poo-poohing the whole story until I pulled up the video of her on YouTube and pretty soon I was dancing around the office myself.  That nun’s enthusiasm is contagious!  She gives real meaning to the singing nun played by Julia Andrews in “The Sound of Music” and Whoopi Goldberg in “Sister Act.”  Just click on the video below and listen to her!

It all started on March 9th when the TV show judges, their chairs turned so they could hear but not see the competitors, were treated to Sister Cristina belting out Alicia Key’s “No One”.   At first she moved a bit stodgily, and it was hard not to notice the plain black shoes, thick grey tights, wire-rim glasses and grey cross bouncing on her chest.  But as she became steadily more impassioned,  her voice booming out the words, the crowd jumped to their feet cheering wildly and the tv camera panned to a group of nuns clapping and moving to the music, huge smiles of pride on their faces.  When the judges swirled their chairs around, their mouths fell open in astonishment.

Sister Cristina grew up in Sicily and now lives in a convent in Milan with a group of Orsoline nuns.  At a press conference in Milan before the final, Sister Cristina said even if she won she would “never renounce the biggest love of my life, the calling that I have had.”

She gave a sense of her faith to the television audience by leading the crowd in “The Lord’s Prayer” following her victory and pointing upwards to the heavens to indicate who had helped her, and when the photographers asked her to hold up her trophy, she lifted her grey cross instead.

So what will be in Sister Cristina’s future — that will be decided by her superior, Sister Agata. Sister Agata was quoted in today’s Italian daily “La Repubblica” saying, “We are still shaken, we are scared of what is happening.  Sister Cristina has a talent that she wished to give to others.  But the rest, all the extras, that is something that does not belong to her or to us.”

We shall see.

Sister Cristina grew up in Sicily and now lives in a convent in Milan with a group of Orsoline nuns.  At a press conference in Milan before the final, Sister Cristina said even if she won she would "never renounce the biggest love of my life, the calling that I have had." She gave a sense of her faith to the television audience by leading the crowd in "The Lord's Prayer" following her victory and pointing upwards to the heavens to indicate who had helped her, and when the photographers asked her to hold up her trophy, she lifted her grey cross instead.  So what will be in Sister Cristina's future -- that will beside by her superior, Sister Agata. Sister Agata was quoted in todays Italian daily La Repubblica as saying, "We are still shaken, we are scared of what is happening.  Sister Cristina has a talent that she wished to give to others.  But the rest, all the extras, that is something that does not belong to to her or to us." We shall see.

17 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Annette
    2014/06/07

    I saw the first win on YouTube and have been following Sister Cristina since. I think she’s fabulous :D

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2014/06/07

      I agree, she is fabulous and such a breath of Fresh air for Italy right now.

      Reply
  2. Avatar
    Adri
    2014/06/07

    What a trip! This is such a sweet story, although of course I do find my self getting cynical wondering just how much the judges knew and when. But all that aside, the woman is really talented, and I hope that what ever path she follows with her music, she is happy and fulfilled. It seems to me that with her talent and calling she could surely do some good in this world. Thanks for the uplifting piece. By the way, those Italian judges are VERY colorful characters.

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2014/06/07

      Sister Cristina is wonderful and as I mentioned to you in an email she is a little piece of good news as Italy is drowning in news of corruption scandals. As far as your cynicism is concerned, it is well-placed. The TV producers probably figured it all out ahead of time for their ratings. I was once asked to be on an Italian TV show on a Panel of Foreign Press judges choosing the most important Italian in history. In the final round, we were encouraged to cast our vote in a certain way (we all rejected the pressure, however, the panel of Italian judges caved totally). I also agree with you that the panel of judges was a bunch of weird looking characters– they are all famous here, but I wasn’t going to be bothered with explaining who they all are because I don’t think anyone will really care.

      Reply
  3. Avatar
    Nancy Rockwell
    2014/06/07

    Every now and then nuns make the music charts, but usually for rather ethereal group singing – this is a new adventure for Catholic religious, and I think a good one, to see how they can be opened to the power of the spirit in one person, and to an individual destiny, when losing your individuality is so much a part of their thinking about religious life. Their own saints, of course, were great individualists. But never their clergy, which is part of the obedience training thing. This could be a window to fresh air — perhaps she will sing for the Pope now – and this Pope might dance along!

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2014/06/07

      I think there is nothing she would like more than to perform for the Pope, and who knows she may be her chance. She said in a press conference before the final that she would love to have a phone call from the Pope. Since Pope Francis does make calls sometimes, she may just be surprised some day.

      Reply
  4. Avatar
    Gwen Thomas
    2014/06/07

    Well somehow I haven’t see that in the news at all! Holy cats! She is awesome!

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2014/06/07

      Isn’t she awesome. I am so glad you didn’t see the news and I was able to share it. She gave me such a boost.

      Reply
  5. Avatar
    Ciao Chow Linda
    2014/06/07

    I had been following the story, but even though I’ve been in Italy for a week now, I missed the finale results. I’m thrilled she won – she obviously has talent. I am wondering if there is a financial prize and who gets to keep it. Does she get a recording contract? How will that sit with her superiors? I would presume she could and would do a lot of good works with any remuneration that came her way. Thanks for keeping us all in the loop, Trisha. Hope to see you in a couple of weeks for an aperol spritz.

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2014/06/08

      I think she has been offered a contract to make a record (that comes with the prize) but she has said she has to wait for her Superior Sister Agata to decide. I will let you know if I hear the final decision on that one. In the meantime, can’t wait to see you in Rome for that Aperol Spritz!!!

      Reply
  6. Avatar
    danielle
    2014/06/08

    well, Sister Cristina is fab and will still be fab without the, uhm shoes and habit. But in a funny way, she stands with her feet spread apart. Any review on that!?

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2014/06/08

      I am so glad you noticed that feet thing too. She stood and danced in a very solid way with her feet spread apart. I wanted to write about it in the post but I couldn’t quite get my brain around why– but it was very nun-like and not very delicate or sensual. I suppose if you get used to wearing sturdy shoes and having dresses that fall well below your knee, the most comfortable way to move around is with your feet placed solidly apart. Anyway, I liked her for it. There are too many sexy women gyrating around on Italian TV so nice to have Sister Cristina for a change.

      Reply
  7. Avatar
    Alan
    2014/06/08

    Oh, what a hoot! This has made my Sunday – tears of laughter streaming! I’m just back from Iran where the ‘ladies in black’ wouldn’t dream of prancing about on stage let alone exposing a well-turned ankle!

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2014/06/08

      I am so happy it made your day. Glad to hear your back from Iran — I have not had much time lately to read other blogs, but as soon as I have a second I am going to zip over to Archers of Okular to hear all about your trip.

      Reply
  8. Avatar
    Alan
    2014/06/08

    Oh, what a hoot! This has made my Sunday – tears of laughter streaming! I’m just back from Iran where the ‘ladies in black’ wouldn’t dream of prancing about on stage let alone exposing a well-turned ankle! Thank you Trisha.

    Reply
  9. Avatar
    :)
    2014/06/11

    I haven’t heard her voice yet, but it is a beautiful story.

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2014/06/11

      You need to click on the links in the post and you should be able to see/hear her sing.

      Reply

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