ROME — Ursuline Sister Cristina Scuccia’s landslide victory on The Voice of Italy last night wasn’t as big a surprise as much as what she did with her winner’s platform.
She thanked everyone on the talent show for their help and support, but left her highest praise for God.
“My final and most important thanks go to the one who is up there,” she said to applause.
She said her presence on The Voice wasn’t to walk away a winner or a music star, but to show people a different kind of victory:
“My dream is to recite the Our Father together, maybe we can all hold each other’s hands and pray. I want Jesus to come right here inside!”
It left most people perplexed and unsure, but Sister Cristina was in charge, telling the band to strike up a soft melody to set the mood.
Half-joking, the MC said, “She’s taking over!” So he let her lead the prayer, but without the band.
Her rapper, atheist coach, J-Ax, warned her that he and the other bad-boy coach on stage, Piero Pelu, “will burst into flames.”
“Oh, come on!” she replied. Once a lapsed Catholic herself, Sister Cristina wasn’t intimidated and off she went, leading people in prayer on the finale of the highly popular TV show.
The sister won 62% of the popular vote, crushing her closest competitor — a very talented hard rock singer, who did a pretty decent “Stairway to Heaven.”
Here are the four songs she sang last night.
The first, “Beautiful That Way,” is from the movie “Life is Beautiful.” J-Ax chose the tune, she said, because “I came in smiling and he wants me to end (the TV series) smiling.”
She did a duet with her coach called “Gli Anni — The Years” as a retrospective tribute to the past season together:
The third part was to sing a never-before-performed song. J-Ax gave Sister Cristina a rousing Italian tune called “Lungo la Riva — Along the Shore,” which was about going on a journey and following a light that will “lead me to you,” to which Sister Cristina always pointed to heaven:
The finale was a reprisal of the song each competitor performed for their first blind audition.
That first video of Sister Cristina doing Alicia Keys’ “No one,” garnered worldwide attention, including from Keys, who praised the sister’s performance.
J-Ax said that video, which has more than 51 million views, should be proof of the sister’s talent because “to paraphrase Elvis, 50 million people can’t be wrong!”
And what does the Vatican have to say?
Last night, during the competition, the head of the Pontifical Council for Culture tweeted a quote from an ancient Roman statesman, who was a Christian writer and great supporter of monastic communities:
“If we continue to commit injustice, God will leave us without music.”
And his advice?
This morning the cardinal tweeted a saying from Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav:
“Even if you can’t sing well, sing. Sing to yourself. Sing in the privacy of your home. But sing!”