Nun Thanks God After Winning Italy's The Voice
A nun who became a global sensation after appearing on Italy's version of The Voice has gone on to win the top prize.
Sister Cristina Scuccia, who even sang a duet with Kylie Minogue during the heats, thanked God and Pope Francis for her victory with a stunning 62% of the telephone vote.
After being declared the winner she led the TV studio audience in the prayer Our Father before breaking down in tears.
The Sicily-born nun's performances on the series were uploaded to YouTube and they have been clicked and viewed more than 50 million times.
Sister Cristina, 25, won the competition with a rendition of What a Feeling from the movie Flashdance after a finale between heavy rock performer Giacomo Voli who sang Stairway to Heaven.
Her voice has even captured the attention of Pope Francis and others in the Vatican, with Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi tweeting: "If we commit injustice, God will leave us without music."
At one point during the final, judge Piero Pelu raised eyebrows by joking that Sister Cristina was the "Devil in person".
Interviews with the nun have proved impossible as she has been signed to Italian state broadcaster Rai and her convent in Milan has been besieged by the media.
Dressed in her black habit and wearing a crucifix she punched the air and told the ecstatic audience and millions watching at home: "My presence here is not up to me, it's thanks to the man upstairs.
"I'm not here to start a career but because I want to send out a message, to evangelise and bring Jesus even here."
Her victory means she will be signed to the music company Universal.
Standing next to the mother superior of her Ursuline order, Sister Agatha, she added:"I really didn't expect all this.
"My aim was to say that I have encountered Jesus. I have a gift and God gave me that gift and I have used it to say that God has taken nothing away from me.
"The priorities in my life are prayer, getting up early and teaching at my school. I will never give up on my vows and the greatest love of my life for a singing career."
Her victory has led to comparisons with the Whoopi Goldberg movie Sister Act in which the actress portrays a singing nun. Goldberg has sent her congratulations and endorsed her in previous rounds.