Well, isn't this special? Sister Cristina Scuccia, a happenin' church lady with a real rock 'n roll stage presence, just became the second winner of “The Voice of Italy,” wowing not only tons of viewers but the show's four judges, who unanimously tried to recruit her for their teams. She seems fantastic. In fact, she seems miraculous considering she belted Alicia Keys' “No One” and sang the lyrics — believably — in English. But is Cristina the best singing nun ever? Lord, grant me the serenity to figure it out.
First, here's Cristina. Impassioned, rowdy, and apparently a big fan of American pop-R&B. I would kill to hear her version of “Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!).” I would also kill just to hear from Blu Cantrell in general. Come back to us, Blu.
For you OGs out there, here's the original “Singing Nun.” Jeanine Deckers topped the U.S. Billboard chart with “Dominique,” and I feel confident saying that it's the strangest #1 hit in history, save of course “Batdance.” Now, twist: “Dominique” does not really hold up fifty years later. If it did, it would've been the anthems of at least two members of the 1996 U.S. Women's Gymnastics team.
Now here's some Singing Nun action that everyone loves. Helen Reddy, already an empowered chanteuse thanks to her hit “I Am Woman,” barreled into the horrible yet financially successful disaster film “Airport 1975” with this self-penned jam, “Best Friend.” Oh, the schmaltz. Oh, the sincerity. Oh, Helen! If only ballads could save doomed aircraft. :(
Of course, “Airplane!” had its own version of the Singing Nun. She's more of a baller, I have to say. Hope she ripped into “Rock Steady” right after this.
But Sister Mary Clarence! She is arguably the most rock 'n roll nun. Her shoe choices alone? Come on now. Her choir sounds slightly more inspired than Alicia Keys, who is the blandest lyricist of the past 15 years, so I'm afraid Sister Cristina loses this round.
And lastly (though I'm leaving out several singing nuns in history, I know), we have the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, a group of real Missouri nuns who logged a #1 album on the U.S. Classical Music chart with their disc “Advent at Ephesus.” It's traditionally churchy. Ethereal, all that. But guys: These are real damn nuns. They are so real, they call themselves “Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles,” which sounds like some sort of unreleased Anne Rice movie starring Aaliyah. Props to them for notching a #1, but… I'm just terrified of them is all!
While Sister Mary Clarence is forever the nunnery-rocking bad-ass of all time, Sister Cristina is a very, very close second. Who's your favorite singing nun?