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Singing nun a front-runner as she heads into finals of Italy's "The Voice" TV talent show

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ROME - A singing nun who has charmed audiences across Italy with romping renditions of Alicia Keys' "No One" and Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" heads into the finals of a TV talent show as an unusual front-runner.

With her full habit, sensible shoes and cheering nuns in her camp, Sister Cristina Scuccia made it to Thursday's finals of the Italian version of "The Voice" after capturing attention — and millions of YouTube viewers — with her first-round performance in March.

In that show, "The Voice" judges couldn't see Scuccia, making their selection all the more surprising once they turned their chairs around and found the 25-year-old nun belting out the Keys classic.

At a news conference on the eve of the finals, Scuccia said Wednesday that even if she wins, her religious superiors would decide what she does.

"No one has won yet and there are still four of us competing, but regardless of how I do, my superiors make decisions about my future," she was quoted as saying by Italian news agencies. "I'd be happy to go back to singing in chapel with the children."

If she gets a record contract, Scuccia said she would continue with her religious vocation.

"I'd never renounce the biggest love of my life, the calling that I have had," she was quoted as saying. "Absolutely not."

Scuccia has made one request, however, saying after her first-round win that she'd love to hear from Pope Francis. The pope, who is known for making cold calls, hasn't rung her up yet.

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