updated 12/21/2010 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 12/21/2010 AT 9:50 AM ET
It’s one thing to win the season 2 title on NBC’s The Sing-Off – but it’s another to do it while performing live with your childhood idols.
That’s what happened to the Alabama church group Committed, who sang with judge Shawn Stockman and his band Boyz II Men during the finale Monday night – then went on to win America’s vote over Nashville singers Street Corner Symphony.
“I felt like I was in a dream,” says Geston Pierre, who celebrated along with group members Robbie Pressley, Tommy Gervais, Dennis Baptiste, Maurice Staple and Therry Thomas. “It was surreal. No words can express how I felt when they announced we won.”
“Performing with Boyz II Men was like a dream come true because they’ve been one of our idols for years,” says Thomas.
Adds Stockman, “Committed were the ones who showed up and remained consistent throughout most of the competition and they deserved it.”
In addition to a trophy and $100,000 cash prize, Committed win a Sony recording contract. “We really want to have [an album] more on the inspirational side,” Pierre says. “That’s what we’ve been putting out People want to see more inspirational music so hopefully that’s what we can give them.”
Judge Ben Folds, who calls Committed “harmonically bad-ass,” says, “They’re best when they’re inspired. They should stick by the things that absolutely move them.”
Though Street Corner Symphony came in second, the group and lead singer Jeremy Lister got a lot of welcome exposure. “It was entirely satisfying, ” says Lister, whose own album, The Bed You Made, will be released in 2011. “The Whiffenpoofs are coming to play a show with us in Nashville at the Exit In, and four of Committed are going to come sing with us as well.”
“I had a great time,” says Lachey. “I wouldn’t have been surprised if any of the groups won because they have all been so deserving, but Committed’s sound is just incredible. But even as good singers as they are, they’re even better people. That speaks to them and I think that’s why America fell in love with them.”