*The season finale of NBC’s sleeper hit “The Sing-Off” was held last night with four groups battling for the top prize – a Sony recording contract and the $100,000.
The Backbeats, Committed, Jerry Lawson & the Talk of the Town and Street Corner Symphony each performed with celebrity singers during Monday’s live broadcast.
After performing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” with judge Nicole Scherzinger and “Long Road Home” with guest Sheryl Crow, soulful music veterans Jerry Lawson & the Talk of the Town were eliminated first. One of the competition’s youngest groups, The Backbeats, were cut next. Earlier in the evening they sang “King of Anything” with Sara Bareilles.
It came down to the Southern, rock-influenced Street Corner Symphony and the gospel choir Committed in the end. Both groups turned in rousing performances earlier in the show: Street Corner Symphony collaborated on “Gone” with fellow Nashville native and judge Ben Folds, while Committed reinterpreted “Motown Philly” with judge Shawn Stockman and the rest of Boyz II Men. Both groups also sang “Ain’t No Sunshine” alongside singer-songwriter Neil Diamond.
In the end, host Nick Lachey announced Committed as the champs.
“I just kind of blanked out for a second and was waiting to hear the name,” Committed member Maurice Staple told TVGuide.com shortly after the victory. “When he said Committed, my hearing and everything came back.”
Added member DJ Baptiste: “We kept trying to tell each other to stay calm, breathe, have fun because it’s not going to be like this again. This is a moment we have to cherish.”
Affectionately called the “church boys” by Stockman, Committed was founded in 2003 by four high school students at Forest Lake Academy in Orlando, Florida. The group stayed together as they progressed to Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama (the birthplace of a cappella greats Take6), where they added members and continued to perform, mostly in churches.
Below: Committed performs One Republic’s “Apologize” in an earlier round.