NEW YORK -Two Haitian Americans are among the six-man crew from Committed who won NBC’s “The Sing Off” Dec. 20, earning $100,000 and a Sony recording contract. Hailing from Huntsville, Alabama, Committed won “The Sing-Off” after performing hit songs such as “This Love” by Maroon 5 and Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.”
The winning song, however for Alain Tommy Gervais and Justin Pierre and their crew came from vault of Michael Jackson. Performing the newly released “Hold My Hand” -featuring Akon, Committed was able to beat the six-man group “Street Corner Symphony.”
“It was like a dream. No word can express how it felt that night,” Pierre, 23 said referring to the very moment show host Nick Lachey named the group. We work very hard.
Pierre, who has been singing at a very young age, is from Maple, Florida. He majored in Biology.
“It was a great moment. I was crying, I have been dreaming of that for the longest,” Gervais said in a telephone interview at a studio the group has been working all day.
Gervais, who played drum, guitar, bass, piano and saxophone, has been singing at an early age as well. He came from an instrumentalist family who also sing and were all part of a choir. His father, Tony has been a talented guitar player and a choir member at a very young age in Haiti.
“I feel good and praise the Lord for that,” a joyful Therèse Gervais said in a telephone interview from Orlando, FL where she and Tony raised their children.
“The whole family is so proud of him, he went to many challenges this year,” she said.
Tommy has six other siblings. He went to Evans High School, Fl. He completed his Senior year at Forest Lake Academy a private school.
The other four members of the all-male gospel group are Maurice Staple, Therry Thomas
DJ Baptiste and Robbie Tressley.
They began their group in 2003 and solidified their sound while at school at Oakwood College in Huntsville, AL. Committed has grown to be a very sought after a cappella group for many events around the North Alabama area and various places around the country.
“The Sing Off” began airing Dec. 6 and lasted two weeks on NBC and featured judges Ben Folds (Ben Folds Five), Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men), and Nicole Scherzinger (The Pussycat Dolls). The show featured the country’s top 10 a cappella groups performing songs that are entrenched in popular culture.
Street Corner Symphony which was placed second and The Backbeats and Jerry Lawson & Talk of the Town which also competed in the finale are the other groups in the contest.
At the finale all four groups perform “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.” Then, Committed and Boyz II Men perform “Motownphilly” together. Next, The Backbeats pair with Sara Bareilles and sing “King of Anything.
Committed has been compared many times to a cappella groups like Take 6 and Connect 5, who both began their music careers at Oakwood College as well. Committed had shown their versatility. Four out of six of the members including Gervais are instrumentalists and all of them are able to sing various styles of music from gospel, pop, R&B, contemporary worship, and jazz. Their versatility and goal to inspire all they encounter has kept them creative.
“I expected that some time to happen because they are really, really good. I knew they would have won,” Tommy sister, Judith who is herself a model said.
The group who just taped NBC’s Access Hollywood show will travel to New York to be on NBC’s Today show Dec. 22.
Committed met last night with members of Sony Music record label and its other branch A&R who are looking for a manager for them. Working with Sony Music will give the gospel group great opportunities but will put them on the spot for critics by fans from their state.
Pierre and Gervais recognize they will have to stop being an all gospel group and sing the popular songs the record label will present to them. But they said they will stay true to themselves and stay away from obscenity.
“We will stay true to our roots and sing inspirational song,” Pierre said.
“They are nothing wrong to sing love we are Christians and God talk about love.”