'The Sing Off' winners Pentatonix on YouTube, Nick Lachey and recording an album

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sing-off-finale-pentatonix.jpgArlington, Texas trio-turned a cappella quintet Pentatonix were crowned the winners of "The Sing-Off" in the show's two-hour live finale. Zap2it caught up with the group backstage after the show to talk about their new title.

Frankly, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirstie Maldonado, Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola were still a little shell-shocked at their win, but managed to string enough sentences together to speak effusively about their competition during the show, finding their exquisite rhythm section, and recording their first album.

Zap2it: Congratulations! How does it feel to be the "Sing Off" winners?
Scott: It feels amazing. It really does.
Kevin: To know that we came from completely different parts of the country -- they started off as a trio then added [me and Avi] to the group -- and then we created this sound that is very much us, now to showcase that to the world is a really surreal feeling.
Scott: Just knowing that our sound was voted on and chosen as the winner by America is just a surreal feeling. We feel so thankful and grateful and humbled that people are liking our music and that we're going to get to showcase it now, we're signed.
Kevin: Thanks America!

Did you know when you were singing in the premiere that you had a shot at the title?
Scott: Not in the premiere, no.
Kirstie: We were really scared.
Mitch: We were really nervous.
Scott: That episode we were like, "Are we going to get eliminated?" I mean, all the other groups are so great. We just had no idea.

How did you guys form?
Well, it started out with the trio [of me, Kirstie and Mitch]. We just sang for fun in high school. Then we decided to try out for the show -- I had heard about the show through a friend, because I'm in the SoCal Vocals at USC -- then we decided we would add a rhythm section. So we found Avi through a friend, and then we found Kevin on YouTube. He has a viral video of him playing cello and beatboxing, which is really cool. You should watch it. We all met the day before auditions and we put it all together and it clicked.

The judges on "The Sing Off" more than any other reality competition are well-versed in music and on-point in their critiques. What did you take from what they told you each week?
Kevin: I think, for the songs that we did, never lose sight of what the song is trying to say and the message of the song. With "Your Love is My Drug," what they said is because we added a melody, it lost the party aspect. So we'd always try to make sure we'd never lose sight of what the song was trying to say and the feel of it, but then make sure it is Pentatonix. What we do with it is still very much our own. That's the main thing we've learned. When we write original songs for our record, we're going to try to figure out what the feeling of it is but then always make it Pentatonix. That's our goal now.

So that album you guys get to make now, what's it going to sound like?
Scott: We still haven't even talked about what our album is going to sound like [laughs], but it'll definitely be similar to what you saw on the show -- electronic-influenced, soul-influenced, pop-influenced. Hopefully we'll create a really unique sound that can go mainstream.

How was it singing with Nick Lachey?
It was fun! So cool.
Scott: First of all, he's really, really talented. He's just such a seasoned performer. He's one of the nicest guys ever -- he really is. He was giving us all this advice. He was just such a cool guy, and he was super professional -- we added all these weird sections to the song that weren't in the original song and he totally went with it. He's just awesome.

What was it like working with the other groups?
It was great. It never felt like a competition ever.
Mitch: We were all like family. There was never any headbutting, and it didn't really ever feel like a competition because we were so supportive of one another. It was just really nice to share the stage with such talented performers.
Scott: It sounds like we're being diplomatic, but it's so true. Honestly, all the groups got along perfectly. There was no drama. Everyone was just so grateful to be here.

When you were standing on stage tonight and they were about to announce the winner, what was going through your head? Did you think you had a chance at winning?
I was hoping! [Laughs]
Scott: My brain wasn't even working.
Kirstie: I was just replaying the moments we've had on stage together and then just hoping, praying that our dream was going to come true, and ...
Scott: It did!
Photo/Video credit: NBC