Coming out of the semi-finals, after recapping every episode for Rogers, my money was on The Cast, from Quebec, to take the $150,000 grand prize. It was another dance troupe from Trois-Rivieres, QC, however, that emerged victorious Tuesday night in the live, two-hour conclusion to Canada’s Got Talent on Citytv.
Dressed all in white, the members of Conversion performed a spectacular and dramatic, book-themed number that was visually stunning. Judges Howie Mandel, Lilly Singh, Trish Stratus and Kardinal Offishall were all impressed, as was host Lindsay Ell, but it was voters at home who made Conversion the CGT winners for 2023.
The troupe also won financial advice from CIBC (how best to split the money among 32 members?) plus an opportunity to take their act on the road as part of the America’s Got Talent Presents: SUPERSTARS show at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
The big announcement at the end of the show was that Canada’s Got Talent will be returning for a third season in 2024 — and, thanks to Citytv’s parent company Rogers, that the grand prize will jump from $150,000 to a cool one million dollars!
Mandel calls it the biggest cash prize in Canadian game show history and unless something topped it in Quebec I’m pretty sure that boast checks out. When CTV hosted a couple of episodes (in New York) of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Canada in 2000, the grand prize was a million. Nobody came close, however, with the top earner giving his final answer at $64,000.
Mandel’s previous game show hit, Deal or No Deal (coming back next fall to NBC as “Deal or No Deal Island” with a Survivor like twist), did have a short-lived Canadian version on Global in 2007. A million dollars was the ultimate prize there as well, but that amount was never awarded during the five episode run. The most anybody got, I believe, was a $109,000 buyout to avoid opening a case.
The Cast, which came second, also performed well under pressure in the final. All dressed in gold, they came out to “Hit the Road Jack” before throwing themselves into several drum beats. Both troupes took full advantage of the giant video walls behind them on stage, as well as the eye-catching light show effects. Hats off to Scott McGillivray Entertainment for an excellent season.
An extra measure of precision Tuesday likely was the difference for Conversion.
The million dollar grand prize isn’t the only upgrade for next season. Once the winner was proclaimed, it was announced by Mandel that CGT sponsor CIBC has pledged $25,000 bonus prizes to each of the six Golden Buzzer winners throughout the next competition.
Hoping to compete for all that new prize money? Don’t let Howie down. Applications are being accepted now on Citytv.com to audition for Season 3. Click here to link directly to the site and start practicing!