TORONTO, Ont. – Canada’s Got Talent has announced its first season winner.

After narrowing down the number of finalists from 12 to three, three-member traditional dance group Sagkeeng’s Finest, from Fort Alexander, Man., was crowned the most talented Canadian act to a crowd of screaming fans.

“This was such a story of the underdog. They didn’t ever think in a million years they would win,” said Canada’s Got Talent’s host Dina Pugliese. “Canada spoke.”

Sagkeeng’s Finest are Vincent O’Laney, 17, and brothers Brandon and Dallas Courchene, 18 and 17, from Sagkeeng’s First Nation. Their journey began in Winnipeg at the casting tour in September 2011, followed by the Live Theatre Audition Tour in Dec. 2011 and the live semifinals in April.

In Sunday night’s live finals, the group performed to a mash-up of Raghav’s “Fire” and Metro Station’s “Shake It,” with a fusion of traditional clogging and tap.

“Actually this feels super-overwhelming. We will never forget this experience,” said one of the group’s members.

“We worked really hard at it. We learned new dances. We broke some of the rules of the traditional steps and we made it, man. It’s awesome. I thank everybody for putting us in the underdog position because it pushed us even more. We came out on top because it made us work so hard.”

In a news release, the show’s executive producer Ed Robinson said Sagkeeng’s Finest is “a uniquely-Canadian talent that struck a chord with communities across the country. The First Nation’s traditional dance trio are outstanding role models not only for their community, but for all Canadian youth. Their spirit captured the hearts of the nation, and their story is a testament to what hard work, dedication and commitment can achieve. We are proud to bring this unique act to a national stage.”

The dance troupe wins $100,000, a Nissan GT-R sports car worth $105,000, a Las Vegas show and an appearance at the Citytv New Year’s Eve bash.

The final performance show was on Sunday night, and each of the 12 acts gave it their all in the hopes of becoming the winner of the nation’ biggest talent competition.

The 12 diverse acts ranged from dancers, opera singers and beatboxers.

Judges Stephan Moccio, Measha Brueggergosman and Martin Short felt Canada was going to have a hard time voting for a winner.

“Here we are with a group of three wonderful boys who have come from a small community, and have shown us that dreams do come true,” Moccio said.

Also in the top three were rock band Angry Candy and dance group Freshh.

The other 11 finalists were:

  • Angry Candy (five-member rock band), ages: 27-37, from Moncton, N.B.
  • Aygul Memet, 36 (circus performer), from Toronto, Ont.
  • Broken Dance (10-member traditional dance group), ages: 19-25, from Mississauga, Ont.
  • Emilio Fina, 38 (opera singer), from Petersburg, Ont.
  • Freshh (seven-member dance group), ages: 13-17, from Vancouver, B.C.
  • Ivan Daigle, 41 (solo singer), from Petitcodiac, N.B.
  • Julie Lafontaine, 45 (opera singer), from Montreal, Que.
  • KRNFX, a.k.a. Terry Im, 22 (beatboxer), from Toronto
  • Scott Jackson, 24 (beatboxer), from Toronto
  • Shale Wagman, 11 (solo dancer), from Toronto
  • The Emsee a.k.a Mathew Cathcart, 21 (rapper), from Hamilton, Ont.


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