Pop Goes The News — America’s Got Talent judge Howie Mandel revealed Friday why he believes the Canadian version of the show was a failure.
Canada’s Got Talent aired for only one season on City stations across the country in the spring of 2012. Though 1.5 million viewers tuned in to the premiere, the finale attracted only 460,000.
Hosted by Dina Pugliese, Canada’s Got Talent featured judges Martin Short, Stephan Moccio, and Measha Brueggergosman.
The Got Talent format, created by Simon Cowell, originated in the UK and there are currently more than 30 versions around the world.
“This is the only country where it really didn’t work,” said Mandel, who has been a judge on America’s Got Talent for seven seasons.
The Toronto native said during a taping of the Industry Standard with Barry Katz podcast in Montreal that Canada’s Got Talent bombed because the judges “were too nice and not honest.”
“It’s really hard because we love our country and we love our people,” Mandel explained.
“When you had a Canadian native Indian person from Saskatchewan doing Inuit poems in Canada we go, ‘Oh my god, that was tremendous, that was really heart moving’ — when the truth is, where the fuck are you going to sell that?
“Who’s going to listen to a native Saskatchewan poem? Where are you going to sell that shit up? But we can’t say that on Canadian TV.”
Sagkeeng’s Finest, an indigenous dance troupe from Manitoba, won Canada’s Got Talent, taking home $100,000 cash and a car. The trio continues to perform at events across the country.
Mandel, who is in Montreal to host a gala at the Just For Laughs festival, said “I’m proud of Canada and I’m proud to be Canadian.”
He joked that his comments may not go over well.
“I’m going to be deported.”
During the podcast taping, Mandel shared his thoughts on former AGT judges Howard Stern (“I was excited that Howard was coming”) and Sharon Osbourne (“One of the best moms but one of the most outrageous, weird, wonderful, fearless, funny, crazy people I know”) and current co-judge Simon Cowell (“He’s ironic, he’s funny, he’s smart, he gets it and he’s brave”).
He said appearing on AGT “doesn’t really seem like a job.”
“Now they pay me to do what I was doing alone at home on the couch in my underpants.”
Mandel also opened up about his career highs and lows, his early years in Toronto, and his mental health struggles.