Toot Toot! Renee and her Brand New Toyota Rav4!

NZGT winner Renee Maurice (Source: Breakfast)


The judges of New Zealand's Got Talent predicted winner Renee Maurice would make it to the final when she first auditioned.

Ms Maurice beat 11 other finalists to win the third season of the talent show competition last night.

Judge and musician Jason Kerrison told TV ONE's Breakfast that Ms Maurice was very unassuming when she walked on stage to audition.

"Then when she sang, we all had a moment. Chris turned to me and said, I think she's in the final."

Ms Maurice said she was shocked when she was named the winner.

"I don't think I would have entered if I didn't think I was good enough, but I was still really stunned when I did win," she said.

The Upper Hutt 22-year-old was close to ditching her Wellington singing tutor job before taking out the $100,000 grand prize.

The win came at the right time, with her mother unable to work because of poor health.

Her father had been the only one working full time, helped out by the "little bit" Ms Maurice earned tutoring.

"I was at the point where I was thinking of getting a real job to help earn some more money," she said.

Her win means she can pay off her parents' debt and take a holiday to New York to finally fulfil her dream of seeing a Broadway show.

It will also give her some financial security to keep teaching and singing.

"It's really hard to have a career in music in any part of the world, but especially in New Zealand where there aren't many outlets.

"Competitions like New Zealand's Got Talent are really important to help give people a leg up."

'Something special'

Ms Maurice's rendition of the Dreamgirls classic And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going in the grand final was a risky decision given she had never performed it before, she said.

"I knew if I could do it well it would be something special so I decided to be brave and put myself out there."

Ms Maurice had previously auditioned for The X Factor show earlier this year, but only made it as far as the boot camp.

"It's quite comical for my family that I have won this after what happened with X Factor.

"To me it was always quite apparent that X Factor wasn't the right fit. They're looking for a certain mold that I wasn't."

Sony have rights to sign any of the finalists from the show.

Silhouette, the Christchurch dance couple Kate and Lei'ataua Limuloa, took second place last night followed by 14-year-old singer and guitarist Jenny Mitchell, from Gore.




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