The first season of CTV's The Traitors Canada has come to an end, with magician and mentalist Mike D’Urzo, who has been a Traitor in the game from the beginning, being the sole winner of the entire $94,500 prize.
"I am feeling amazing," D’Urzo told Yahoo Canada the day after the final episode aired. "I would have never gotten into this thinking I would be the sole winner of the first season of The Traitors Canada."
"So it's a really good feeling. I'm still taking it all in and processing it."
The final episode of Traitors Canada came with unexpected twists and turns, and a heart-wrenching conclusion for Gurleen Maan, the 35-year-old Farming For Love star, in particular.
Given the option of banishing D’Urzo or Halifax firefighter Leroy Fontaine, in the final move of the game, Maan gives a speech about how she was supportive of her plan with Fontaine to get rid of D’Urzo, but she ultimately thought Fontaine was trying to trick her. Of course, now we know she made the wrong decision.
D’Urzo says that was a particularly "tough moment" to be in, being happy about his win while Maan was getting emotional about her decision.
"It was a really tough moment because you build these close bonds with everyone ... and that moment with Gurleen, when I knew I had to tell her I was a Traitor, it just felt like, I can't celebrate this because I just backstabbed one of my best friends there," D’Urzo said. "It was hard to do that, but I mean, it's part of the game."
"I was chosen to be a Traitor, so I had to do the dirty work in the show."
One of D’Urzo's finale moves in normal gameplay was recruiting The Amazing Race Canada Season 2 winner, Mickey Henry, to be a Traitor. But it was a very short lived moment for Henry who was banished shortly after, including D’Urzo voting for Henry to be booted from the game.
"At that point in the game, when I recruited Mickey, he was honestly my only option because he was the only one I trusted," D’Urzo said. "I felt like we had a really close bond, he would never talk bad about me."
"It's not that in that moment, when I recruited him, I wanted to throw him under the bus right away. I kind of went with the flow. I was seeing what other people were saying and then when I saw the vote was leaning towards Mickey, I had to go with it. I had no other choice, because obviously, I knew Travon [Smith] was going to vote for me and Donna [Hartt] was the wildcard in this. I couldn't take that risk."
'My whole living is based around lying, manipulating, deceiving'
In terms of what D’Urzo believes really contributed to his success in the game, he was actually surprised more people didn't see him as a threat earlier on in the experience.
"The craziest thing is, being a magician, you would think I would be one of the first people that people would suspect," D’Urzo said. "My whole living is based around lying, manipulating, deceiving, and I was able to somehow make that not seen as a threat, and I did it right from the start when I did a simple card trick for them."
Ultimately, D’Urzo is glad he got to play the game as a Traitor, but he had thoughts on the best strategy for Faithful players.
"The whole thing about being a Faithful is about staying alive in the game," D’Urzo advised. "You want to know who the Traitors are, take them to the end and then try to get them out there."
"If I was playing a Faithful game, that's what I would do."
Going back to what inspired D’Urzo to join Traitors Canada, the 39-year-old from Toronto had seen the U.K. and U.S. versions of the show and thought this would be an experience that would put him outside of his "comfort zone."
"I'm a stage performer, I'm used to being in front of an audience, in my comfort zone," he said. "I'm not used to being around all this drama."
"One of the first episodes Gurpyar [Bains] called my name out, out of the blue, and I wasn't expecting it. I just realized in that moment, am I really cut out for this game? I was so nervous, I think I turned red. I didn't know how to react. But I'm glad that happened early in the game because I realized, OK I've got to keep my cool through this, otherwise people are going to suspect me right away."
For anyone hoping to possibly participate in Traitors Canada in the future, the season's winner said listening and being "attentive" is something to keep in mind.
"You really have to be attentive to each person in that game because at the end of the day, every vote is going to count at some point," D’Urzo said. "So you want to build those alliances, you want to be friends with everyone. Be friendly. Don't attack people.
"Everyone who was basically vocal and attacking people were out early in the game, because no one likes to hear their name in a negative way. I think if you listen more to what other people have to say, you'll be in a better position."
How to watch 'The Traitors Canada'
Catch up on all episodes of Traitors Canada on the Crave streaming platform.