Canada's Got Talent: On a night of red-hot performances, the judges become 'swingers'

Bob Kapur     March 30, 2022



TrishStratus.com special guest columnist Bob Kapur recaps Canada's Got Talent airing Tuesdays on Citytv.



Week two saw a new batch of hopefuls show off their various talents in hopes of winning over the judges and getting their shot at fame and fortune to the tune of $150,000 and a chance to perform at the Luxor in Las Vegas.

Speaking of which, I’m in Las Vegas right now, so had to figure out a creative way to watch the show while on the road. Let’s just say that I’ve got no talent when it comes to technology – but I think I managed to catch all the salient details to hopefully provide a fulsome recap. With that said, let’s get right to it.

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Savio Joseph




Savio, from Brampton, Ontario, is at a crossroads in his life. A recent graduate from a University Computer Science program, the result of this audition will lead him to either seek out a more traditional career like the ones his parents want for him, or to pursue his dream of being a magician, something he’s been into since he was ten years old.

His trick was designed around that theme as well. He had Howie sign a $100 bill, which he slipped into one of four envelopes, the other three containing a slip of paper with traditional career choices written on them. He mixed up the envelopes and then asked a judge to pick one blindly – and if it contained a job, then he would hit that judge’s buzzer on himself, putting him closer to elimination. After Kardinal and Trish’s picks led to buzzers, he had Lilly pick one and he burned the other without opening it. Lilly’s was also a career, suggesting that his future – like Howie’s bill – had just gone up in smoke.

But, like any good Canadian, Savio had some beer with him – a six-pack of bottles that he’d set down on the judges’ desk before starting his trick. And after having Howie pick one of them at random, Savio smashed open the bottle to find a scroll – that not only included predictions of what the other judges’ envelopes contained, but also Howie’s autographed $100 bill.

The judges were really blown away by the trick, and they invited Savio’s parents to the stage when they gave him the good news that he had four Yesses, and was going to the next round.

My hot take: The trick dragged on a bit and the presentation wasn’t the most exciting, but the payoff reveal was really neat. If he can make the performance a little more exciting throughout, Savio might go pretty far in the competition.

Montage - Various


Of course, for every Savio, there are numerous other hopefuls that don’t go forward and will have to explore careers other than those in the entertainment field. Such was the case for: Nicole Malbeuf of Peterborough, Ontario, whose flexible aerial routine wasn’t quite hair-raising enough for the judges; Toronto-based singer-songwriter Tomcattt who sounded like a wounded cat screeching out his ultimately-prescient lyrics “No, no, no, no, no”; Melanie Doderai from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, who played the violin while suspended upside down from a giant ribbon in a performance that was just plain Badivarius; and Jaymes Buckman from Toronto, Ontario, who got bucked, man, right off the stage with four buzzers.

Herbert Henries




Funny for the right reasons was Herbert, a self-professed “comedy dangerist” who comes from Winnipeg, Manitoba, but looked and sounded like he walked off the set of Napoleon Dynamite. His offbeat comedy came from delivering some really funny self-deprecating humour in a deadpan manner (the “danger” came in the form of host Lindsay Ell throwing plastic knives at him during his act). He may come across as too weird for some people, but the judges found his character and his ‘cutting’ humour to be hilarious, and he got Yesses across the board.

Itty Bitty Crew




After the last performance, a little gravitas was needed to bring back some balance, and we got that and more in the form of the Itty Bitty Crew, a teen hip-hop dance trio from Edmonton, Alberta. They talked about the lessons they learned from their trainer Vince, who helped hone their skills to empower them to use their dancing to spread a message of positivity.

Indeed, their routine was based on the idea of combatting anxiety caused by negativity and bullying that they’ve endured in their young lives. The choreography was dazzling and the high-energy performance was enhanced by striking costuming in black and white, as if they were playing characters in a battle of inner turmoil.

The powerful message conveyed in their routine really struck a chord with the judges, and in particular Howie who himself suffers from anxiety and other mental health issues. The Crew will continue to spread the message – or as Howie said, “change the world” as they got four Yesses.

But, like any good Canadian, Savio had some beer with him – a six-pack of bottles that he’d set down on the judges’ desk before starting his trick. And after having Howie pick one of them at random, Savio smashed open the bottle to find a scroll – that not only included predictions of what the other judges’ envelopes contained, but also Howie’s autographed $100 bill.

The judges were really blown away by the trick, and they invited Savio’s parents to the stage when they gave him the good news that he had four Yesses, and was going to the next round.

Trillium




Also offering a striking vision of empowerment, and inspired by Trish Stratus herself, this aerialist circus act trio from Toronto, Ontario took things to even higher levels. Literally. Their custom-built apparatus had them gracefully soaring high above the CGT stage performing breathtaking choreography – including a jaw-dropping free-fall stunt – that had the judges’ hearts in their mouths.

Trish loved the act, noting how similar it was to professional wrestling in terms of how the members effectively trusted one another to hold their lives in each other’s hands. Kardinal, on the other hand, wasn’t blown away by the act; he respected the skills and gracefulness required to do the act, but didn’t think the act was unique enough to earn his Yes. In the end, though, the others all voted to put Trillium through.

After the vote, Howie, Lilly, and Trish all took a spin on the apparatus. Trish, in particular, impressed not only with her acrobatic ability, but also because she managed to do it and still preserve her modesty despite wearing a dress with a slit up the side. That feat in itself should have warranted the Golden Buzzer.

Karelia Letsos




Originally from Cuba but now residing in London, Ontario, Karelia caught the singing bug from her mother, but never really got the chance to pursue her dreams until moving to Canada. She sang an emotional, powerful version of the song “One Night Only” from the Dreamgirls soundtrack.

Kardinal initially upset the audience when he suggested that Jennifer Hudson’s rendition of the song made it nearly-impossible for anyone to come close. But that was a classic “Got Talent” swerve – because he said Karelia not only hit that bar, but surpassed it. Howie wasn’t as impressed with Karelia’s old-fashioned stylistic choices, but was persuaded by the audience to vote Yes. He did, but it was largely academic, since the Yesses from the other three were enough to send her into the next round.

GRVMNT




This hip-hop dance troupe from Vancouver, BC had everything: high performance energy, really tight choreography complete with tempo changes and physical transformations to match the music, flawless synchronous execution in every move, and truly infectious spirit both on and off the stage. Well, almost everything. They don’t have an actual dance studio – all of their practicing is done outdoors. They also appear to be in desperate need of vowels, but that doesn’t seem to be as important to them as a studio.

I don’t pretend to be a dance aficionado by any means, but this performance was just awesome. My litmus test in who I want to go forward is whether or not I’d actually buy a ticket to see their show. And for this one, I would.

It’s safe to say the judges would, too. Howie actually jumped out of his chair when the performance was over, and said that this act could win it all. Trish was equally “Stratusfied” and Kardinal swerved the crowd again, teasing that he didn’t think it was good… but rather on fire… or, as he put it, FIYAAAHHH!!!.

But it was Lilly who GRVMNT impressed the most. She wanted to help ensure them a chance at getting their opportunity and getting their studio. And the best way for her to do that – was to guarantee them a spot in the semi-finals by hitting the Golden Buzzer. This was a slam dunk choice for that honour, and based on this performance, it’s quite possible that GRVMNT may leverage it all the way to the finals.

Other thoughts:
  • In this week’s clip from the judges’ lounge, Howie noted that in his many years of being in the United States, he noted that most of the talent that he’s been impressed by either are Canadian or have some connection to Canada. For any non-Canadians reading this report, you should know it’s a tradition in our country that any time we see a fellow Canuck in a movie or a TV show, we have to point out their Canadian heritage to any non-Canadians in the room.

  • None of the acts we saw today – other than in the montages – received an X from any of the judges. This could be a function of the overall “niceness” of Canadians – i.e. the judges didn’t hand out too many of them. Or it could simply be because there isn’t time to show any of the duds. If it’s the latter, I hope that there are plans to show all the X’d out acts at some point, perhaps in a bonus episode or on the YouTube.

  • In the opening introductory clip, there was a shot of Lilly Singh and Trish Stratus in an arm wrestling match. Lilly, I love ya, but taking on Trish – who is a WWE Hall of Famer, and even as of last weekend was laying the smackdown on current Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch – is probably not the best decision. Unless you’re trying to show the international audience the benefits of Canada’s health care system.

  • That clip also has me wondering if either of the other two judges would be able to beat Trish in such a contest. Howie would likely forfeit the challenge, given it involves touching hands. That leaves Kardinal Offishall as the wildcard.

What did you all think of the show? Let me know in the comments below.

Stills from show »





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