Canada's Got Talent - S2E5: An aerial act brings emotion and charm; a musician plays awesomely with only one arm; an autistic comedian brings laughter through smarm

Bob Kapur     April 19, 2023 special guest columnist Bob Kapur recaps Canada's Got Talent airing Tuesdays on Citytv.

Welcome, everyone, to our weekly Canada’s Got Talent recap for My name is Bob Kapur, and I will once again be your guide as we journey among the stars – and wanna-be stars – en route to find Canada’s next biggest entertainer.

This week’s episode saw the most emotional performance ever on the CGT stage, with a heart-wrenching aerial performance earning Lilly Singh’s Golden Buzzer. But, in a bittersweet twist, the act won’t be able to use their well-earned spot in the semi-finals. Before we get there, though, let’s head to the stage and check out all of the night’s auditions.



It’s fitting that Mattia, a singer-songwriter from Montreal, Quebec, uses a looping machine in his act, because he had to repeat the beginning of his act over and over again when he was plagued by technical issues. When he finally did get going, his boring coffeehouse version of “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio completely underwhelmed the judges. The Xs came in rapid succession – kind of like they were on a loop.

Jack Thomas

In 2015, Jack, from Burnaby, BC, lost his arm in a workplace accident, but his passion for music would not let him be derailed. He took inspiration from the song “All the Small Things” by Blink-182 to continue his passion of making music, and learned how to play the guitar and drums with one arm. His performance was absolutely rocking, and had the audience and judges stomping and clapping along. After his performance, the judges told Jack to call his mother, who wasn’t able to be there for the audition. So while she couldn’t see his audition, she did get to hear the judges give Jack unanimous Yesses and put him through to the next round.

Dance Troupe montage

L.I.V.E., a dance team from Winnipeg, Manitoba, came out on stage with a burst of energy, but their slow routine was bereft of any excitement whatsoever. Their chances of going through were D.E.A.D.

On the other hand, Xtreme Soul Style from Vancouver, BC, were much more compelling and kinetic, and they got through to the next round.

Where they’ll have to compete with their fellow Vancouverites, the A3 Ryderz. This team’s choreography was dynamic and visually cool, with pops, slow-motion dubstep moves, and even some high flips. They rightfully got put through.

Curran Dobbs

Even before Curran, from Victoria, BC, started his stand-up routine, he had the judges intrigued with his very specific answer to the question of how long he’d been performing comedy. During his act, he explained that he is on the autistic spectrum, and a lot of his jokes incorporated that fact. His material, his timing, and his delivery were perfect, and his ability to turn his condition into a positive was brilliant. The judges laughed out loud throughout, and gave Curran unanimous Yesses.

My take: His audition was only about a minute long, but in that short time, Curran had me legitimately laughing out loud several times. His act was hilarious, and his ability to laugh at himself makes him very likeable. If he can nail every performance like he did this one, it’s a safe bet we’ll see Curran in the finals.

Bronwyn and Jason Irwin

The judges’ curiosity was piqued by the stage set-up for this act, as there was a big square tarp on stage surrounded by a rope. Based on that, they wondered if the husband and wife combo from Southampton, Ontario were going to do some wrestling or other combat sport, since the décor resembled a boxing or wrestling ring. So they were surprised when the Irwins brought out a couple of horses, and performed some tricks with them, like having one horse kneel and bow, while the other laid down on its side. The judges enjoyed the horse tricks and didn’t vote Neigh.

My hot take: Seriously? This might have been a pleasant little novelty act, but who’s ever going to buy a ticket to see this? That remains my litmus test as to whether an act should go through or not. And, sorry to any horse afficionados out there, but no way I would have pulled the Trigger on this one.

Tara Meyer

Tara, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, is a dancer who specializes in ballet and pole-dancing. She showed off some incredible arm and leg strength to perform a number of artistic moves on the pole, including some slow controlled spins and a horizontal press that had her hanging from the pole and extending her body parallel to the ground. Her finale was a heart-dropping move that saw her free-fall down the pole and stop herself mere inches from hitting the floor. The judges were really impressed, and gave Tara four Yesses.

Jean-Pierre Parent

JP, from Montreal, Quebec, has been performing magic for over 25 years, mainly on cruise ships. For this dry land performance, he brought out some big-stage illusions, the kind you’d see in a Las Vegas headlining show. First, he magically made his assistant appear from underneath a sheet covering a chair. Then, he locked himself into a large frame-like contraption, and instantaneously changed positions with his assistant who was on the floor. For their finale, he and his assistant covered up the frame and made a second lady appear out of nowhere. The tricks were quite creative, but the amazing thing was the speed with which they were performed – their bodies literally appeared / switched places in the blink of an eye. As usual, Kardi was spooked out by the magic and had to distance himself, returning only to give the act a Yes. Three more Yesses suddenly appeared, and JP is now going to reappear on the show in the next round.

Dance Duo montage

As their duo name, Mommy & Me, would suggest, Olga and Violet, from Toronto, Ontario, are a mommy-daughter dance team. Their gymnastics routine incorporated a lot of balancing and throwing around of the tiny Violet. Their act was as colourful as their outfits and as bubbly as their personalities. All of that shone through, and they got four Yesses as a result.

DJC, a pair of dancers from Vancouver, BC, started off with what seemed to be some traditional Indian dancing. But shortly into their act, they went new-school, blending in some great hip-hop moves and some amazing Matrix-style techniques. The performance was impressive enough to earn four Yesses.

The steamy chemistry of Julia & Moses, two best friends from Toronto, Ontario, makes it difficult to believe that these two are only in the friend zone. Their modern ballroom routine had a bit too much sultriness and heat that even the judges didn’t believe there wasn’t more to their relationship that meets the eye. Or at least not yet. We’ll see how this develops between now and the next time they’re on stage, which will happen because they got unanimous Yesses.

Speaking of love, the next couple on stage – Val & Ganna from Toronto, Ontario – wanted to show theirs through their performance. With him originally from Russia and her originally from Ukraine, they wanted to show the power of love – the love of dance, of each other, and of Ukraine. Their ballroom dance routine, which featured them switching from style to style, was flawless. If this were another show, they would be in serious contention for the Mirrorball Trophy. But for now, four Yesses will have to suffice.

Woody and Fenton

This couple from Toronto, Ontario are aerial acrobatic performers who normally perform at LBGTQ events, and this marks their first time on stage in front of a mainstream audience. The routine was inspired by Daniel, a former boyfriend of Woody’s who took his own life, with Woody never getting to give him a proper goodbye.

The tenderness and emotion of the routine was eclipsed only by the daring stunts that they performed, spinning around on a very high strap trapeze at dizzying speeds. The gracefulness of the moves belied the strength needed to hold and support themselves and each other in various poses and positions – including an incredible moment when Fenton suspended himself with only his neck muscles as he made a spinning descent from several feet up. The performance, set to Lewis Capaldi’s “Before You Go” – a song written about coping with a loved one’s suicide – was packed with emotion and had Lilly, Trish, and many members of the audience in tears.

Howie said that he’d seen a lot of aerial acts in his time, but never one so sincere, emotional, and perfect. Lilly was choked up with emotion and had trouble getting her words out at first. When she could talk, she noted that she knew what it felt like to not necessarily feel comfortable outside of queer safe spaces, and could empathize with Fenton and Woody as they performed outside of their circle for the first time. She said that one thing that drives her is to help give queer performers more safe spaces in which to perform. And to help make that easier, she awarded them her Golden Buzzer.

NOTE: Before the episode ended, an on-screen graphic informed viewers that Woody and Fenton had to withdraw from the competition due to an injury and will not be appearing in the semi-finals.

My take: Wow. That was a tremendously emotional performance. I’m not going to say I teared up for this one – but I’m not NOT going to say that either. It’s hard to say whether they might have had a chance to win it all, if not for the unfortunate injury – that performance would have been hard to improve on, so anything else might have seemed like a step backwards. But maybe winning it all isn’t the most important thing in this case. Maybe it’s more important that the world got to see that specific performance. And that not only did Fenton and Woody get to honour Daniel, but also that they got to show the world who they are, and who they represent.

Well, after that roller coaster of emotions, not sure I can take too much more. So let’s end this week’s recap here before some more dust gets in my eye. Let me know what you thought of tonight’s episode, and which one of tonight’s acts you think will get to the finals. Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on the Twitter @ReadBobsTweets.

Until next week!

Other thoughts:
  • They showed a moment where the Tim Horton’s culinary director personally served the judges some of his newest culinary creations which you can get in any of their locations. The dishes looked pretty tasty, and the judges certainly touted the meals as such. While that’s all well and good, it was announced that Timmies will be bringing back the Walnut Crunch for National Donut Day. I know I said before that the Old Fashioned Dip is my current favourite – but Walnut Crunch is my all-time favourite, so you know I’ll be scarfing down a boxful when they’re available. I feel sorry for you non-Canadian readers... the Walnut Crunch is heaven in donut form.

  • After JP Parent’s act, the judges did some comedy with his magical blanket, performing an obvious switch at their table, to give the crowd a laugh. If you aren’t aware, the auditions are taped in advance, and one of those sessions can last for a few hours. Between each act, there’s a lot of waiting while the stage is re-set and things get prepped for the next contestant. Having the judges do this kind of thing is fun for the audience and a welcome break from the downtime.

  • CGT doesn’t typically get too political – it is escapism TV for the most part, and rightly so. But the judges couldn’t help but comment on how Val & Ganna’s relationship is a signal of hope and light when compared to what’s going on in the Ukraine right now. I, for one, stand against Russia. #EffPutin

  • My nephew Rohan is a dancer-performer and a proud member of the LGBTQ2s+ community. I don’t know all the specifics of his journey, or whether he faced a lot of challenges and obstacles in sharing his artistic gifts with everyone, like Woody and Fenton did. I hate to think that anyone would be so closed-minded that they would not want to see him perform, or deny anyone else the chance to see it. Don’t be that kind of person.

Stills from episode »

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