Canada’s Got Talent - S3E7: A goth opera singer makes a beautiful sound; a wheelchair acrobat spins around and around; thankfully one guy avoids being drowned; and the judges pick which acts will make the next round

Bob Kapur     May 1, 2024 special guest columnist Bob Kapur recaps Canada's Got Talent airing Tuesdays on Citytv.

Hi, everyone, and welcome to your continuing coverage of Canada’s Got Talent, right here on My name is Bob Kapur, and I’m glad to once again be your host as we run down everything that happened on this week’s episode.

The pressure couldn’t be higher tonight since this is the last round of auditions – the last chance people will have to earn their way into the semi-finals and take them one step closer to the million-dollar prize – and become Canada’s next household name.

Even during the show opening, they showed shots of the production crew firing out directions and instructions for the judges, which seemed to have a little more intensity and urgency than usual.

I certainly don’t want to be the one to hold everything up – so let’s get right to tonight’s auditions.


The producers were adamant that the pre-audition interview portion for this act take less than two minutes, calling it a matter of life and death - and there was even a countdown timer running when Melissa – one half of the group – took the stage. The reasons for this became clear when Melissa climbed to the top of the platform to begin her aerial act. As she got on top, a curtain that surrounded the platform dropped and revealed a tank of water with a man (Brandon) completely submerged inside of it.

After dropping a note to the man through the water, Melissa then started her aerial performance, doing various spins and flips on a spinning hoop hanging above the tank. Meanwhile, in the tank, the man was also performing, reading the note and angrily reading and discarding the sheets of paper before letting out a primal scream. He then took out a bottle, uncorked it, and drank the contents, as Melissa stopped spinning and came to a rest on top of the tank.

It was a bit hard to tell exactly what the story was, or what the relationship between the two characters was supposed to be. Possibly this was supposed to be a dramatic presentation of a spurned lover poisoning himself due to heartbreak of the woman he loves leaving him? That confusion aside, the act was certainly a spectacle, if only for the man (Brandon) being able to perform for five minutes under water and not lose his composure – or, more importantly, his breath.

The audience, who watched in awed silence, gave Chimera a standing ovation when it was over. Trish noted that the story didn’t fully resonate with her and voted No. But the other judges were impressed by what Brandon did, and put the act through.

Woody Belfort

Woody is one of the most intense and enthusiastic people you’ll ever meet, and just his sheer energy he had during his pre-interview made you think you were going to see something amazing. He immediately surprised the judges by starting his acrobatic routine by flipping over backwards – wheelchair and all.

He then performed some amazing feats of strength and balance, using various apparatus to showcase his athleticism. In one of the most unique things you’ll see, he actually used a parallel bar and did vertical rotations around it – while still sitting in his wheelchair. Later, he lay the chair down and did a full handstand on it, putting all of his weight on its arms.

The judges were thoroughly impressed by Woody as a person and as a talent, and gave him unanimous Yesses to roll him into the next round.

Raphaël Larocque

Raphaël said that he had never performed before, and that was evident. He butchered Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” so badly that even Rachel – who Lilly Facetimed in to hear this trainwreck – couldn’t even think of a nice thing to say about the performance. The judges gave Raphaël four Xs – and if Rachel were able to, she would have given him a fifth.

Slavic Bling

The act featured one guy on stilts pounding drums while the rest of troupe played a repetitious tune on various instruments and did some chant-yodeling. I don’t want to unknowingly insult the Slavic people if this act is representative of their culture. So, instead, I’ll just say that I was in agreement with Lilly, Trish, and Howie who gave the act the deserved red X. Kardinal said that he found the act fun, but luckily nobody else will have to be a Sla-victim of this act any longer.

Holly Melville

Holly is a horror movie fan and expresses that with a goth-inspired look. So it was a bit surprising when she performed a beautiful operatic aria. Despite her dark-themed exterior, Holly’s voice was simply angelic – perfectly clear and strong. And, those high notes were simply *chef’s kiss*

The judges all noted the surprise factor that came with Holly’s look versus her sound, and Trish noted that people love the unexpected. When it’s this good, absolutely. Holly got unanimous Yesses in a slam-dunk decision.

Eshan Sobti

Eshan said that he was bullied as a child, and found relief from that pain through music. He said if he were to win the competition, it would prove that no matter what people say about you, if you have passion and believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything.

Having a great voice helps, too, and Eshan does. He performed Sam Smith’s version of the Whitney Houston classic “How Will I Know?” wringing every bit of emotion possible to the stage. His vocal control was fantastic, hitting all the notes – including a great bit of falsetto to end the tune – and you believed that he was feeling every word.

The judges were blown away by Eshan’s performance, with Lilly and Howie both saying that they felt he could win the season. The entire room was behind Eshan, and he was rewarded with four big Yesses from the judges.

Acro Academy

They only shows clips from this audition, but what was seen was pretty impressive. This group of what looked to be about 20-30 girls of various ages (and some male spotters) filled the stage for their acrobatic gymnastics routine. Using strength and balance, they created human pillars and towers with bodies tumbling and flying around all over the place. At one point, Howie pointed out that one of the catchers fell while spotting a dismount, but luckily the flyer didn’t hit the ground.

Howie didn’t feel it was a million-dollar act, but he was the lone dissenting vote, as the other judges voted Yes, and three votes were enough to put them through.

Sanskriti Arts

This Indian dance troupe from Mississauga, Ontario blended traditional Indian dancing with modern technology in the form of Segways. The resulting display of twirling colour and movement was enough to impress most of the judges – but once again, Howie wasn’t blown away by the audition.

Mike Glenney

A bunch of Mike’s tap-dancing students were in the audience for his audition, and they were fired up to see “Mr. Mike” on stage. But not as fired up as he was. Because he was tap-dancing on a stage that literally sparked bursts of flames whenever his shoes made contact.

The fast-paced routine was good, but the fire gimmick elevated the performance to something unique and memorable, differentiating Mike’s performance from just another dance act.

The judges enjoyed the different spin Mike brought to the stage, and in pouring praise on Mike, the taps were wide open.

Joel Van Vliet

During his pre-interview, Joel said that all he wants to do is to help bring joy to people through music. He performed an original song, that he said was written about some of his observations about CGT that he picked up by watching the show.

The song was actually pretty funny, as Joel not only poked fun at himself, but also on the clichés of musical performers competing on this kind of show. Down to the familiar trope of having a sad background story, to pointing out the point in a performance where the vocals go from low to soaring. He even did some call-and-response with the judges trying to convince them to award him their Golden Buzzer. He ended with the ever-popular high note to and a note to the director to cut to the big ovation from the audience as he hit his closing chords.

Howie said that he originally found Joel to be annoying, but turned around mid-way through the performance when he realized what Joel was doing. He started off the voting with a Yes, and the other judges followed suit.

My take: I’m a big fan of musical comedy, and when it’s done well, it’s the perfect art form in my view. I really enjoyed Joel’s song and definitely would have voted Yes. But, sadly, I don’t think he has a likelihood of going far in the competition. His act was a bit too quirky that I don’t think he’s going to have enough mainstream appeal to get Canada’s votes.

Semi-Finalist selections

With the auditions finished, the judges then had to select which ten acts would join the Golden Buzzer picks to make up the 16 acts to compete in the semi-final round.

They showed highlights of the various acts that made it through, with the judges noting that they weren’t looking for acts that were merely good – but, rather, acts that are deserving to compete for a Million Dolllars.

In the end, the 16 semi-finalists are:
  • Rebecca Strong (Lilly’s Golden Buzzer)
  • Together For Peace (Lindsay’s Golden Buzzer)
  • Mark Lewis (Group Golden Buzzer)
  • Jade Mathieu (Howie’s Golden Buzzer)
  • Mat & Mym (Kardinal’s Golden Buzzer)
  • Sterling Scott (Trish’s Golden Buzzer)
  • Troy James
  • Travis Lindsay
  • Matthew Cooper
  • Funkanometry
  • Natalie Morris
  • Luka & Jenalyn
  • Eshan Sobti
  • Mark Clearview

A good crop of contestants overall, in my view, though I’m surprised with some of the acts that didn’t make the cut – and in one case, disappointed (heavy sigh from this #SaiGuy).

That said, I do like the variety of acts, and think that most of them have a legitimate shot at winning.

If you’ve been reading my recaps over the seasons, you know my preference is for singing acts. And I think there are a couple of strong contenders here in Jade and in Eshan. I like Jade, but I think Eshan is going to resonate a bit more with the voters – and if I were going to pick a singer to win it all, he’d be my choice.

But, perhaps surprisingly, I’m not picking a singer. No, for me, the two acts that I think it will come down to are Together For Peace and Mark Clearview – who are about as opposite from one another as you can get, but both remarkable in their own way. I think Mark has the better potential of levelling up in the semi-finals and again in the finals, and for that reason, he’s my pick to win it all.

What do you think? Do you see him conjuring up a win? Or am I missing the mark? Let me know your thoughts. Chime in with your comments below, or hit me up on the socials (@ReadBobsTweets on the Twitter/X, or 'gram me @BobKapur).

See you all next week!

Other notes:
  • Maybe the pressure was indeed getting to Howie. It might explain his slip-up when Melissa of Chimera took the stage and he welcomed her to America’s Got Talent by mistake. It could be worse, I suppose: he might have asked her “Deal or no Deal?”

  • Coming out of a commercial break, the judges were treated to some Tim Hortons food and drinks and plugged the company’s 60th anniversary. Tuesday was also tax filing deadline day in Canada. What’s the connection, you might ask? After paying my taxes, donuts are about the only thing I can afford to eat.

  • As I said, I’m a big fan of musical comedy. “Weird Al” Yankovic is the master, of course, but there are others who I also enjoy like DaVinci’s Notebook, Garfunkel & Oates, and Canada’s own Moxy Früvous. Another favourite of mine is a guy named Wally Pleasant. Joel’s song and his act reminded me a lot of Wally. Yes, I encourage you to seek out all of the above on YouTube – you’ll thank me later.

  • As you may know, the auditions don’t air in the same order they’re taped. So, for visual continuity, during the auditions, the judges and Lindsay wear the same outfit for all those episodes. Sadly, that means it’s time to say goodbye to the hot pink suit that Trish has been wearing. Hers was definitely the most striking of the outfits of the five of them – though Lilly’s white suit was pretty snazzy, too.

Stills from episode »

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