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Canada's Got Talent - S3E2: An inspirational duo dance; a surprise auditioner gets a chance; a magician disappears right out of glance

Bob Kapur     March 26, 2024 special guest columnist Bob Kapur recaps Canada's Got Talent airing Tuesdays on Citytv.

Welcome, everyone, to my weekly Canada’s Got Talent recap on My name is Bob Kapur, and I’m thrilled to be your guide for the biggest and best talent competition to ever take place here in the greatest country in the world.

Normally I’d start with some kind of pithy comment about how the competition is going so far. But in a massive departure from the norm, I’m not going to do that this time.

Because that’s exactly the kind of big twist that kicked off this week’s episode.

You see, during the opening banter between the judges and host Lindsay Ell, the camera caught an interaction during which an audience member was approached by one of the production crew and taken backstage.

When the time came for the first audition, that same woman, who said her name was Tiffany, walked on stage, and revealed that she didn’t have a talent. Rather, she was there to nominate her sister Sam, who was still sitting in the audience – and who looked completely shocked by what was going on.

No doubt. Because it was revealed that Tiffany had told Sam that they had won tickets to attend a taping of the show. So Sam never could have suspected that Tiffany had arranged with the producers to put this all in motion, and get Sam a chance to show off her singing talents and achieve her lifelong dream of being a professional singer.

The judges, recognizing that Sam would need some time for this surprise to sink in said that she could go to the back and prepare for her impromptu audition which would happen later on tonight.

In the meantime, there were a few other acts to see.

Duo Desire

This married couple – Denis and Jilliana – were so intent on impressing the judges with their aerial gymnastics act, that they risked performing a daring stunt that had gone very wrong a few months back. In that incident, Jilliana fell from a height of 15 feet and her whole body landed and bounced off the stage.

Luckily, that didn’t happen here. Instead, the only thing that fell during their stunts – which featured incredible strength and flexibility – were the jaws of the judges and the audience. The first move saw Jilliana do a mid-air splits while Denis hung on to and dangled from her legs. Later, they did a move where they went up what must have been 30 feet or more into the air, and he transitioned from hugging her to clasping onto her torso with leg scissors, as they spun around in circles during the descent. Their finale saw her freefall into his arms while he was holding onto ribbons, catching her with his body before they were lowered back to the stage.

This was intense and exciting, and had everyone on their feet. Trish liked how it started off showcasing the strength moves, but the dynamic speed of their rotations were what brought a higher level of energy to their act compared to some similar routines. Howie felt theirs was a very unique style, since Jilliana performed many more strength moves compared to other acts of this type. All four judges felt the desire to see Duo Desire go higher and higher, and voted “Yes.”

Dana Schiemann

Dana is no stranger to these types of situations, as she said that her guitar shredding skills had recently won her third place in an international competition. Her flashy and wild outfit – with fire-branded leggings covered by a sparkly leotard with long silvery fringes – suggested she was a true metal queen. But he guitar was the musical equivalent of John Cena in that you couldn’t see it.

Because Dana’s talent is Air Guitar. She thrashed and jumped around waling on the invisible instrument to a medley of some of rock’s greatest riffs. In the spirit of Jimi Hendrix, she even “played” it left-handed.

Kardinal Offishall wasn’t impressed, even giving Dana the dreaded X during her routine. Howie and Trish liked the high-energy frenzied fun and voted Yes. Leaving the deciding vote to Lilly. Who gave Dana a big... NO. Which likely surprised many – including the audience who seemed to enjoy the spectacle. But Lilly explained that this was simply not, in her view, a million-dollar act.

Nicolas Ribs

Nicolas’ magic trick was a bit of a mind-trip. He had a table-top video screen, and he would “pull” items off the screen and they would appear in his hands out of nowhere. He did this with a couple of tennis balls, and then a deck of cards. Later, he would interact with the image and manipulate them on the screen – like “plucking off” the hearts on the Five of Hearts card and change it into the Ace, which would then manifest out of thin air. Other objects he conjured were miniature models of the Eiffel Tower and CN Tower. For his finale, the camera shot focused on his hand on the screen and the image appeared to de-age and shrink. Cut to the scene on-stage and Nicolas had been replaced by a little kid.

Howie was amazed by the magic, calling Nicolas’ act the best magic act he’s seen in all his years of judging these types of competitions. He kicked off the voting with a Yes – and like magic, three others appeared, and Nicolas went through to the next round.

My hot take: I generally like magic acts, and making things come to life from a screen was a very striking effect. But I wonder if it wasn’t a bit too one-note – ultimately, it seemed to be the same trick done multiple times. Also, I wonder if the final trick wasn’t helped a bit too much from clever camera work. By focusing on the hands on the video screen and then widening the shot after the switch had happened, it felt like a bit of a cheat. Hopefully Nicolas has something new up his sleeves for the next round, or I could see him disappear pretty quickly.

Rebecca Strong

During her pre-audition interview, Rebecca said that singing has been something she’s been doing as a kid, having been introduced to it by her father. And she was doing the show in part to make her parents proud that she has been able to overcome some personal struggles in pursuit of her dreams.

Her performance of Demi Lovato’s “Stone Cold” started a bit rough – the opening of the song was too low for her vocal range – and there were a lot of off-tune clunkers throughout. But the crowd and the judges gave Rebecca a standing ovation after it was done.

Howie said that Rebecca not only made her family proud, but also Rebecca’s Indigenous community and the country. Lilly called out Rebecca’s father who was in the crowd and who led the crowd in chanting the judges to award Rebecca the Golden Buzzer. Lilly said that Rebecca seems to have found her purpose in life through singing. And Lilly’s purpose is to help people like Rebecca achieve their purpose. To do so, Lilly stood up and hit the Golden Buzzer, putting Rebecca through to the next round.

My hot take: Was everyone listening to a different performance than I was? Rebecca might have a great story. But that song choice was bad, the singing was bad, and I think the wrong button was pressed.

Travis Lindsay

Travis’ grandmother used to take him to comedy clubs so he could perform, and she made the trip from Halifax, Nova Scotia, so she could see him perform on the biggest stage in the country.

His material centered around his family, including his mixed-race background, with a killer opening line: “My father was Black. My mother was curious.” From there, he read a funny text from his mother and her comical escapades with a raccoon. Overall, the bit was funny, though the ending seemed to taper off without a really strong closer. Howie and Lilly enjoyed Travis’ realness, both in terms of the material and his delivery style. Trish enjoyed it as well and thought it was a great audition. Kardinal made it unanimous in his enjoyment of the act, and Travis walked away with a quartet of Yesses.

Sam Babin

Finally, it was time for Sam’s surprise audition. Understandably, she was a tad nervous given the circumstances, but for the most part she was able to control them during her performance of “Creep” by Radiohead. Her voice was very clear and melodic. More impressively, she exhibited a skill that one might expect only from more experienced performers, in that she knew her vocal range enough to know exactly what phrasing to use to hit the notes she could and avoid those she couldn’t. Consequently, she didn’t get screechy or shouty like can happen with this song.

Unlike the lyrics of the song which refer to someone not belonging there, the judges recognized that Sam did. All four of them were impressed by Pam’s bravery to not only go out there cold, but to do so and deliver big time. She got four Yesses and is through to the next round – not bad for someone who hadn’t even considered applying for the show.

Cameron and Megan

Cameron and Megan met ten years ago when Cameron attended Megan’s dance class. Camern’s mom said that it was a rarity back then for someone who has special needs, as Cameron does, to have been so welcomed and accepted into that kind of environment. But Megan said that Cameron has worked so hard and learned so much that they are ready to show what he can do.

Their routine was an homage of sorts to the climactic dance at the end of the movie Dirty Dancing from costumes to the song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” to the lifts and twirls throughout the performance. Including the climactic run and lift which they executed perfectly.

But just as it looked like they were going to finish up with that, the tempo of the song kicked up and went into a brief electronica version of the song, ending with another big lift and spin move.

The audience loved the inspiration that Cameron instilled in the performance, and though they only focused on Cameron’s stepfather, it’s safe to say that there were tears in the eyes of many other audience members as well after that one. Tears of joy, of course, as the performance resulted in four strong Yes votes from the judges, putting Cameron and Megan through to the next round where they can inspire everyone at least once more.

And I hope you’ll join me at least once more – and preferably every week, right here on for my weekly recaps.

In the meantime, let me know what you thought of this week’s performances. Agree with my hot takes, or am I completely out to lunch? Chime in below or hit me up on the Twitter (@ReadBobsTweets).

See you in seven!

Other notes:
  • Between acts, Lilly is apparently a constant snacker, and they showed an interaction between Howie and her where she offered him a goldfish cracker out of her bowl. Germophobe that he is, he wisely declined, knowing that she had likely touched every one of them in the bowl at some point or another. As a fellow OCD sufferer, I feel your pain, Howie. Public chip bowls, shared snack trays, no thank you. Later on, Lilly gave Howie his own individual bag of goldfish crackers. Everyone should have a friend like that.

  • In 2019, I attended the finals of the US Air Guitar Championships in Nashville, Tennessee. It was fun for about 15 minutes. So I can see Lilly’s point about Dana not going through. I will say, though, that the drunk bachelorette party who were at the table next to me absolutely loved it. Or that’s what I thought I heard them slur.

  • Does anyone else remember the show from the 80s called My Sister Sam? Man, I had such a big crush on Pam Dawber back in the day. I know that Trish is doing her Bad Girl tour which is taking her to various conventions for signings and autographs. If anyone ever hears of Pam Dawber doing one of those, please let me know.

Stills from episode »

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