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Canada's Got Talent - S3E4: Through many carrots a chef's knife plowed; a dog in net, no goals allowed; a stunning dance act moves the crowd

Bob Kapur     April 9, 2024 special guest columnist Bob Kapur recaps Canada's Got Talent airing Tuesdays on Citytv.

Welcome to our continued coverage of Canada’s Got Talent on My name is Bob Kapur, and once again, I am here to recap this week’s episode.

Before the auditions started this week, Judge Lilly Singh said the best thing about this show is that you could see anything on stage – that there is such a diverse range of acts and anyone of them could potentially take home the million-dollar prize.

This week, that certainly held true, as the auditions ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous – and hit every stop in between. Let’s run them down and you can judge for yourself.

Steve Goodtime

Steve looked like a professional wrestler out of the 1980s, with a mullet and moustache, football shoulder pads, a belly shirt, zebra-striped Zubaz pants and a jungle-cat inspired cape. He claimed that his talent is having a good time.

For his audition, he lined up a number of cans (presumably of soda) and took sips out of them. They were connected to a keyboard somehow, so when he took a drink, the keyboard would play the theme to 2001: A Space Odessey to match the background music. He then repeated the same effect with corn dogs to a horrible cover version of Quiet Riot’s “Cum On Feel the Noize”.

At least his finale was neat. He put a stick in his mouth and used that to hold up a candelabra which was perched on a balloon. He then popped the balloon and the candelabra fell and landed on the stick and he managed to balance it perfectly on the landing. If the rest of the act was that good, the judges might have put Steve through. But it was not, and they did not.

Kardinal appreciated the weirdness of the act and voted Yes. Lilly said she wanted to see something like that act make the finals, and added to Kardinal’s Yes vote. Trish voted no, leaving the deciding vote to Howie, since three Yesses are needed to advance. The audience urged Howie to put Steve through, but Howie did not, noting that Steve’s act was a good time, but not worthy of a million dollars.

Briar Nolet

Briar, from Toronto, Ontario, had suffered seizures for years before she was diagnosed with epilepsy at 18 years old. The seizures, she said, were triggered by dancing – when learning choreography, her brain and body would simply shut down. Tonight, she was looking to make a statement by dancing to Whitney Houston’s “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” which she feels encapsulates her journey and her passion for dance.

Her routine was poetry in motion – smooth and graceful with some impressive leaps and flips and flawless spins and pirouettes. And the choreography actually seemed to tell the story along with the uplifting and inspirational lyrics. The performance earned Briar a well-deserved standing ovation from the judges and the audience.

Trish loved the storytelling and the way Briar was able to convey such a range of emotions in her movements. Lilly agreed, saying that this is the level that dance should be elevated to in order to be on this stage. Briar received four Yesses and danced her way into the next round.

Ron Deschenes

Ron wore a pink jacket in honour of the song he was going to whistle to, “Barbie Girl” by Aqua. Perhaps he should have wore a red one to match the colour of the Xs he received from all of the judges.

The Human Violin

They didn’t even show a graphic with the next contestant’s name, but it doesn’t matter because he’s never going to be famous anyway. His act saw him in a costume that was adorned with tubes that had violin strings on them, and he played his costume like a violin. Unlike the other judges, Kardi didn’t give the act the Red X, but he kind of regretted not doing so. This one was Stradi-various types of bad.

Professor Dan

Professor Dan got a failing grade from the judges for his attempt to play a heavy metal tune on his harmonica. He blew.

Rachel Chiu

This wasn’t Rachel’s first tryout for a competition like this; in 2021, she auditioned for American Idol, but things didn’t work out for her there. She wants to try again here with the hopes of winning and opening a music studio for the less fortunate in her hometown of East Vancouver, British Columbia.

She accompanied herself on piano as she belted out a silky jazz version of Ella Fitzgerald’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing”. While her voice was fantastic, even more neat moments saw her channel her inner Bobby McFerrin to vocalize a few trumpet solos. Honestly, that was the cat’s meow, daddy-o.

The judges loved Rachel’s singing, but also the originality of the performance, and gave her a quartet of Yesses.

Jade Mathieu

During her pre-audition interview, Jade, from Longueuil, Quebec, said that her love for music and the support from her mother have helped her find the strength and confidence to express herself in a way that she can’t always do, thanks to her autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, which she was diagnosed five years ago at ten years old. She told the judges that she was more nervous talking to them than she would be expressing herself in song.

Her nerves were showing early on during her performance of the Christina Aguilera song “Reflections”, but she was able to overcome them midway through. Then, her confidence showed with the strength and a deep vocal. While there were still some pitchy notes, she was able to hit and sustain the big climactic note, and then immediately bring things back down to a soft and tender close.

Lilly was impressed by the range Jade was able to show off with the song. Kardinal and Trish felt like Jade has the chops to be a viable contender at winning the competition.

Howie felt that CGT is a great showcase for diversity, including neuro-diversity. He said that being on the spectrum allows Jade to shine in unique ways, which could let her achieve her dreams. He said he was going to help her – and awarded her his Golden Buzzer. Joining her on-stage for a hug, he told her that she was amazing and could go on to win it all.

Maggie the Goalie

Maggie’s owner Yannick called Maggie the most Canadian dog ever, because she plays hockey. Maggie guarded a hockey net and was able to catch a puck that Yannick shot towards the net. Later, he dumped a bunch of balls on the ground, and shot those at Maggie who didn’t get distracted and kept her eyes focused on the puck. When he finally flicked it towards the net, another save by Maggie.

The judges thought it was a great act and put Maggie through.

My hot take: If you’ve been reading my recaps in earlier seasons, you know my dislike of animal acts generally. This one, in my view, was particularly lame. So the dog caught a puck – big deal. It’s not like it was an Al MacInnis slapper or anything (for you non-Canadians reading this report, do a quick search on the YouTube to know what I mean). More importantly, what can they do to change this up and elevate it for their next appearance? How do they think this could ever rise to be a million dollar act? This was a dog of a call. That said, I’d still bet on Maggie getting further in the playoffs than the Maple Leafs.

Harold Butler

Harold, from St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, is a spoons player. They only showed a brief snippet of his audition, but from the little shown, it’s clear he’s pretty talented, playing them at an incredibly fast tempo. The judges were just as fast in giving him four Yes votes.

This led to a fun moment where the judges and host Lindsay Ell did an impromptu parade, playing their own cutlery and kitchenware as they marched from their desk, up onto the stage, and into the wings.

Wallace Wong aka the Six-Pack Chef

Wallace calls himself the Six-Pack Chef, and showed why he earned that name, doffing his shirt and showing off his chiseled physique. For his act, he was going to attempt to break a Guinness World Record by trying to cut the most carrot slices in 30 seconds while blindfolded.

Wallace’s knife was slicing at a machine-gun pace as he tried to top the record of 88 slices. The knife was rising and falling at blinding speed as he quickly advanced down the length of the carrot – incredibly not cutting himself in the process.

In the end, Wallace crushed the old record, hitting 121 slices as confirmed by the Guinness World Record arbitrator. To make Wallace’s night even better, the judges put him through to the next round with four Yesses.

Marie-Josée and Jason

You knew that this performance was going to be different and much heavier than most of the others on the episode. Coming out of the commercial, the show posted a statement, warning viewers about the sensitive nature of the material, including depictions of intimate partner violence.

Then, during the pre-audition interview, Marie-Josée indicated that the theme of the routine was based on her personal story, and said that one of the objectives was to start conversations about some of the things that people are going through in their lives.

The dance depicted a scene of domestic violence, with the couple trashing around a dinner table, then into a bedroom in what appeared to be a fight. At one point, the music and action stopped as Marie-Josée smashed a lamp on the bedroom floor, drawing gasps from the audience.

The routine continued, with both of them depicting throwing each other around and flipping each other over – controlled, but looking chaotic and violent. The ending sequence saw him throw her to the ground and deliver a kick to her stomach, effectively incapacitating her. Then, out of regret and guilt, he reached down and picked up her prone body and gave her a kiss.

This was an incredibly powerful and evocative performance. Both in terms of the storytelling, but also in the physicality needed to perform those moves in a way that looked violent but performed safely and flawlessly.

All the judges were moved by the act – particularly Trish, who was shedding tears by the end.

She credited them with showing the strength to show off their vulnerability in this way, channeling their art to help spark a discussion on this type of topic. Howie appreciated how they were able to use their artistry to highlight such a dark subject. Lilly called the performance breathtaking, both figuratively and literally, noting the moment when the audience gasped almost at once. Kardinal echoed all the sentiments, saying that the mastery of the performance brought a feeling of light to what could have been a very dark and heavy moment.

The judges gave them four well-deserved Yesses, and another standing ovation to cap off the show.

My take: Wow. Simply wow. If this was the finals, that routine would likely have earned these two the million-dollar prize. As it stands, it’s one of the most memorable performances on any season of CGT, and maybe any show of this type. Tremendous.

With a Golden Buzzer singer and two incredible dance acts going through tonight, there were a few competitors that could be front-runners for the grand prize. Do you agree? Or are you rooting for one of the more lighthearted acts like the dog or the chef? Comment below or hit me up on the Twitter (@ReadBobsTweets) and let me know your thoughts.

See you next week!

Other notes:
  • When Briar mentioned Whitney Houston, my mind immediately jumped to the song “Didn’t We Almost Have It All’ and that got stuck in my head. I tried to sing that earworm out of my head, but got that one confused with “Did We Ever Have a Chance” by the Zack Attack from that one episode of Saved By the Bell. So then I fell into a YouTube death spiral, looking at SBTB clips until the wee hours of the morning. Thanks a lot, Briar.

  • If you’re a Food Network fan like me, you’ll have heard of Wallace before, as he’s competed on a number of cooking competition shows before. In addition to tonight’s world record, he also holds a similar record for slicing cucumbers. I hope for his next performance he goes for something even more challenging. If he can do that with watermelons, I say give him the million bucks right then and there.

  • Maybe to counter the heaviness of the last act, this episode featured a lot more comicalness as well – in the form of several dud auditions – more than we’ve seen in other episodes this season. I wonder how the producers pick which of them actually get to appear on stage. Are these the best of the worst auditions? I’d love to see a reel of the acts that don’t even make it to the stage because they’re too weird or so incredibly bad. Perhaps that could be a spin-off series or a streaming exclusive show? If the CGT producers are reading this, I’d be happy to host that one if you decide to go that route.

  • It was noted that CIBC donated $50,000 to the national charity Up With Women, a national charity that assists at-risk women and other gender minorities. I worked at CIBC for nearly 20 years, and was always proud of the company’s support of the community through charitable donations and other support. Banks may get a bad rap, and sometimes deservedly so. But they deserve their kudos at times, too.

Stills from episode »

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