Canada's Got Talent: Stratusfaction - and a trip to the semi-finals - guaranteed, as Trish hits the Golden Buzzer

Bob Kapur     April 12, 2022 special guest columnist Bob Kapur recaps Canada's Got Talent airing Tuesdays on Citytv.

As a multi-time WWE Champion, Trish Stratus is no stranger to gold. She knows how difficult it can be to earn it, and how life-changing it can be to achieve it. So you know that when she used the Golden Buzzer on Tuesday night’s episode of Canada’s Got Talent, thereby sending one act directly to the semi-finals, she saw something special in them – and has the feeling that they could go on to win the entire competition.

This week’s episode started off with a clip of judge Kardinal Offishall performing his song “Dangerous” for the audience – which must have been a real treat to see live. There’s no doubt Kardinal’s got talent. But what about this week’s contestants?


In a quick montage, a number of them talked about how grateful they are for CGT to provide them with the opportunity to show off what they can do. And without further ado, let’s get to seeing what exactly that is.

Michael Daniels

For Michael, he wants to show that Canadians can perform country music at a world-class level. The Kelowna, BC singer has already had a taste of success when one of his songs went viral, and he’s hoping to replicate that success on the biggest stage of all.

His singing was really, really good, and he sounded like he could be played on any new country radio station. But Kardinal felt something was missing from the performance – and to some degree, he had a point, as the song didn’t really have a memorable hook that would have an arena rocking. But Lilly and Howie, disagreed, as they both really enjoyed the performance, and liked Michael’s cool attitude and vibe. Trish was on the bubble, as she didn’t feel like he got a superstar reaction from the audience. In response, the crowd urged her to give him another shot, and based on that, she gave him the needed third Yes, putting him through to the next round.

Graham Chittenden

A TV comedy writer, Graham has also had his fair share of pre-CGT success, and Howie pointed out that they had worked together in the past. His routine – a funny look at retirement and old age – was very funny, and his personality was a perfect mix of sardonic wit and lighthearted affability that made the material really work well. All the judges were impressed by the humour and his personality. Howie said that he often wondered why Graham isn’t a household name – and after getting four Yesses, that may very well happen.

Kellie Loder

Kellie grew up in Newfoundland and wanted to bring some of the hominess of the East Coast to the rest of Canada while showcasing her own personal “weirdness.” She put her own personal spin on the song “Make You Feel My Love,” making it feel much different from the more famous versions by Adele, Garth Brooks, or even the original version by Bob Dylan. She started off with some coffeehouse vocals and quiet guitar, then kicked it into a higher gear for the bridge and into the final verse, ending things with a sing-along by the audience that had host Lindsay Ell preaching to the choir and the judges on their feet. Seriously, it felt like Kellie has been performing for years. The judges were unanimous in their praise for her quirky authenticity and her ability to connect to both the song and to the audience. Yesses across the board for Kellie, and deservedly so.

My take: Kellie is one to watch, and could end up being a dark horse to win this entire competition, if she can keep delivering on this level. This was the definition of a perfect audition.

Matt Ryan

Matt is another artist who achieved a lot of success before hitting the CGT stage. Though, as a Pole Artist, “hitting” the stage would be the complete opposite of success. A former junior Canadian gymnastics champion, Matt stepped away from the sport as a result of the stress he faced to compete at that level. He found Pole artistry as a way to channel that stress energy into an athletic yet artistic showcase. His routine was an amazing display of physicality and choreography, and I was in pain even just watching him execute some of the strength-based stunts. Note to self: a bag of potato chips don’t count as a serving of veggies… eat a salad once in a while, and maybe one day, you could do what Matt does.

After receiving four Yesses, Matt talked about how Pole has helped him, and how it can help others, deal with mental health issues. This prompted Howie – a noted mental health advocate – to take to the Pole and show off his skills… or, more accurately, his lack thereof.

Dance act montage

The dance moves of Men of Klub Kave, a male stripper troupe from Toronto, Ontario, piqued Trish and Lilly’s interest when they dropped their pants, but that move earned a buzzer from Howie, who is obviously jealous of their skilled poles… I mean, pole skills. Kai Marks, a 79-year old from Mississauga, Ontario, thankfully kept all her clothes on while she showed off her cowgirl dance moves… but the judges sent her two-stepping right back to the farm.

Simone Soman

Simone, who was born blind, was looking to return to performing after having taken a hiatus to raise her two children. She wanted to inspire them by going out there and achieving her dreams. The first of which was to earn a standing ovation from the audience. Well, dreams can come true, as the crowd stood on their feet at the end of her rendition of Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel,” which gave Lindsay Ell goosebumps. The judges loved her performance, commenting about her crystal clear tones and powerful voice and put her through with Yesses across the board.

My hot take: While I appreciate Simone’s inspirational story, I wasn’t blown away by the performance. To me, it sounded like a karaoke performance and I thought there were a couple of pitchy notes – if you’re going to sing Sarah, you’d better be perfect, or else you’re bound to fail just by virtue of the comparison. I think she’s going to need to do a lot more if she’s going to advance any further in the competition.

Duos montage

The next montage featured a pair of pairs looking to pare away the competition. Sean & Alana, from Vancouver, British Columbia, engaged in some hand-to-hand, which isn’t as violent as it may sound. Rather, their act was based on strength-based stunts, like a neat move where Sean pressed Alana over his head while she used his hands as the base upon which she did a handstand. Meanwhile, Cedrick & Manu, from Gatineau, Quebec, channelled their inner Baby and Johnny in performing some dance choreography with lots of lifts and twirls. All four were put forth.

Theo & Mila

These two teens from Oakville, Ontario, are hoping to one day parlay their Acrobatic Gymnastics skills into jobs with the world-famous Cirque de Soleil. Their routine dazzled with some stunning flips and tumbles in between some graceful dancing and gliding across the stage. The highlight of the act saw them do a handstand press similar to Sean and Alana but with the added twists of Theo dropping down into the splits and Mila literally bending over backwards – this was simply spine-tingling (pun intended). This one was jaw-dropping, earning a “Dang!” from Lilly who was amazed by the amount of skill, strength, and trust each of them demonstrated. Kardinal was equally impressed and blown away by the poise demonstrated by people so young.

As impressed as the others were, Trish genuinely seemed moved by what she’d just seen. She said that she knew her role as a judge would allow her to change peoples’ lives. And she felt that they deserved exactly that – punctuating that sentiment by pressing the Golden Buzzer, to send Theo & Mila directly into the semi-finals. And, based on that audition, from there, they could go anywhere.

Other thoughts:
  • There was no clip from the judges’ lounge tonight. Hopefully that returns next week, as it’s neat to see the judges interact with each other on a more personal level in a more relaxed environment.

  • At only an hour running time, and video packages introducing the performers, Lindsay Ell doesn’t get a lot of screen time in most shows. This week, she was featured more often, including celebrating with Michael Daniels after he got put through, noting that the show – and Canada – could use some more country music stars. Hopefully, during the live shows, Ell is featured more (and, as a fan, would love to see her perform, just like Kardinal did tonight).

  • With Trish using her Golden Buzzer pick this week, that leaves Kardinal Offishall as the only judge to still have theirs available. Lindsay was given a Golden Buzzer pick, which she used last week. Meaning we have one more act to join Shea, GRVMNT, Jeanick Fournier, and Theo & Mila as automatic semi-finalists. My bet is that, despite him being the musical expert on the judges’ panel, Kardinal’s pick won’t be a singer.

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

Stills from show »

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