Canada's Got Talent: Final set of auditions have the judges 'buzzing'

Bob Kapur     April 27, 2022 special guest columnist Bob Kapur recaps Canada's Got Talent airing Tuesdays on Citytv.

Canada is described as being a multi-cultural mosaic. Meaning that the country is a mix of ethnic origins, languages, and cultures that coexist in a single society. Unlike, say, a melting pot, where all of those concepts tend to merge into a singular national identity. It’s part of what makes Canada the greatest country in the world. And it’s also one of the reasons why Canada’s Got Talent has got such a diverse group of acts, with every one of them unique in their own way. Which is great for the viewer – but perhaps a bit challenging for the judges, as they have to try to unpiece that mosaic and pick only a small group of them to advance to the next round.

But before they do that, we have our final round of auditions to go through. So let’s get right to the action.

6-Pack Lapadat

First up on the stage was this strongman/strength performer from Guelph, Ontario. Lapdat promised that his act would look and feel like a live action movie, and the billows of smoke and the roaring engines of two accelerating dirt bikes definitely gave the stage that atmosphere. He was able to use his strength to hold the accelerating bikes in place – to the point that the burning rubber left char marks on the stage. He ended the act by draping himself in the Canadian flag to look not unlike a superhero. All of the judges were impressed by the feat, and he got Yesses all around.

Arik Pipestem

Also resembling a superhero was Calgary, Alberta’s Pipestem, who dressed up in a costume that seemed to be a combination of superhero, Mexican lucha libre wrestler, and part Indigenous Canadian traditional garb. The First Nations hoop dancer used five hoops to tell a story that he said blended his culture’s Storytelling and Healing dances. Despite the various tricks he used, like combining the hoopes to construct a domed cage, flinging them and spinning them while dancing and twirling around at breakneck speed, Howie wasn’t impressed, as he was fixated on the fumbles he noticed during the routine. He also wasn’t able to comprehend the story, so he voted No. Trish, on the other hand, fully got what Arik was recounting, and after explaining it to Howie as a self-discovery tale, voted Yes along with Kardinal and Lilly, sending Arik through.

Bad Comedy-Magic acts montage

FenyxFyre, a purported magic act from London, Ontario made themselves disappear from the competition when one of them botched Lilly’s name, calling her Lisa. Seth’s Amazing Pets from Toronto, Ontario, a so-called comedy act that featured scantily-clad people dressed up as lion tamers and a cat dressed up as a lion, had no pride as they were also given the boot.


As much poise and grace as those acts didn’t have, children’s ballet troupe 4Dance from Calgary, Alberta, had it in spades. Ranging from 10 to 12 years old, these kids were precocious to the point where I was reaching for my insulin. But their actual dance routine was anything but. Accompanied by a very sentimental musical score, they conveyed deep emotion through their faces while nailing their routine full of graceful movements, crazy flexibility, and lots of gymanstical athleticism. Kardi choked up as he thought about his own kids. Howie, on the other hand, wasn’t particularly impressed, saying that he didn’t think people would go buy tickets to see that kind of performance. That feedback wasn’t well-received by Lilly or Trish who said that they would join forces and fight him. Could we see “Team Trilly” as a new WWE Tag Team at some point? They and Kardi all voted Yes, and 4Dance danced forward to the next round.

My hot take: I’m siding with Howie on both this and Arik Pipestem’s performance. My litmus test for who should be seen as a potential winner is whether or not I’d buy a ticket to see the act. These performances were good, but neither of them had me reaching for my wallet, or even hitting rewind to watch them a second time. Howie, if you need a partner to go up against Team Trilly, hit me up.

Bad musical montage

Cassidy Civet from Port Moody, BC, was probably glad he dressed up in a dog costume for his audition, because people may not recognize him and attach his face to those horrible vocals. In fact, he should probably have used a fake name, too. Denique, who probably did use a fake name, wasn’t as bad – in fact, other than his bizarre attire, the short clip of his fiddle playing actually sounded pretty good. Maybe that’s why he didn’t seem too dejected after being rejected and ejected with at least two No votes.

Lenya Wilkes

Lenya moved from the warm climate of Jamaica some years ago and found herself in the completely opposite climate, in Brandon, Manitoba. She recently re-discovered her love for music and found comfort in it and in her family, and those things have helped her rebound from being the victim of a sexual assault during a home invasion. Personally, I found her version of “Too Good at Goodbyes” by Sam Smith to be a bit breathy and pitchy at the beginning, but she nailed the big notes and the crescendo runs, and overall the performance was pretty powerful. Kardinal admired her bravery to overcome the past and kill it on stage. Trish recognized a fellow fighter and loved the performance. Lilly was vehement in her fandom for Lenya. And Howie also felt the emotion Lenya brought to the stage, and said that her life was only going to be positive from now on, starting with receiving four Yesses.

The Renegades

This dance group from Toronto, Ontario, really embodied Canada’s cultural mosaic, as the group included a cross-section of races and genders. Their routine was really tight, with exciting choreography that blended breakdancing, gymnastics, and the occasional Matrix-like slow-motion effects. The electronic music and even the minimalist costumes only heightened the effect. This was crazy good, and may have been the best dance performance of the entire season. Indeed, if the judges and host Lindsay Ell hadn’t have used their Golden Buzzer allotments already, The Renegades would have been a shoo-in to get one.

But, after a quick huddle, everyone agreed that this performance was indeed worthy. So they decided to break the rules, and unanimously pressed the Golden Buzzer to put The Renegades through to the semi-finals.

Semi-Finalist selections

After the final audition, the judges had to make some difficult decisions to select which 12 acts would join the six Golden Buzzer recipients to advance into the semi-final rounds. They showed clips of many of the front-runners, and how the judges struggled to pick the best acts across the slate.

In the end, the semi-finalists are as follows:
  • Savio Joseph - magician
  • Esther & Ezekiel - singers
  • Sebastien Savard - ladder-balancing fiddler
  • The Sentimentalists - mentalists
  • Shea - singer (Howie’s Golden Buzzer pick)
  • Theo & Mila - acrobatic gymnasts (Trish’s Golden Buzzer pick)
  • Kellie Loder - singer
  • Trillium Entertainment - aerialists
  • Chucky Mady - mouth stunt specialist
  • Canine Circus - dog trainers
  • Arik Pipestem - hoop dancer
  • The Renegades - dance troupe (group Golden Buzzer pick)
  • Courtney Gilmour - comedian
  • Stacey Kay - singer (Kardinal’s Golden Buzzer pick)
  • Ola Dada - comedian
  • Shadow Entertainment - dance troupe
  • Jeanick Fournier - singer (Lindsay’s Golden Buzzer pick)
  • GRVMNT - dance troupe (Lilly’s Golden Buzzer pick)

And now the fun begins, as over the next three weeks, Canada gets to decide who will win Canada’s Got Talent. Next week, nine acts will perform, with two of them advancing as judge picks and the others being determined by Canada’s votes.

Other thoughts:
  • It was announced that Simon Cowell will be a guest judge at the CGT live finale, which takes place on May 17th. Only three more weeks to go? I’d better start updating my resume.

  • They only showed quick cuts of the judges going through the acts to pare them down to only 18 semi-finalists. In reality, I have to imagine this would have been a painstaking exercise. Sure, it might be easy to rank acts that are similar – say, which comedian was funniest, or which singer had the best voice. But how do you judge acts relative to one another when they’re completely different? How does one judge a magician against a dance troupe, for example? Or the fiddler who balances a bike on his face with a trained dog act? Apples and oranges, as the saying goes.

  • They showed a montage of the judges and various contestants saying “I’m sorry” which, for you non-Canadians, is a phrase said by Canadians almost as much as “eh?” or “Can I get a medium double-double?” To any Canadians I’ve offended by that comment, I’m sorry.

  • At the audition taping I attended in person, there was a singer who didn’t go through to the next round. They didn’t show her audition at all on the show, even in a montage. She was disabled, and while many people in the audience sympathized with her and rooted for her to go through, the judges didn’t feel the audition was up to snuff (she was obviously nervous and the singing was pretty rough). I wonder if the honest feedback came across as a bit too harsh, so they opted to not show it? I also wonder how many other acts didn’t make the final cut of auditions.

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

Stills from show »

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