Canada's Got Talent: No balls or wine drops hit the stage; a creepy spider escapes its cage; the Group Golden Buzzer goes to a mage

Bob Kapur     April 2, 2024



Welcome back to your ongoing coverage of the Million Dollar Season of Canada’s Got Talent for TrishStratus.com. My name is Bob Kapur, and I am happy to join you on the road to the finals, documenting the highs and the lows along the way.

During the introduction, Howie Mandel noted how significant this year’s million-dollar prize is, noting that he had to move to the United States to make a living. A prize of this magnitude means that the winner can make it big in their own country – while all Canadians can be proud of, and celebrate our homegrown stars.

And with that, let’s see who’s vying to be that next big name – on to tonight’s acts.

Funkanometry




As if to prove Howie’s point, look no further than this dance duo, Carlow and Jacksun – collectively known as Funkanometry. They felt like they had to leave their home of Vancouver Island and go down south to pursue their dreams – which they nearly did, having reached the semi-finals of America’s Got Talent two years ago. That run earned them fans on both sides of the border – and if Canadians were allowed to vote on that show, that support might have put them into the finals or even in the winner’s circle.

Certainly they have the performance chops to have been a viable contender. Their popping hip-hop routine was great – the choreography was fresh and exciting, with the right amount of comedy to elevate the entertainment level. Adding in some clever lip-syncing to complement their movements was icing on the cake. From the choreography to the music – Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” and Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”, which they used to both propel and enhance the routine – this was simply a perfect audition.

Lilly enjoyed everything about the act, and Howie said they ticked all the boxes in terms of what people would want to see. Trish noted that the timing might be right for them here on this stage and in this season. Kardinal loved the blending of old-school and new-school, and started the voting – which ended in Yesses across the board.

Daniel




It seemed as if Daniel, a singer-songwriter from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, was taking a gamble by singing an original song. Even Howie warned him of the risks, telling him that singing a song that people know offers an advantage in that familiarity can help get an audience more engaged in an audition.

Daniel didn’t seem worried… nor did he need to be. Because, in the ultimate “hold my beer” moment, he went right into his original tune: “Bad Day” - aka the multi-platinum single that hit number one on numerous international charts and is in the Top 50 ranked greatest pop songs of all time according to the US Billboard charts.

Daniel – last name Powter, if you didn’t get that yet – did a beautiful version of the tune, that had Trish singing along and the entire audience standing and swaying and waving their arms in time to the music.

Of course, Daniel wasn’t really auditioning for the show. Rather, he explained that despite his international success, he had never had the chance to perform on Canadian TV. He wanted to have his Canadian debut on the biggest stage in the country, and he graciously and emotionally thanked the show for making it happen. This was a fantastic surprise and a tremendous TV moment.

Steve Kase




Steve calls himself a magician, but the only thing he was able to conjure up was four Red Xs. The performance was heavily-edited, but from what could be seen in the choppy clips, he did some lame store-bought tricks and then sang off-tune while holding a Phantom of the Opera mask. After that performance, he might want to wear that mask so that nobody can recognize him as that horrible magician who embarrassed himself on TV.

Mitchell Hrycan




Kardinal, whose fear of magicians has been well-established over the past couple of seasons, was nervous when Michell asked him to help with the trick. But how scary could it be to simply hold up a curtain that surrounded Mitchell? Pretty darn scary, it would seem, since Mitchell apparently has the mystical power to invisibly transport himself through space. Because after only a couple of seconds of being enshrouded by the cloth, Mitchell appeared on the other side of the judges’ desk, sat down in Kardi’s vacant chair, and surprised the judges with his presence – scaring Trish to the point that she pulled a Kardi and ran away from the apparent warlock.

The trick was explained when Kardi dropped the curtain and Mitchell was still there – and it was revealed that Mitchell’s twin Michael was the one who had appeared out of nowhere.

The duo explained that they are a twin brothers magic act by the name of Double Vision.

Double Vision


For their actual audition, the brothers simultaneously performed a card trick, one with Howie and the other with Kardi. The twin asked the judge to select a card and then put it back into the middle of the deck. After shuffling the deck, the twin located the judge’s card and showed it to them. But when Howie and Kardi both said that the card presented by the twin wasn’t the one they’d selected, it turned out that the twins had each selected the card that the other judge had selected – despite the twin not having seen that card or interacted with that judge. Amazing.

This was really fun. The original reveal of the twin was clever, and it got even better from there. The trick was a real head-scratcher, so definitely worked on that front. But adding even more to the act was the twins’ delivery, which went from loose and casual to incredibly polished – particularly impressive were the seamless transitions from speaking over each other to instantly speaking together as if in one voice.

The judges loved the gimmick – but, more importantly, they liked the creativity and the effect of the trick, which is ultimately how any magic act needs to be assessed. There may be two twins, but they easily earned four Yesses.

There is a Ball On My Head




If you had to guess what this act was all about, and you guessed something other than this person balances a ball on his head, you deserve a Red X. Because pretty much the entirety of this act is that this dude balances a ball on his head. While turning and dancing and doing all sorts of bodily contortions, he balances a ball on his head.

The judges felt that this act was on the ball, and put him through with four Yesses.

My hot take: Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to dismiss how much physicality and strength and balance and practice it must take to do all that he did and not have that ball fall off his head. But where does it go from here? How will this act go to the next level to make it worthy of winning a million dollars? Sure, there’s an affable charm to the guy, and there is some quirky joyfulness to the act. But this is a glorified Tik-Tok trick, not unlike that Bottle-Flip video at the school talent show. No way it should be considered as a million-dollar contender.

Air Sup Acroyoga




The judges often say that they are hoping to see something that they’ve never seen before. Well, this act definitely qualifies. Because while there have been other acts that combine yoga and acrobatics, nobody has done it quite like Joanie and Sophie did – which is to say, doing all their maneuvers while balancing and manipulating a glass of wine. And not spilling a drop. Whether they were spinning around or contorting their bodies into backwards arches or even clenching the glass in their teeth to keep it upright while they were standing on their heads – their ability to maintain physical control was masterful.

The judges loved the unique nature of the act – and Howie was more than a little enamoured with the beauty of the two women (and rightly so), and toasted the act with four Yesses.

Troy James




In his day job as an HR professional, Troy probably does all his work online. Because he certainly belongs on the web – given that his talent was to dress up like a tarantula while spider-walking all around the theatre. For those that are unfamiliar, spider-walking is where you arch your body backwards at an unnatural angle and hold yourself up with your arms and legs. The effect is creepy enough to be featured in numerous horror movies – in fact, it was so scary that they actually cut a spider-walk scene from the movie The Exorcist.

Even more impressive about Troy’s act, though, was the speed and versatility of his movements. He climbed up and down stairs, he skittered across the stage and scampered up onto the judges’ desk at a breakneck pace – and even did full jumps and twists, each moment adding to the horror of the situations.

Lilly’s arachnophobia was triggered by the act which tells you how realistic the performance looked. In theory, to show spidery solidarity, the four judges should have each raised two hands to answer the question of whether Troy should go to the next round. Instead, they vocalized their support verbally with four Yesses.

Mark Lewis




During his pre-audition interview, Mark came across as a bit of a doddering old man, playing up his age (79), his hearing loss and his somewhat curmudgeonly attitude. But when it came time for his magic tricks, he showed he was right on point and perhaps the sharpest person in the room.

For his first trick, Mark selected a card from a deck (the camera showed he had chosen the ace of spades). Without showing it to Kardinal, he asked Kardi to name any card in the deck – and Kardinal picked the same one, and was shocked to see Mark reveal it was the same. Now, that might have been only dumb luck or coincidence. But that’s still a pretty neat thing for it to have worked.

For his second trick, he asked Lilly to select a card and put it back into the middle of the deck. After shuffling, Mark flipped over the top card – and it wasn’t hers. He then gave her that wrong card, and asked her to use it to cut to a different card in the middle of the deck. That wasn’t hers, either. But then he told her to look at the card in her hand – and it had turned into the one she had originally selected.

For his final trick, he asked Trish to select a card and then he shuffled the card back into the deck. He selected five cards, asking for five guesses as to which one was hers. He showed them to her one at a time, and if they weren’t hers, he put them face down on the table in front of her. After the fifth, he asked her to put her finger on one of the cards that wasn’t hers. But when she turned it face-up – it was hers.

The judges were, in Kardi’s words, flabbergasted by the magic. But as much as they liked the tricks – and maybe even moreso – they loved Mark’s personality and character. The tricks were all aces, and the judges were all Yesses.

After a commercial, the show returned with a replay of highlights from Mark’s audition. Howie then called for a producer and asked them to hold up the show for a minute, and then asked Lindsay to call Mark back to the stage. When he did, Howie read an e-mail that Mark had sent to the producers of the show during the audition process, in which he complained about the prospect of having to wait in a holding room with other contestants. Howie felt that Mark’s attitude/character was worthy of being rewarded. So he called Lindsay down to the judges’ table, and the judges and Lindsay awarded Mark with their Group Golden Buzzer, putting him through to the next round and earning him a cool $25 grand.

Natalie Morris




Natalie might be familiar to Toronto Maple Leafs fans, as she sings the national anthem at the Leafs’ home games. But even though she performs in front of thousands of fans, she said she still sometimes questions her own talents.

Her performance of Brandi Carlile’s “The Joke” should eliminate any doubts she might have. Her nerves showed a bit early on, but when Natalie hit her stride, she hit a vocal home run (or a hat trick, if you want to stick with her hockey connection). Her voice was powerful, her tones deep and luxurious – and when she hit the big climactic notes at the end, it was absolutely a top shelf shot.

The judges loved that Natlie found her confidence and delivered a great performance. They felt that she is now ready to take her game outside the confines of the hockey arena and onto a bigger stage – starting with the next round, which they put her into with four well-deserved Yesses.

Wow, there were a few really strong acts tonight. It’s going to be hard to see some of them go. But, as we all know, there can only be one million dollar winner. Do you think it’s going to be any of these contestants? If so, which one?

Chime in below, or hit me up on the Twitter (@ReadBobsTweets) and let me know your thoughts.

See you next week!

Other notes:
  • Not to take anything away from Funkanometry’s audition - which, as I said, was perfect. But I’m such a Skynyrd fan that even just hearing the opening guitar lick of “Sweet Home Alabama” won me over. If they’d have used “Freebird” – the greatest song in the history of the world – I would have given them the Golden Buzzer myself.

  • In a funny “oops” moment, before Daniel’s audition, Howie slipped and welcomed him to the show’s southern counterpart, earning him some light-hearted boos from the audience.

  • On earlier episodes in this season, the graphic showing the act’s name didn’t always include their hometown. They brought that back in this episode. I had been including that information in my recaps for each act, but often found it felt a bit forced. If you me to include that information where it’s given, let me know – use the comments area below or say so in your replies to this story on the socials.

  • For a great example of spider-walking, Google videos of the wrestler Bray Wyatt. One of the most creative minds in the history of wrestling, Wyatt was instrumental in introducing some of the most imaginative wrestling characters ever. He passed away way too soon last year at the age of 36 due to complications from COVID. RIP.

  • Speaking of wrestling, this is WrestleMania week. If you’re reading this report, you’re undoubtedly aware of Trish’s many legendary WrestleMania moments (and if not, you should seek them out and get yourself some Stratusfaction). For me, WrestleMania week is one of the most fun times of the year. And busiest, as I will be contributing to the coverage of all of the events on SlamWrestling.net, which you can check out for all the deets.

Stills from episode »


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