Canada's Got Talent - S3E5: A surprise auditioner wows the crowd; an octogenarian drums real loud; a singer loves his stinky cloud

Bob Kapur     April 16, 2024 special guest columnist Bob Kapur recaps Canada's Got Talent airing Tuesdays on Citytv.

Welcome back, everyone, to our weekly coverage of this year’s season of Canada’s Got Talent?. As always, my name is Bob Kapur, and I’m glad to be your guide through this week’s episode, as we continue down the road to find our country’s next great superstar.

As Trish said during this week’s introduction, she is looking for acts that are dedicated to their craft – no matter what that craft may be. My craft is letting you know what happened during each audition – and I’m dedicated to doing just that – so let’s get to it!

Sam Benty

Sam’s speaking voice – kind of nasally with a heavy Alberta accent – was kind of cartoonish. That, his goofy and affable personality, and the ridiculous-looking instrument he brought on state – an Omnichord – suggested he may be more of a comedian than the singer-songwriter he claimed to be.

In fact, he was both. His song was a tribute to his flatulence, and specifically on how his farts affected people’s senses. The lyrics were light-hearted and silly, and combined with the basic synthesized music – and a Springsteen-esque bridge, it had almost everyone laughing.

Well, not Kardi, who X'd Sam mid-way through the performance. Howie loved the universality of the topic and gave him a Yes, and Trish gave him another, leaving the deciding vote up to Lilly. She really enjoyed Sam’s personality – but as for putting him through to the next round, she passed.

Noah Kosta

Just being on stage was a big step for Noah, who has been battling germophobia since the pandemic, a mental health battle that had affected him greatly.

His deep crooning version of the traditional standard “Cry Me a River” was stellar. His deep powerful voice belied his age of only 19, and if you closed your eyes, you might think it was a Rat Packer belting out the tune, especially when he hit the big notes at the end. The performance earned Noah a standing ovation from the crowd and the judges, deservedly so.

All the judges loved the surprise/shock factor of the audition, none of them having expected to hear that kind of song sung in that kind of voice emanating from Noah. And they made sure he wasn’t going to be crying a river, as they put him through with four Yesses.

Carmel Kallemaa

is a rhythmic gymnast on Team Canada, who is hoping to compete in the Olympics – and if she can do that with a million dollars in her hand for winning CGT, even better.

Early into Carmel’s routine, which saw her stretching and leaping and making her ribbon loop and dance, Lilly noted to Howie that it was a brave choice for Carmel to do that kind of act on such a big stage all alone. All of a sudden, a number of other dancers swarmed on stage and joined in.

They did a synchronized routine, highlighted by Carmel taking center point with even more flexible moves and stretches, making for a strong visual display of motion, colour, and athleticism.

Trish felt the collective energy of the entire troupe, and Lilly said that their enthusiasm was infectious. The judges gave Carmel and her teammates four Yesses and put them through.

Alexandra Burgio

This wasn’t Alexandra’s first time on this stage. Last season, she was a magician’s assistant and was featured in a levitation trick. This year, however, she’s on her own, taking the headline role in her own magic act.

On the stage was a big metal contraption resembling a giant scorpion. Three assistants in steampunk-style costumes handcuffed her and locked her into a chamber at the belly of the beast, with only her arms and legs visible through holes in the sides of the chamber. They then removed the covering to reveal the tail, which was a giant buzzsaw on an arm that was positioned in a way that it would slice through the belly where Alexandra was locked into.

Just as the saw lowered down into the area where it would have sliced Alexandra in half, her arms and legs disappeared, presumably pulled into the chamber. But when the chamber door was lifted, it was empty. And Alexandra was standing in the aisleway in the middle of the audience – who were also on their feet in response to the trick.

Howie remarked that many women magicians aren’t doing these types of big tricks like many of their male counterparts do. Trish agreed, comparing it to her experiences in professional wrestling, where women have to show off the same physicality and athleticism as men, with the added pressure of looking beautiful while performing. Kardi loved the wow factor of the trick, and kicked off the unanimous Yes votes.

My hot take: Look, I like magic acts as much as anyone – indeed, there’s not a magic show in Vegas that I haven’t been to at least once. But these kinds of big tricks with the giant gimmicks often seem to be more style over substance. The scorpion looked impressive visually, sure. But I never felt any sense of real danger in it, given how shielded Alexandra was throughout. Without that visual sense of danger, that visceral fear factor, the trick felt underwhelming to me. I hope next time Alexandra does something smaller but with more emotion and drama. Sometimes, less is more, and that’s the feeling I got here.

Jerri Gallaugher

An obstacle course with ramps and tunnels was set up on the stage, so you knew this was going to be an animal act. The surprise came when Jerri’s animals were pigs. Uncooperative, untalented pigs, as it turns out. The first one barely tried to follow the course, even with Jerri’s coaching. And the second one didn’t come out of its cage at all. That’ll NOT do, pig. And it didn’t, with No votes across the board.

The UltiMutts

The Ulti-Mutts are a bunch of disabled rescue animals that their owner Melissa has trained to do a bunch of tricks. She’s hoping that seeing the performance will inspire other people to consider adopting disabled animals, as usually they are unwanted and eventually euthanized.

One dog named Jellybean balanced his front paws on a basketball and walked around the stage that way, and then Jellybean and Melissa bounced the ball back and forth to each other. Later, a different dog pushed a tricycle that a cat was sitting on and steering. The two of them then rode a scooter together. The last trick saw a third dog dumping through Melissa’s arms that she’d shaped into a circle. That dog then did some jumps, and the finale saw that dog do a handstand walk, balancing on its front legs.

Trish liked the message of the act in addition to the tricks themselves. Howie was impressed that Melissa could actually train a cat. Lilly’s never seen a dog act that she hasn’t liked, and she kicked off the judging with the first of four Yesses.

Eve Parker Finley

Eve came out to her family as a trans woman by singing a song she’d written, and said that the original song she was going to perform was also based on her own personal experience – and she believes it might resonate with other people as well.

The song, called “Screw you, Steve” was a funny tune about a bad dating experience. Actually, worse than bad, as it was about Eve hooking up with a guy and then finding out he was married with children, and one of those children was creepily named Eve. The song was hilarious and had the audience in stitches – and even singing along to the chorus. The lyrics were like Eve was telling a story to her friends at a bar, but set to a jaunty pop tune.

The judges loved Eve’s personality and the song, and gave Eve four big Yesses.

Soon Keun Kwon

Soon is 82 years old and has played drums for 68 years of them. His drumming wasn’t mind-blowing or anything, though the joy with which he played certainly was infectious. And, hey, he’s 82 and still able to rock out, so good on him.

The judges liked the joyfulness of the performance, and said that the audience would want to see Soon again – and see him again soon – so they gave him four Yesses. Afterwards, Soon came down to their table to thank them all, and then tried to do a victory lap in the stands, but they were able to corral him and direct him backstage.

Sai Juttukonda

Earlier in the episode, coming out of a commercial break, Lilly was watching a video on her phone of Sai singing. The judges were so impressed that they asked Lilly to Facetime her. She did, and invited Sai to come to the OLG Stage and audition.

She arrived and was rushed to the stage by the producers for the impromptu audition. She had brought her parents who presumably were surprised, as they didn’t even know that Sai performed on TikTok.

After this audition, Sai is definitely going beyond TikTok.

Her version of Labrinth’s “Jealous” was absolutely stunning. Her voice was flawless – clear, strong, and perfectly in-tune. The audience and judges gave her a huge standing ovation when she finished, deservedly so.

Kardinal told Sai that she has found her true calling as a singer, and Howie agreed, saying that the CGT audience just got to witness her launching a new journey in her life.

Lilly related to Sai’s personal story, saying that she also didn’t inform her parents of her TikTok adventures when she was a burgeoning comedy performer on the platform. She said she was proud of Sai doing what she did, and she was the first one of the four to vote Yes to put Sai through.

My take: That was an amazing audition. Even more so, since Sai hadn’t even planned on auditioning. Like Maeve from last year – who you may recall was discovered busking outside the theatre by Howie and called in to audition – Sai is my early favourite, and I think if she can deliver like this every time, she could easily win the entire competition. I hope I don’t jinx it for Sai like I did it for Maeve by giving her a hashtag – but I’m a #SaiGuy.

What do you think? Do you think Sai has what it takes to take home the million dollar prize? Or did anyone else tonight make your shortlist? Comment below, or hit me up at @ReadBobsTweets on the Twitter with your thoughts.

See you next week!

Other notes:
  • With his simple keyboard sounds and strange but funny lyrics, Sam’s performance reminded me of Wesley Willis, an underground singer-songwriter who had a bit of cult following for a short time in the 90s. Rock over London. Rock on Chicago. #IYKYK

  • According to Wikipedia, the Omnichord has been around for 40 years, and has been played by such musical luminaires as David Bowie and Joni Mitchell. The instrument is making a comeback with a new version coming out this summer.

  • At one point between auditions, Kardinal and Trish were doing a duet, hand-drumming on the judges’ desk. Lilly was not impressed and joy-killed them into stopping. I was hoping that they would lead the crowd into a “We Will Rock You” moment like in that one cold open on Cheers, but it was not to be. If you don’t know what I mean, YouTube it – it’s worth the watch.

  • During Soon Keun’s performance, they played a terrible karaoke cover version of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” It might have been even worse than the Quiet Riot song they used last week. In all of Canada, they can’t find a hard rock singer to do a better version of heavy metal tunes and use those instead? Maybe call and ask one of Trish’s wrestling buddies Chris Jericho, the frontman for the band Fozzy?

Stills from episode »

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