Canada's Got Talent - S3E8: It's the last round before next week's finale celebration, and all the contestants fear elimination. Some will feel Golden Buzzer elation, while others will face the vote of the nation.

Bob Kapur     May 7, 2024



TrishStratus.com special guest columnist Bob Kapur recaps Canada's Got Talent airing Tuesdays on Citytv.

Hi, everyone, and welcome back to your weekly Canada’s Got Talent recap, right here on TrishStratus.com. My name is Bob Kapur, and I’m thrilled to be joining you on this last stop before next week’s Million Dollar finale.

But even though we’re in the home stretch, that doesn’t mean the road will be without some curves. Indeed, the first twist came right at the top of the show when Howie dropped a bombshell on the contestants.

While everyone knew that some acts tonight would be selected to go into the finale while others would be put through to be voted on by Canada – what was news to them was that some of the acts would be Eliminated from the competition tonight.

The acts were a bit surprised by the news, knowing that – to paraphrase Eminem, they only had one shot and they would not want to miss, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime.

Now, before I lose myself, let’s go to the stage and check out all the action.

Mat & Mym




During the pre-performance video package, Mat & Mym noted that they aren’t the only couples act doing a physical routine. Knowing that Luka & Jenalyn would also be performing, that was added pressure – and added motivation to them to do their very best. And not only prove that they were worthy of being Kardinal’s Golden Buzzer pick – but to hopefully be Canada’s pick as well.

Once again, they took to a high circular platform to showcase their roller-skating skills, spinning around at breakneck speed in constant motion while performing feats of strength. At one point, Mat held Mym nearly upside-down, with her face so close to the platform surface that she was able to pick a rose up with her teeth. Later, they increased their speed, with her holding herself in place only with an ankle-scissors around his neck. For their finale, Mat blindfolded himself and spun around in quick circles while she was tethered to him by a rope harness around her neck. As he spun around sightless, she rotated her body over and over again – this was visually stunning.

Howie felt that Mat & Mym upped their game from their audition, and Kardinal agreed, saying that they confirmed his initial feeling that they should win it all. Lilly and Trish also enjoyed the performance, with Trish noting that the chemistry the couple showed could easily lead to wedding bells at some point. In short, all the judges thought this was wheelie good.

Luka & Jenalyn




After Mat & Mym rocked it, the pressure was certainly on for this dance duo. Their act was high-energy with plenty of throws and lifts – including a neat sequence that saw Luka use Jenalyn’s legs to whip her around his whole body and then flawlessly deadlift her up vertically. Later, he spun her body around and around his neck multiple times at dizzying speed. Their finishing sequence was incredible, with him circling around and around while he lifted her up and she spun her body around his, at multiple elevations, for what seemed to be 20-30 seconds of non-stop action.

The performance was fantastic, with the dance moves and stunts perfectly in-vibe with the throbbing electro-rock attitude of Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” that scored the routine.

Most of the judges loved the routine, noting that they had never seen anything like it – with props going especially to the last sequence with the infinite spinning. Trish, however, found that the routine was more about the moves and she missed some of the story-telling elements that they brought in their audition performance. Lilly countered, saying that the skills exhibited was story enough.

Jade Mathieu




Jade was Howie’s Golden Buzzer pick, as he appreciated how the 15-year old singer could overcome the inner doubts caused by her autism diagnosis and turn that into a superpower: her singing. She said that the inner voice of doubt that she had always heard before has been replaced by Howie’s voice, telling her she can accomplish her dreams.

She seemed a bit nervous at the top of her rendition of “The Impossible Dream” but those nerves disappeared as he dove deeper into the performance. By the ending, as she hit a great vocal run, and the soaring high note closer, she seemed like she was right at home on the stage.

Trish and Kardinal thought the performance was strong, with Trish saying that she felt Jade’s passion and emotion in the performance. But Lilly found some flaws in the delivery, saying that Jade didn’t hit a home run, which is dangerous since there are a lot of other great singers in the competition, so any misstep could lead to elimination.

Howie felt like the song choice may not have been ideal, and that if Jade does make it to the finale, that’s something she will have to put some more thought into – that if people don’t like the song, it may not matter how much they love the singer. Kardinal, on the other hand, said that the focus – and the evaluation of the performance – should be on how talented the singer is, and not the song itself.

Troy James




Troy, if you recall, portrayed a giant spider during his audition, skittering about the stage and even climbing up to the judges’ desk. For this performance, he went full Shelob, as the stage featured a giant vertical rack with a spider web hanging from it.

Lilly, who gets creeped out by spiders, got a huge fright just from Troy’s jump-scare entrance, as he leapt up from behind the judges’ desk. Even creepier, the way he contorted his arms, which made it look like they were actually bent backwards behind his head in some unnatural way.

He then spider-walked backwards up the stairs to the stage, and then scaled the giant web, before climbing down and doing more spider crawls and jumps. Howie commented that he felt like Troy wasn’t bringing anything new to his act, giant web notwithstanding, and gave Troy the dreaded Red X.

After Troy was done, Howie told him that he didn’t step it up and by scaling back on the contortions to give more time for the web-climbing theatrics, he’d made a big mistake. Lilly agreed, saying that Troy should have increased the difficulty and showcased more of his body manipulation skills. Lilly and Kardinal agreed with the overall assessment, saying that after the big opening moment, the act seemed to get smaller and less impressive as it went on.

Before the next performance, Howie headed to the back to address the rest of the acts. He told them that this is the first time that any of them might hear a “No” from the judges on their CGT journey. But unless they deliver perfection, that might be their reality. He urged them to use that pressure to elevate them and not collapse under it.

Eshan Sobti




In the back, Eshan and Matthew Cooper bonded over being the only male singers in the competition, and expressed mutual admiration for one another. They were both nervous, but like Howie said, they knew that they would have to channel that energy into their singing and perform like never before.

Eshan was particularly nervous, he said, because he selected “The Power of Love” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, which he said was outside of his comfort zone.

His fears were well-founded. I like Eshan – and going in, he was my favourite of the singing acts that made this round – but he really seemed to struggle during this one. His voice didn’t have the strength and tone and clarity it did during his audition, and it felt like he was straining quite a bit to hit the high notes, including in the climactic finish.

The judges didn’t feel that this was as strong a performance as Eshan’s audition was, and it seems like Eshan might have put himself up for elimination tonight.

Matthew Cooper




With Matthew suffering from degenerative hearing loss, he knows that every song he sings could be the last one. But he’s going to do what he can to make sure that this one isn’t the last one he sings on the CGT stage – indeed, he’s hoping to win it all.

Perhaps he was trying to manifest that win through his song choice, “The Winner Takes It All” by ABBA. His vocals were on point, but the performance seemed almost robotic – devoid of genuine emotion. Even when he hit the big note at the end, it seemed like the singing was purely technical – and with this song, it should be all about the feels, as the kids say.

Lilly was underwhelmed by the performance, saying she felt very little. Howie, who sat with his arms folded for most of the act, said he wasn’t excited – though some of that may have been because he’s not an ABBA fan. Kardinal liked that Matthew finished strong, but wanted more of that throughout the performance.

Between Matthew and Eshan, this was a rough night for the male singers. Based on the feedback, it’s unlikely either of them will take it all.

Together For Peace




This mother and daughter act, specializing in sand art, was Lindsay’s Golden Buzzer pick. In their audition, they focused on their “origin story”, creating the visual picture of them leaving their war-torn home country of Ukraine. They said in this performance, they were going to show their current chapter, moving on and making a new life for themselves together.

The song “To Build a Home” by the Cinematic Orchestra was an appropriate backdrop to the visuals they created, which was a series of images, first showing baby, then a young girl, and ultimately an angel delivering the inspirational message “Be Free to be Yourself”.

Trish appreciated the artistry, but didn’t feel the story was as strong this time as it was during their audition. Howie thought that the beauty of the images that they created were lost among the words and the focus should have been on the imagery. Kardinal felt like they should have pulled back a bit, agreeing with Howie’s assessment. Lilly disagreed strongly with her fellow judges, though, saying that she loved the personal story that they were able to convey.

With three judges feeling underwhelmed by the performance, the sand might have fallen through the hourglass for this one – in other words, time might be up for this one.

Natalie Morris




Natalie sings the national anthem at the Toronto Maple Leafs home games. So now that she has the summer off, no better way to spend it than by trying to win a million dollars.

She took a shot with her rendition of “I Was Here” by Beyoncé. That’s a big song, but Natalie did a great job. She never hit a pitchy note, even during the low parts at the top. And when the song picked up, Natalie’s voice soared, singing powerfully but never losing control.
The crowd and judges gave her a standing ovation when she was finished.

Before the judges could comment, Howie excused himself from the judges’ table, explaining that he wanted to go talk to the producers. With the rest of the judges and the production team confused, the director threw the show to a commercial.

When we returned, Howie was still conferring with the production staff, while Lindsay asked the question on everyone’s mind: What is going on right now?

After Howie returned to the desk, he had a huddle with the rest of the judges. He said that because this is a special Million Dollar season, they could only let certain acts go into the finale. He said that after talking it over with the producers and the judges, they all felt that Natalie’s performance deserved a surprise Golden Buzzer, which puts her into the finale – with an extra $25,000 bonus.

Funkanometry




From their opening pop-and-lock robot move, these guys had the crowd smiling in appreciation of their skills. Impressively, they never lost their perfect synchronicity, even as the choreography sped up and slowed down, almost to a halt, dub-step style.

Unlike many dance acts, this one even injected some humour, using a video screen with comical images to augment the routine. Later, they turned things up a notch, with a creative dance homage to the song “Funkytown”, even adding in some air-violin to play along to the riffs. It was comical, it was fun, but most importantly, it showcased their dance skills – which were flawless.

Lilly felt that this was the act that she would want to see over and over and over again, and she thinks Canada will feel the same. Trish agreed, saying that this was the act this season needed. Kardinal loved how they took an old song and made it feel fresh. And Howie called it a wining act.

My take: If you’ve been reading my recaps over the seasons, you know that dance acts aren’t always my favourites, because I typically wouldn’t buy a ticket to see them – which is my litmus test as to who should win the competition. These two, I would pay to see. This was fantastic – a fun, fresh, and exciting performance. They call their fans the Funk Fam – count me in.

Travis Lindsay




Travis and Sterling Scott – the two comedians remaining in the competition – know each other, and have actually worked with each other in the past. But their friendship will have to take a backseat as they both are looking to make their lives better for themselves by winning the competition.

Travis’ humour largely centres around his being mixed race, and living the half-Black experience. His jokes – which ranged from flatulence to how Black people are portrayed in horror movies, to being spied on by a crackhead while pooping.

Trish teased disappointment in Travis’ decision to appear on the biggest stage in the country and tell poop and fart jokes – but it was all a swerve, as she said it was a great decision. Kardinal and Lilly appreciated the relatability of the material. And Howie loved Travis’ delivery style as well as the jokes, saying that Travis has a good chance at winning the whole thing.

Sterling Scott




Sterling was Trish’s Golden Buzzer pick, and he was hoping to supplement that $25K with an additional Million. He is especially motivated to win in order to afford a better life for himself and his children.

His kids were actually a large part of his material, as he told anecdotes about them. Whether they were funny anecdotes or not are debatable – well, at least to one audience member, who interrupted Sterling to yell out to the judges to give him the X.

But instead of being rattled, Sterling clapped back at the guy – and his improvised response was actually funnier than his planned material. After shutting down the heckler, Sterline went back to his planned material, which was fine, but kind of fell flat after he peaked with his trash-talking moment.

Lilly liked Sterling’s personality, but wasn’t blown away by the performance. Kardinal felt like Sterling really shone when dealing with the heckler. Howie agreed, saying that was when Sterling’s real personality came out, and that was the highlight portion of the act. Trish praised Sterling’s high-energy which is what she reacted to when she awarded him the Golden Buzzer, and she said that Canada would react to that as well.

Overall, this was not a sterling performance – we’ll see how it goes, but of the two comedians, Sterling will likely only take home the silver.

Rebecca Strong




In addition to winning, Rebecca is looking to be an inspiration to other young Indigenous people looking to chase their dream.

Her performance of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” could very well move her one step to becoming that inspiration. Her voice was right in the pocket – strong with just the right amount of emotional breathiness during the low parts, and really hitting the stride with the powerful lifts. She absolutely nailed it.

Lilly was thrilled with the performance, noting that Rebecca did her proud as Lilly’s Golden Buzzer pick. Kardinal and Howie both noted that Rebecca embodied the emotion of the song, making them feel and believe what she was singing.

Rebecca’s performance wasn’t just strong – but might have been strong enough to make her the front-runner at this point.

Mark Lewis




Mark is the older of the two magicians named Mark who will be competing tonight. He is, however, the only one of the two who was the Group Golden Buzzer pick.

For his first trick, Mark handed Kardinal a handful of cards – Kardinal counted them, and there were 15 of them. He then had Kardi pick a number between one and five, and correctly guessed that Kardi had selected three. Mark then magically teleported three more cards into Kardi’s hands from across the stage. Sure enough, when Kardinal counted them again, there were 18 of them.

He then asked Kardinal to shout out any number between one and ten, and Kardinal said seven. Mark then did the same trick again, and when Kardi counted them, there were eight more cards in his hand this time.

Kardinal was amazed by the act and by Mark’s personality. Howie and Trish are fans, but they didn’t think the act was as mind-blowing as his audition, with Trish questioning whether this was a Million Dollar trick.

Mark seemed non-plussed by the middling feedback, but seeing how he is a real-life wizard, he might just be able to conjure up a million dollars out of thin air, so no biggie.

Marc Clearview




In his pre-performance video package, Mark said that part of his drive to perform on the CGT stage was to impress his late father who always wanted to see Mark on this kind of show. With his father now passed away, Mark says that he has continued to pursue the dream – not to prove to his father that he has what it takes, but rather to prove it to himself.

Well, he certainly did his best to prove it to the crowd with this big trick. Mark started off floating down from the rafters, suspended upside-down, hanging on a trapeze by his ankles and wearing a straightjacket. He immediately asked to be lowered to the ground and had an assistant remove the straightjacket, which elicited a laugh.

He said that he knew everyone was expecting a big trick for the Elimination show, but he was going to subvert expectations and do a simple card trick. He brought out a deck of flashcards with fruit on them, and asked Lilly to name a fruit. Her choice of a pineapple didn’t match the tomato that he revealed to be hidden underneath a silver food dome, so seemingly the trick failed.

But then he told her to check his Instagram account, where there was a picture of him with the same food dome.

After some funny banter, Mark said he would use the sense of taste to select the card that matched Lilly’s pick, and he shoved the deck of flashcards into his mouth. After some more funny banter (assisted by a voiceover guy), he removed the deck from his mouth. Then, he pushed out of his mouth a folded card, which was the pineapple flashcard.

After that, he asked Lilly to zoom in on the photo in his Instagram – and shown in the reflection of the dome in the photo was Mark’s assistant – holding a pineapple. Finally, Mark pulled out a shot glass from his pocket – which held a shot of pineapple juice.

Howie enjoyed every part of the act, and said that Mark’s act was the most exciting act he’s seen all season. He said that Mark not only breaks rules of magic, but also breaks the rules of performing in general. And to celebrate Mark’s penchant for rule-breaking, Howie was going to break a rule himself.

Specifically, the rule that there can only be one Golden Buzzer pick in this round.
Before anyone could stop him, Howie left his seat, scrambled over to the Golden Buzzer, and put Mark directly into the finals – $25,000 richer, and one step closer to winning it all.

My take: This was tremendous. Not only was the trick amazing and stupefying, but Mark’s delivery is just fantastic. Witty and acerbic, Mark comes across as a bit of a jerk – but at the same time, he’s so likeable that you want to see him succeed. The plot of his tricks includes so many twists and turns that you don’t know what to expect. And done so smoothly that you never see it coming. Great call by Howie with the surprise Golden Buzzer – well-deserved.

The Eliminations


With Natalie Morris and Mark Clearview earning their spots in next week’s finale with their Golden Buzzers tonight, that leaves four more acts that the judges will have to select to join them.

The judges selected the following acts to go on to the finale:

As for the rest, the judges selected these acts to be voted on by Canada (at CityTV.com/Vote):


The two highest vote-getters, who will be revealed on Thursday morning, will also make it to the finale. The rest of the acts were Eliminated.

So, who do you think will win it all? Last week, I predicted that Mark Clearview would win it all, and based on his performance this time, I’m sticking with that choice. Your thoughts? Chime in below, or hit me up on the socials (@ReadBobsTweets on X, or @BobKapur on the Instagram).

Get ready, folks, because next week is the biggest CGT finale ever. See you then!

Other notes:
  • For the Eliminations, small groups of contestants were brought out at the same time, and the judges told them which act was going to the finale and which ones were eliminated. In the case of the four acts being voted on for Canada, they were all brought out together and were told. The last group to be brought out were Rebecca and Travis. The judges first told Rebecca she was going through, which would have made her the fourth, and seemingly meaning Travis was going home. The judges noted that that pairing was the subject of the biggest disagreement – so, presumably deadlocked, they broke the rules yet again and put them both through. Good call, as both of them had good showings tonight, and neither one really deserved to go home.

  • For the singing acts, the on-screen graphic showed the name of the song and the artist at the top of each performance. As a recapper, I just want to say “Thank you” to the producers for doing so, and making my life easier. That saves me some time having to Google the lyrics and then finding out which artist’s version of the song they did. It also saves me from falling into a YouTube black hole where I find the song, watch that video, and then watch a bunch of the suggested related videos, and before I know it, I’ve lost a half hour that I should have been writing up my recap. If you can do that for any act where there’s music, that would be great.

  • That being said, I absolutely DID know that Mat & Mym’s routine was set to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”. I took piano lessons as a kid, and like Schroeder from Peanuts, I’m a huge Beethoven fan.

  • The ordering of the acts, which saw similar acts go back-to-back (e.g. the male singers, the comedians, the magicians), was a bit curious. Not sure if they were filmed in that order, or only aired that way. I can see where it makes it easier for the judges to compare which one was better and who should move on. But as a viewer/audience member, I wanted a little more variety in the pacing, with similar acts spread out a bit more, like they did with Jade, Natalie, and Rebecca.

  • I’m not a disco fan – rock, blues, and country are my jam. But as a child growing up in the 70s, I have to say, I appreciated the cheese that was Lipps Inc.’s “Funkytown”. What a banger, as the kids say.

  • Yes, I took a dig at the Maple Leafs. Not a fan. Sorry, not sorry.

Stills from episode »


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