This episode features the final round of performances on Canada’s Got Talent, with two hours of non-stop excitement. Oddly, it’s free of the filler one expects from this type of reality show (that’s saved for tonight’s live results show, we’re sure). Host Dina Pugliese sports a gold ball gown accessorized with a dangly necklace and armband (perhaps she’s sad about missing Coachella this year, because she looks like she’d fit right in), Stephan Moccio looks cozy in an oversized scarf (he’s wrapped up like it’s the dead of winter), Measha Brueggergosman returns to a big hairdo and Martin Short makes no sexual references (sorry, there are no style notes to report for Short). Considering the auspicious occasion, it’s surprising to see Pugliese reusing her silver mic (what, did the mic budget run out before the finale?). There are a lot of competitors with similar talents, so we’ve opted to group them all together with our bets for who might win in each category.
THE OPERA SINGERS
• Julie Lafontaine brings the drama that Brueggergosman asks for, singing a deeper song than the airier ones she’s done in the past. She sparkles in a silver dress and sports long, flowing extensions. We think her performance is stronger than that of fellow opera singer Emilio Fina.
• Emilio Fina tries to up the ante by dancing while singing his number. His dancing, which might be more aptly described as having women in skimpy skirts twirl around him, distracts from his powerful voice. He hits a sustained note perfectly, but with so much going on around him, his voice is lost in translation.
THE BEAT BOXERS
• KRNFX is our favourite beat boxer of the evening. While his wardrobe choices leave something to be desired (faded jeans with a tuxedo jacket and bowtie, really?), his performance has Moccio standing and dancing (oh, how we’ve missed judges dancing), and the traditional Korean drummers he brings out are a perfect complement to his beat boxing.
• Scott Jackson does things with his voice that we didn’t know were even possible. He pleases the crowd when he sings through his throat, and Moccio even asks for private lessons. He also sings the Gordon Lightfoot classic “If You Could Read My Mind” (though it is obviously the Stars on 54 version). KRNFX’s performance is just a bit more cohesive.
•Broken Dance performs a Bollywood take on Romeo and Juliet. While some parts of the performance feel a bit slow, the judges note that Broken Dance has had less than a week to prepare. The final tableau is a show-stopper, with canes as props and acrobatic jumps and twists. Broken Dance wins hands-down for costumes, but we’re not sure about the grand prize.
• Shale Wagman is only 12 years old and has been a favourite in this competition. His interpretive dance-meets-ballet number, about a bullied kid who stands up for himself, is a bit lost on us (we couldn’t really see the narrative arc in the dance). But even if Shale doesn’t win CGT, we expect we’ll be seeing a lot more from this young workhorse.
• Sagkeeng’s Finest are our favourites from the dance portion. Their technique is far from the best, but there’s something about this trio from Manitoba that is very engaging and charismatic. The boys take risks with their performance (doing tap for the first time ever, for example), which is something we like to see in a grand finale.
• Freshh are a close second for the best dance troupe of the night. With six weeks to prepare, the guys bring their A-game, performing a rhythmic, catchy, can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it dance in perfect harmony. Their performance is by far the most energetic of the night, as evidenced by their laboured breathing afterward.
THE SINGERS (AND A RAPPER, TOO)
• Angry Candy is a group from the East Coast that performs cover songs. We love lead singer Isabelle and her rendition of Adele’s “Someone Like You” (which really says something, as we are wildly sick of that song), but we’re not sure that singing covers should be enough to take the title. Side note: Did anyone else notice how only Isabelle had a spotlight on her? We hope there’s no jealousy brewing over who gets star billing in this band.
• Ivan Daigle went a little more uptempo this week with his cover of Brad Paisley’s “This Is Country Music.” Again, all the country clichés are there (Paisley’s song mentions dead war heroes and his truck), but Ivan keeps it together this time, with no obvious tears like last time. Ivan, who’s already been interviewed on CHFI, may not take it all home, but he has a much bigger audience now and we’re expecting a record deal any day.
• We hate to draw comparisons, but Mathew “The Emsee” Cathcart could be Canada’s Eminem. From Hamilton, Cathcart works in a factory right now and dreams of making it big. Though his clean rhymes are a far cry from Eminem’s creative cussing, we are huge fans of The Emsee. He is our favourite in the singer category, but we wish his rhymes were a touch less literal (he mentions Brueggergosman and his crying from his last attempt on stage). We think there’s something to be said for a little bit of symbolism.
THE CIRCUS ACT
• The most common act we saw in the auditions was some variation of a circus performance. Aygul Memet mastered the ever-popular hula hoop before moving on to balancing candelabras, and as the only circus act left in the competition, she must be the best Canada’s got. Her aerial hoop work isn’t the most thrilling we’ve seen her do, but Aygul is still a charming presence. And heck, she’s performing aerial hoop work with an injured shoulder, so she’s good in our books, even if she doesn’t grab the title.
That’s it for the performances; the rest is up to Canada. Check back tomorrow for our report on the live finale, with guest spots by Hedley, Jackie Evancho and a sure to be groan-inducing interview Pugliese did with Short’s Jiminy Glick character (wow, we were just joking about that last week).