By Bill Brioux
Episode Two of Canada’s Got Talent started with a touch of magic – thanks to an aspiring magician from Brampton, Ontario.
Now, I live in Brampton. You have to be a magician here just to escape the traffic. Am I right Brampton?
Savio Joseph, however, is also one skilled showman.
He raised the stakes by announcing that his future depends on what happens on the Canada’s Got Talent stage. Fresh from university, he has to make a choice: a career in computer science, or a life of magic.
A one-hundred-dollar bill was requested. Howie Mandel had one and autographed it. It was put in one of four envelopes. Three, chosen by judges Kardinal Offishall, Trish Stratus and Lilly Singh, prophesized that Savio would become a web developer, engineer or a game designer. The fourth envelope – Howie’s $100? – seemed to go up in smoke!
Before you could say “Hocus Pocus,” however, Savio broke a bottle, rolled out a banner, and inside was printed the judge’s job picks plus Howie’s C-note.
Mandel was so impressed he called Savio’s parents down from their Fallsview auditorium seats. Lilly gave them props for believing in their son’s dream. After all, when she told her own India-born parents that she wanted to launch a career making YouTube videos, they weren’t too thrilled. They came around once Forbes ranked her as one of the world’s highest-paid YouTubers.
Savio got his four yeses. “One for India!” shouted Lilly.
Other key moments from this week’s episode include:
Comedy-dangerist Herbert Henries, from Winnipeg, MB, told jokes while host Lindsay Ell threw three knives his way. “Throw them as hard as you can, softly,” the deadpan comedian instructed. Howie loved the Steven Wright-like jokes, laughing loudest at, “What I love most about narcissism is me.” Henries earned a trip to the next round.
The Itty Bitty Crew, a three member dance troupe from Edmonton, AB, were next. The three young male dancers, ages 16, 14 and 14, dressed in black and white and danced before a large sign which read, “ANXIETY.”
All four judges got their message, especially Howie, who is famously anxious about everything. They got four yeses, a standing ovation from the audience and hopefully will change that Itty-Bitty name before their next appearance.
They were followed by Trillium Entertainment, an aerial circus act from Toronto. In their first public show, the three women clung to harnesses and twirled high overhead in the cavernous auditorium. Then, in a move right out of Cirque du Soleil, they did a false drop that gave everybody at Fallsview plenty of anxiety.
Trish and Howie found their act quite inspiring. Kardinal, however, found something lacking. Still, it was three yeses and on to the next round for Trillium.
Audiences were next treated to a Cuba-born singer with a big voice and plenty of passion. Now a resident of London, Ont., Karelia Letsos’ cover of “One Night Only” brought Lilly and Trish to their feet. Kardinal faked everybody else by starting off by saying no contestant should dare try and cover a Jennifer Hudson song – except for Karelia Letsos from Cuba. Howie wondered if her act was contemporary enough but went along anyway. Four yeses.
A Vancouver troupe of Hip Hop dancers named GRVMNT filled the stage next. Kardinal loved that they were out to prove that Hip Hop is not just a side act.
They proved it to Howie, who flipped for the well-choreographed routine.
“You made my heart swell,” he said. “I really believe you could win this entire season!”
Even Kardinal thought their act was “Fire!” Fellow judge Lilly was even more enthusiastic. “I want you to go all the way,” she declared. She helped make that happen by slamming down on the Golden Buzzer, securing them a place in the semi-finals.
Not everybody electrified the judges. Among the so-so acts was a violinist who played while hanging upside down. Mandel quipped that she looked like “a violinist who got caught in the curtains.” It was curtains for her.
NEXT WEEK: there will be dog acts! Dogs and balloons! Dogs in tiny cars!
Canada’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Citytv, with catch-up available on Rogers Ignite TV, Citytv.com and Citytv Now.
Miss an episode or want to relive a favourite moment? Rogers Ignite TV customers can catch up on all the episodes via video-on-demand. Simply say “Canada’s Got Talent” into the award-winning Voice Remote and get ready to be amazed by Canada’s talent.
Veteran columnist and podcaster Bill Brioux covers television daily at brioux.tv.