Canada’s Got Talent, the “REAL” auditions you didn’t see

It seems every one is tuning in to Canada’s Got Talent to see the “auditions” rounds of the TV show. In every talent show on TV it is the “auditions” episodes that get the most ratings because the viewers never know what to expect. They might see a future star in the making take stage with a historic act, or a comically bad performance that ends up just as historic.

The “auditions” you see on TV however are not really the auditions of these shows at all. The real auditions take place months before. It would be unmanagable for the tv producers to tape all 20,000 competitors for Canada’s Got Talent live on stage in front of the 3 celebrity judges, then edit all that footage for the TV shows. As a competitor of the show Canada’s Got Talent, here is a look at how the real auditions took place…

Rachel Brown of Insight productions, the company that produces Canada’s Got Talent, contacted Ontariostrongman.ca site administrator, Grant Buhr, who put a posting on the Ontario Strongman forum asking any strongman interested to contact her about auditioning for the show. That is when I seen the following message Grant passed on to the strongmen…

“I’m a producer on the new series \”Canada\’s Got Talent\” and I\’d like to encourage some strongmen to apply – there have been some great acts done on the American version of the show, and I know Canada has the talent to top it! Please email me for further information, or go on the website gottalent.ca”

This was in August of 2011.

Certain acts that needed a lot of space to perform, or needed large props, were allowed to film thier act and bring the video to the audtion. The film could only be 2 minutes in length, and had to be completely unedited. An act like Lucas Wilson, the escape artist, or the group Project Dunk who jumps on a trampoline to dunk basketballs would likely bring in a video of themselves performing their acts.

I towed an airplane.

It was September of 2011, with my video in hand I arrived at the Roger’s Centre with my friend Louis Szpeflicki. The line up was incredibly long, and filled with all types of characters. Once inside the building we all sat in the bleachers and waited for our competitor numbers to be called. 10 competitors at a time would be taken away and asked to wait outside of a VIP box overlooking the baseball field.

Louis Szpeflicki's mobile photo of 6 Pack Lapadat at the Canada's Got Talent auditions held at the Rogers Centre in Toronto

There were several VIP boxes going at the same time with a TV producer in each. In groups of 10 we entered the room and took turns performing in front of the TV producer. In my group I was the only act that was not a signer. Out of the 9 singers in the room, 6 or 7 were good enough for radio.

6 Pack Lapadat hamming it up for the cameras at the Rogers Centre

After our auditions, the group was leaving the VIP box when I was asked to stick around to do an interview to be filmed by a TV crew. The TV crew filmed me lifting and pressing over my head a large steel crowd divider with my shirt off. They also filmed me posing for the camera, and showing off my muscles. Portions of this was shown on TV.

6 Pack Lapadat posing for the video cameras at the "real" auditions for Canada's Got Talent, held at the Rogers Centre

I was then told I would be notified via email if I made it to the next round, billed then as the Toronto “showcase” round. I was told this round would be in front of 3 celebrity judges, and filmed for television. While me being asked to hang back for a filmed interview and segment was a good indication I was advancing, it was far from certain. As it turned out, a number of competitors who were asked to do the same never made it to the showcase rounds.

It was in early November I was informed by an email that I had made it to the top 500 (from the original 20,000). My performance for the showcase round of Toronto would be filmed on December 5th of 2011. I had 3 weeks to put together a strongman act that could be performed on stage and still WOW thousands in a packed Toronto Convention Center, over a million viewers at home, and hopefully the 3 judges.

But that my friends, is another story for another article…

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