Meet ‘Canada’s Got Talent’ winner Jeanick Fournier
It’s fitting that Jeanick Fournier’s talent has finally been discovered. That’s because the newest “Canada’s Got Talent” winner has always had a knack for finding the talent in everyone else around her.
Fournier adopted her two special-needs children when they were both infants (her son Yohan is now 12, and her daughter Emma is now eight).
The Chicoutimi, Quebec resident who turns 50 Friday, also works as a palliative care attendant, helping long-term cancer patients with the everyday things most of us take for granted.
“I help them take their baths and help them with their food and to cook,” Fournier told The Star. “I also help them with my voice,” referring to how she often sings to soothe her patients.
The voice that she so casually brings up is much more than that to the people she takes care of and now to the rest of the country as well.
It’s the same voice that helped the singer take home the “Canada’s Got Talent” crown on Tuesday night. Fournier bested seven other contestants to win $150,000, 100,000 Air Miles Dream Miles, and the chance to perform at the “America’s Got Talent Las Vegas Live” stage show.
Jeanick Fournier is a singer, mother and palliative care beneficiary attendant from Chicoutimi, Quebec. She learned English by watching her favourite singers, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Lara Fabien and Barbara Streisand and emulating their breathing, pronunciation and way of speaking in interviews. Jeanick sings with all her heart and considers her voice a gift from God! Her performance of Celine Dion’s “I Surrender” shocks the judges and wins over Host Lindsay Ell, creating a golden moment!
While Fournier always knew that she could belt out a tune, she never really focused on it as a potential full-time career. Performing as an occasional Celine Dion tribute artist in Quebec was really as far she thought she would ever go.
“I was never ready in my head,” Fournier said coyly, in stark contrast to the confidence she commanded on stage all season. “I wasn’t ready in my heart.”
Fournier said that despite singing for 30 years, she still needed to be coaxed by her new manager to try out for the show. Even after she got the application, it still took her two weeks to work up the nerve to fill it out.
While she might not have recognized the strength of her own voice, everyone else on the show did, starting with the show’s host. Lindsay Ell used her golden buzzer to send Fournier to the finals immediately after she heard the chanteuse cover Celine Dion’s “I Surrender,” in her audition performance.
“The minute she walked on stage, she opened her mouth and she sounded exactly like the other famous French-Canadian we know (Celine Dion),” Ell told The Star after the finale. “I was just blown away!”
Picking out the winner so quickly is a badge of honour for the host who is an accomplished country singer in her own right. Ell was named the Interactive Artist of the Year at last year’s Canadian Country Music Association awards where she was also nominated in the album of the year and female artist of the year categories (among others).
“We all got to choose one Golden Buzzer moment and I will never forget hearing Jeanick sing for the first time and wanting to choose her. I remember getting to interview her before she walked on stage and I fell in love with her from the get-go. She has this angelic glow to her. And the story of her being a palliative care nurse and adopting two children with Down syndrome, she is a joy to be around.”
Former pro wrestler and “Canada’s Got Talent” judge Trish Stratus agreed that Canada had picked the right winner.
“Right away, I saw her star power. She just has a stage presence and that’s the number one thing that as a judge, I am looking for in the talent. It was no surprise to me that she was our final winner.”
It was a surprise to Fournier however. The French-speaking singer says she relied on the music of some of her idols to help her learn English, citing Whitney Houston and Barbra Streisand as some of her biggest influences.
The new champion admitted that she would have liked to perform for Canada a little bit more. The short run of the series that began less than eight weeks ago only allowed for Fournier to sing three times. Once in her audition, once in the semifinals, and then once more in the finals.
“It’s not sufficient,” Stratus said. “I want to show the rest of Canada a lot more of Jeanick.”
As for what she will do with the money? The mother of two said that she has earmarked it all for her family.
“I want to give them a better life. I want to give them a bigger house. And I want to travel around the world with my kids.”
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