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Season finale recap: Braden Lauer is Canada’s Smartest Person

Let’s just say this was not your average finale show.

Sunday’s two-hour season finale of Canada’s Smartest Person was truly an epic night. From start to finish, eight of the country’s brightest brains took on the show’s toughest challenges to earn the coveted title of Canada’s Smartest Person.

It was a treat to be reunited with these eight finalists, and see them all together on one stage:

• Albert Tam, a 25-year-old MBA candidate and arts administrator from Woodbridge, Ont.
• Chris Tessaro, a 51-year-old firefighter from Mississauga, Ont.
• Mith Das, a 29-year-old copywriter from Toronto
• Victoria Leenders-Cheng, a 33-year-old magazine editor from Montreal
• Max Cameron, a 31-year-old fighter pilot from Calgary
• Daryl Dillman, a 24-year-old orthopedic surgery resident from Cole Harbour, N.S.
• Johnny MacRae, a 27-year-old poet from Vancouver
• Braden Lauer, a 22-year-old law student from Vancouver

For example, when will you ever get another chance to see a surgeon / power lifter marvel at the marbles (ha!) gathered by a bow-tie wearing MBA candidate?

You think that’s good? Watch Jessi tap into her inner sassiness:

And with Jessi, you know that there’s always more where that came from.

How do you like the sound of that, Max and Braden?

With everyone on board, it sure felt like a party, especially with all the balloons in the visual challenge, Crosswalk.

But if any of the finalists wanted to cross the road to stardom, they had to prove that their smarts wore many hats, especially in the musical challenge, Karaoke Nightmare. Johnny was definitely up to the task (although, we don’t know how his man bun felt about being kept in the dark for this one).

Still, celebrity guest judge Measha Brueggergosman was impressed.

But it’s not called “Karaoke Nightmare” for nothing. Performing in front of an opera singer made for some nerve wracking moments.

But Braden swooped right in there with his showmanship…

…and made a fangirl out of all of us.

Braden wowed us again by hitting all the targets in one try during the logical challenge, Pathfinder.

Hold up -- we just have to see that Jessi twirl again:

And of course, what’s a party without some red plastic cups?

Even though Chris made a serious run for a spot in The Super Gauntlet, Braden was just on a roll. He posted the fastest time in the physical challenge, Sport Stacker, to come from behind...

...and meet fellow bearded opponent Johnny in The Super Gauntlet.

With a jacked up version of The Gauntlet, we needed Jeff Douglas to guide us through it -- with his “James Bond casually walking away from an explosion” swagger, of course.

While Jeff made it all look so easy, Jessi knew very well that it wouldn’t be.

Yet, Braden rolled through all the challenges, and even took a moment to take it all in.

And here he is, Canada’s Smartest Person, Braden Lauer:

Thanks for watching and playing along, Canada!

What were your favourite moments from this season of Canada’s Smartest Person? Let us know in the comments section below, or on Twitter or Facebook.

Also on CBC