Ukrainian sand artist Kseniya Simonova is used to creating beautiful pictures through the inventive medium of sand. Her unique ability to convey emotions and feelings through her sweeping movements and captivating storylines captured the attention of fans of the US talent show spin-off, America’s Got Talent: The Champions. The spin-off brought together past champions and favourite contestants from the many versions of the AGT franchise from around the globe.
Grand final performance — Kseniya Simonova
Her final performance drew on themes of the horrors of war and the amazing capacity of love to win over hate. Having aired last week, her art was paired with some impeccably fitting music. Perhaps more impressive than the speed of her art is her capacity to tell a story through this unusual medium. The judges were impressed — Simon Cowell said it was one of the most impressive performances he’d ever seen.
On Monday night, the results show of the final was finally aired. After a two-hour long marathon, featuring guest performances from past runner-up opera singer Jackie Evancho and world renowned French-Canadian acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil, the results were finally revealed. Simonova was left short of the title, finishing in a very respectable third place.
Though possibly a disappointing finish for her fans, Kseniya’s result was more than commendable. She only finished behind Canadian-American close-up magician Shin Lim, the winner of Season 13 of AGT and crowned the winner of AGT: The Champions, and AGT Season 12 winner, ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer. Both acts who finished above her are still very popular in the US.
Kseniya Simonova at Eurovision
Eurovision fans may also remember Kseniya as a critical part of the staging for Ukraine’s Eurovision 2011 act in Dusseldorf. As Mika Newton belted out her song “Angel”, Kseniya lends her sand art talents to the song, making an emotional mural of love, humanity and angels watching over us. Looking comfortable and in place, Kseniya’s talent shined alongside Mika. Her art lent warmth and depth to the performance that may not have come across if Mika had performed without her.
The combination of talent powered Ukraine to finish fourth in the grand final that year. Ukraine’s history of good results has only continued to grow since, with one more top ten and two more top fives, plus Jamala’s win with “1944” in 2016. Ukraine’s results have unfortunately taken a few steps back in the last couple of years since Jamala. It stands to reason that they could use another combination of a captivating song and inventive staging to get themselves back to the left side of the scoreboard.
Are you happy with Kseniya’s talents being discovered by a wider audience? Do you think she should be part of another staging concept by Ukraine in the future? Let us know in the comments below!