Can you believe it’s nearly over?
The last golden buzzer of the America’s Got Talent: Champions season has been awarded, and it’s full steam ahead to the finish line for the lucky (and of course, talented) contestants who have impressed the judges so far.
“This is feeling like the Olympics,” exclaimed judge Simon Cowell, highlighting the sense of excitement and anticipation brewing on the judging panel. In some sense, the hard work is done: the final performers have been chosen. But how on earth to pick between them?
It was judging newcomer Terry Crews who had the honor of awarding the last golden buzzer of the season.
(🇷🇺below) My sand story has to change people. I am happy if that happens. The biggest joy for me is even not my Golden…
With the roaring crowd in full support, Terry hit the coveted buzzer after being extremely moved by Ukrainian artist Kseniya Simonova’s magical rendering of a fellow artist who became estranged from his parents. The entire animation was drawn in sand.
From birth to death, Kseniya rendered the entire life of an artist on the stage, alongside a heart-wrenching soundtrack, achieving the effect of a mini movie.
The story chronicled the birth of the artist, Kseniya’s friend, with his parents lovingly cradling their infant son under a starry sky. The artist’s life progressed through his own discovery of art, and his absorption in his work. The sweeping narrative then journeyed with the artist back to his hometown, only to discover that his elderly, ailing parents had passed in his absence.
Kseniya ended the story by tracing three words in the delicate sand: “Don’t be late.”
Terry was blown away. “I have never been more impressed with the ability to move people the way you did today,” he said. “It was one of the most inventive, creative things I have ever seen in my life.”
“I got weepy in the end,” admitted the newbie judge, overwhelmed by Kseniya’s unique performance.
The audience were equally moved by the tragedy of the story and the moving message in the sand. “I wish [that] nobody forgets their parents, please,” Kseniya implored.
Kseniya is a small-town girl. The 33-year-old artist and mother from Yevpatoriya, Western Crimea, won Ukraine’s Got Talent in 2009. Her loving husband, very aware of his wife’s extraordinary talent and equally aware of her modesty in sharing it, entered her, in secret.
And the world is very grateful that he did.
Interestingly, Kseniya’s parents initially discouraged her from a career as an artist. Artists themselves, they were all too well acquainted with the struggle that an artistic life entailed, and wanted better for their daughter. But Kseniya’s artistic spirit could not be subdued.
“In my opinion, you are one of the best contestants we’ve had over the years,” praised Simon Cowell. “Genuinely, to see it unfold in front of our eyes and your use of music and storytelling. It was fantastic.”
“You are beautiful,” added a starstruck Howie Mandel. “Where else can you see sand art?”
This is Kseniya’s very first visit to America. “I feel I am here representing Ukraine,” the proud Eastern European shared. “I want to show that it’s a beautiful, artistic place.”
“My life’s already changed so much, but I am still the girl from [the] little city.”
Watch Kseniya’s moving sand art performance in the video below.
What do you think of Kseniya’s unique artistic talent? Do you think she can make it all the way to the top? Like, share, and leave us your thoughts!