Kseniya Simonova’s sand artistry proved to be a huge hit on Ukraine’s Got Talent back in 2009, and now she’s taken it across the pond to America’s Got Talent: The Champions! Here are 10 facts about the AGT spin-off finalist!
1. Some Got Talent acts are best known for competing in their own country, while others famously participate in international versions. Ksenyia falls under both categories; having been born in Yevpatoria, Ukraine, UGT was her “home” version of the program, and now she’s competing on the spin-off of AGT in America.
2. Kseniya won the 2009 season of Ukraine’s Got Talent, becoming the very first winner of the series.\
3. Kseniya has been awarded the title of “Merited Artist of Ukraine”. This honor is bestowed by the President of Ukraine and is given to accomplished performing artists.
4. The President of Ukraine isn’t the only world leader Kseniya has performed for; she’s also shown off her skills to various royal figures including King Mohammed VI of Morocco, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, Queen Margarethe II and Princess Marie of Denmark, and the current and former Kings of Bhutan!
5. Ksenyia’s talents go beyond sand art; she is currently involved with the development The Past Eye of the Future, a “visual solo performance” involving both art and acting starring herself. She has also written poems and even an autobiography.
6. We know how powerful Kseniya’s art can be, and she’s been putting that power to good use! For the past several years, she has created sand animations in support of environmental protection.
7. “Life Always Wins” is a recurring theme and message in Kseniya’s work. We saw it in her AGT Champions finals performance (which she also performed on Ukraine’s Got Talent) and she also has a piece about the 2011 Japanese Tsunami with that message as the title.
8. Most of Kseniya’s performances have taken her a lot of intricate planning and practice to get right, but sometimes she likes to improvise, such as in the video below!
9. Sand isn’t the only medium Kseniya uses for her art – she also works with snow!
10. While her time on AGT has been woefully short, Ksenyia will always have the distinction of being the first act to receive a golden buzzer from new host Terry Crews!
Find out if Kseniya wins it all when the America’s Got Talent: The Champions finale airs Monday at 8/7 c on NBC!