Britain’s Got Talent is back for a second helping this year, with acts from all around the world heading to London to impress in Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.
The very best (and most memorable) acts will take on performers from the Australian, Indian and American versions of the franchise, among others, in a bid to be crowned the ultimate champion and to take home £100,000.
Here’s everything you need to know about Ukraine’s own Kseniya Simonova, who reduced the judges to in tears with her unique performance.
Kseniya Simonova: Key Facts
From: Crimea, Ukraine
Talent: Sand artist
Which franchise is Kseniya Simonova from? Simonova won the first series of Ukraine’s Got Talent in 2009
Who pressed their golden buzzer for Simonova? Amanda Holden sent Simonova straight through to the final, after bringing her to tears with her emotional performance
Who is Kseniya Simonova?
Born in 1985, Simonova has had an artistic upbringing, with her mother having worked as an artist and a theatrical designer, and father running a business in furniture design.
She started experimenting with sand art and sand animation after her husband, Igor, suggested she try something unique. Having recently given birth to her son, Simonova would experiment with the medium in her free time and at night.
Ukraine’s Got Talent
After her husband saw the winnings for Ukraine’s Got Talent, he encouraged Simonova to enter in 2009. In the semi-finals, she wowed with her emotional sand-story about World War Two.
“I wanted to bring something close to our hearts,” she said at the time.
Her story for the final, which looked at someone who forgot about his roots after they became successful, saw Simonova take the top prize.
With her performance receiving over two million hits on YouTube, Simonova became an internationally renowned artist, performing for the President of Malta, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand and fashion designer Christian Dior.
She has also performed at several sporting events, including the Paralympic Closing ceremony in Athens, and the UEFA Euro 2012 in Ukraine.
America’s Got Talent: The Champions
This is not Simonova’s first time having a crack at The Champions, having previously appeared on America’s Got Talent: The Champions earlier this year.
After receiving a standing ovation, Simon Cowell called Simonova’s performance “one of the most beautiful acts in the history of Got Talent”, while fellow judge Terry Crews awarded her his golden buzzer, sending her through to the finals.
Despite being a hugely popular contestant, Simonova finished third in the competition, behind magician Shin Lim and singer-ventriloquist Darci Linn.
What did the judges make of Simonova’s performance?
Holden hailed it “absolutely beautiful”, while Cowell said: “You’ve shown your one of the best in the world”.
Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions continues Saturdays on ITV.