Kseniya Simonova wasn’t trained as an artist and hasn’t been practicing for very long, either. Her business was one of many to fall apart with the credit crunch, and she used her newfound time to begin drawing in sand. She started out drawing in the sand at the beach and had only been experimenting with the medium for about a year when she appeared on Ukraine’s Got Talent.
Kseniya was hoping to get some exposure as an artist, but it became much more. The audience was moved to tears. As soon as she finished her performance, applause erupted and she received a standing ovation.
Kseniya passed the semi-finals and moved on to the finals. In the third round, she performed a sand story “Don’t be too late!” about a son who became successful and forgot his parents. The aim of her sand story was to remind the grown children of their parents and to encourage them to call.
Kseniya was declared the winner of the competition and collected 100,000 euro. She was named an online sensation, when in one day her video from the show was viewed more than a million times. Kseniya understood what happened only after she returned to her native town Yevpatoria and could no longer walk freely in the streets. She was surrounded by people asking for autographs. With the money they won, Igor and Kseniya bought a house in Yevpatoria. They received invitations from all over the world to perform.