Ukraine’s Got Talent winner creates art in sand; Italy’s Got Talent has its own Susan Boyle

This is stunning: it’s the winning performance from Ukraine’s Got Talent. Kseniya Simonova, 24, shows what happened in the Ukraine during World War II when Germany invaded (the The Great Patriotic War), and she uses sand to do it. Sand. It really has to be seen to be believed; watch it below.

Although it’s been on YouTube since June, I learned about it Friday night from Roger Ebert’s tweet, in which he called her “The Susan Boyle of sand animation.” It’s hard to disagree.

Speaking of Susan Boyle, Italy’s version of the show, surprisingly called Italy’s Got Talent, debuted last Saturday, and presented a contestant named Carmen Masola who sang opera–sound familiar? Variety reports that Italian critic and “Corriere della Sera columnist Aldo Grasso echoed many critics when he complained the talent show had ‘no experimentation, no research, no new ideas: They are just mechanically adapting this foreign format to an Italian context.’”

In other words, they understand one of the fundamentals of reality TV. Watch Carmen’s performance here and judge how Susan Boyle-ish she really is:

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.