"In my country, he is popular from the Old Spice commercials," Kseniya Simonova tells PEOPLE of Terry Crews, who she says is a "person for a portrait"

By Karen Mizoguchi
February 04, 2019 10:00 PM
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The last Golden Buzzer has been given out!

Kseniya Simonov won Ukraine’s Got Talent in 2009 with her mesmerizing sand art performances. And on Monday night, she won the heart of America’s Got Talent: The Champions host Terry Crews during the fifth and final audition round.

The 33-year-old mother of two, who made her first-ever visit to the United States, wowed the judges and audiences by animating an emotional story of a “child who grew up and became a famous artist and forgot his parents.”

Recalling her “beautiful” golden moment, Simonova tells PEOPLE she can’t believe she’s moving on to the finals, much less being revered by a “very talented and positive star” like Crews.

Jordin Althaus/NBC (2)

“Terry is handsome. In my opinion as an artist, he is a person for a portrait,” Simonova says. “I am proud he made that Golden Buzzer for me because the appreciation of an artist is important to me.”

Simonova adds, “In my country, Terry is popular from the Old Spice commercials. I also saw him in new Gillette ads, which I liked a lot.”

Jordin Althaus/NBC
Old Spice

Crews raved about his chosen winner, telling her, “I have never been more impressed by the ability to move people the way you did today.”

For Simonova, the Golden Buzzer is also a coveted prize that could only be received in the U.S.

“In my country, there was no Golden Buzzer, no option like this at all, and honestly, I couldn’t imagine that could happen to me,” she says. “I was curious about how it looks like from the inside of the golden rain [of confetti]. I am a person with strong nerves but that melts you, totally melts your heart and it is difficult to control yourself. That feels like a fairytale!”

After her husband secretly signed her up for Ukraine’s Got Talent, she showcased her sand art on stage for the first time in 2009. Thanks to his application and her talent, the couple was able to buy their first home with her winnings.

On the biggest difference between AGT: The Champions and Ukraine’s Got Talent, Simonova says there were opportunities for contestants to bond off-stage.

“I totally enjoyed shooting with AGT cameramen, crew and all the technical stuff, which is very important for my art. In Ukraine, we were more gathered together and had more opportunities to become friends,” she says of the staff and contestants.

“We went to hang out together after the show, we played badminton, tennis and football, danced and sang together. We didn’t have those opportunities per se in America’s Got Talent,” Simonova shares.

Also making it to the finals is magician and reigning AGT champ Shin Lim, who won the fan vote.

Lim and Simonova will compete against Golden Buzzer winners Deadly Games, singers Susan Boyle, Angelica Hale and Kechi Okwuchi, as well as fan-voted finalists Preacher Lawson, Cristina Ramos, Paul Potts and Brian Justin Crum.

AGT: The Champions airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.