INSPIRING Ukrainian Mother-Daughter Sand Artists WIN Golden Buzzer On Canada’s Got Talent

Mother and daughter duo, Mariya and Nikol, auditioned on Canada’s Got Talent 2024. Their performance was one of the most memorable of the entire fourth season, despite the pair barely speaking a word of English. They moved their audience to tears without words, using the universal language of art to convey their horrific yet inspiring story of hope and escape from their war-torn home country, Ukraine, to Quebec, Canada, fleeing the disasters which tore their lives to shreds.

The duo took to the stage with a Ukrainian-English translator to assist in their pre-performance interview with judges Howie Mandel, Lilly Singh, Kardinal Offishall, and Trish Stratus, while CGT host Lindsay Ell watched on from the sidelines. Their translator even earned a laugh of his own, confounding his languages and accidentally relaying Lilly’s question, “So, when did you leave Ukraine,” in perfect English, rather than Ukrainian.

But Mariya and Nikol’s answer was solemn and honest: they’d left Ukraine after attempting to stay and maintain normality, realizing “they were not soldiers and the best way that they could fight in this conflict was with their art.” Despite the beautiful sentiment behind their act, their story was absolutely heart-wrenching. Asked if they’d left anyone or anything behind, Mother Mariya simply replied, “Everything,” with a brutally realistic blankness.

For their live performance, the duo manipulated the transformative power of moving sand art, creating scenes and distorting them, washing them away with progressive images that tell the striking tale of their life in Ukraine.

A landscape of Ukraine featuring a mother and baby is obliterated by a hail of bullets and a thick smog of sand, depicting the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war. From the chaos, a bird of peace emerges followed by a globe held by two hands and the phrase “Ensemble pour la paix” which translates to the art duo’s stage name, Together For Peace.

Judge Trish Stratus called it a “beautiful and unique way to convey a message” and thanked Mariya and Nikol for sharing their story. But after all four judges shared their praise, show host Lindsay Ell surprised the auditorium, stepping down to the judges’ panel, teary-eyed, to say in a shaky voice, “There’s so much hate and distress in the world right now and it’s really inspiring watching a mother and daughter come together and fuel their strength,” — slamming the Golden Buzzer and earning the artists over half a million YouTube views in this unforgettable moment.

With their Golden Buzzer win, Mariya and Nikol will appear in the live semi-finals of Canada’s Got Talent later this year. But making their audition even more unforgettable, winners of CGT’s Golden Buzzer uniquely win $25,000, alongside a place in the semi-finals and the chance to win the jackpot $1,000,000 prize, making Together For Peace one of the most deserving Golden Buzzer acts of the entire season.

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