I just thought this was a beautiful video, and very different from what we would see on North American talent contests.
Here are a few differences that I noted. First, this performance is more than eight minutes long. Most talent shows that air in North America only give each performer about two minutes. I have heard this referred to as the Sesame Street generation, where all of our programs need to move on to new scenes in 3 minutes or less in order to keep us from getting bored. I don't know about other viewers, but I was far from being bored even at minute 8.
Also, there was nothing really pop-like about it. It contained raw emotion that made many people in the audience cry. I'm not sure if Adam Lambert or Terry Fator have that impact on people, not to say that they aren't talented. They are both extremely talented, but I am not sure that this sand animation would have made it to the finale of America's Got Talent, and I don't mean because America necessarily has better acts.
So much of western pop culture is ahistorical, I found it very refreshing to see how a pop culture television program can incorporate history with entertainment.