With a moving performance of Estelle’s “Conqueror,” the 16-year-old singer, who nearly died in a fatal plane crash, once again impressed Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum and Mel B during night one of the 12th season of the NBC reality competition show.
Okwuchi was one of two survivors on board a Nigerian flight — traveling between Abuja and Port Harcourt — that crash-landed at Port Harcourt International Airport in 2005. The fatal plane crash claimed the lives of 107 passengers.
Before she took the stage, a mother of two victims of the crash sent a special video message to Okwuchi.
“I’m a mother of two victims of the plane crash on the tenth of December in 2005. There’s just no way anyone could’ve come out of that, but out of the fire emerged the beautiful Kechi,” she said, adding, “I call you my living angel, a walking miracle.”
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Okwuchi, who previously explained how she had over 100 surgeries due to injuries and burns, received high praise from the judging panel.
“Kechi, I just love you, everything about you. That wasn’t a song, that was an anthem,” Cowell said. “We are only as good as the people who come on the show, and you define us. You made a difference to us, the people at home, and hopefully for yourself.”
Klum also gave positive remarks, saying: “Let me tell you I’ve been sitting here for five years, I’ve seen people come and go. But you, I will never forget.”
Mandel echoed similar sentiments, telling Okwuchi: “This song was the perfect choice. … Ultimately you made the choice to survive.”
Lastly, Mel B complimented the singer with high praise: “I’m so happy that you walked onto that stage and entered this show, you are loved and adored.”
The season 12 winner of America’s Got Talent will be named on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.