Kechi Okwuchi hopped on an airplane with 60 of her classmates from college when she was just a teen. Shortly after takeoff, the plane fell out of the sky. That was the last time Kechi would ever see her classmates. She was one of two survivors from the crash.
Though she has faced far more challenges than anyone could ever imagine, her beauty shines to all those around her.
As she faced a long journey to recovery, her saving grace was her mother and music. Her mom never left her side and sang all the time to her, captivating Kechi. Little did they know those hours of music would pay off in a way they could have never dreamed of.
“The next day and the next day, I remember my mom singing to me. I had no idea I’d one day be standing on the stage of America’s Got Talent and singing.”
Kechi was a finalist on the 12th rendition of America’s Got Talent in 2017, where the judges and the crowd fell in love with not just her and her amazing story, but also her voice. Simon Cowell was incredibly vocal about her.
“You deserve a place here tonight, not just based upon your story, but based upon your talent.”
Kechi said to America’s Got Talent that “hearing those words from Simon changed my life.”
America’s Got Talent asked Kechi to compete on The Champions, a special episode where past winners and finalists sing against each other, the best of the best. She performed an incredibly powerful and soul-stirring rendition of Calum Scott’s “You Are The Reason.”
Her beautiful dress sparkled almost as brightly as her personality. Her performance was astoundingly as stunning as she was.
At the end of her breathtaking solo, the judges leaped to their feet with the crowd. Howie Mandell proclaimed her a “champion of life” while Heidi Klum added that she looked beautiful and sounded beautiful.
Mel B told everyone how much she loved Kechi’s performance and her, but Simon Cowell heard a cacophony of boos with what he first said.
“I’m going to be honest with you. I didn’t really like it that much.”
Then he shouted loudly above all the boos, “I actually loved it!”
Cowell then leaned over and hit the coveted Golden Buzzer, causing Kechi to burst into tears. She looked over at her mother who wiped at her tears, her head lowered as she was awash with emotion.
“My one regret was I wasn’t able to give her the Golden Buzzer. You want to know what a champion is? This is a champion.”