Singer and plane crash survivor Kechi Okwuchi proved she has the heart of a champion on last night’s episode of America’s Got Talent. And after her show-stopping performance, she could be a contender for this season's grand prize.
Okwuchi, who was a finalist on the show’s 2017 season, returned to the stage for this year's special Champions competition. She belted out Calum Scott’s "You Are The Reason," and earned thumbs up from all the judges.
"You are a champion of life," said Howie Mandel.
"You look beautiful, you sounded beautiful," agreed Heidi Klum.
But Simon Cowell couldn’t resist teasing Okwuchi a bit. "I’m gonna be honest with you," he said, "I didn’t really like it that much."
But as the crowd booed, he changed his tune: "I actually loved it." With that, he slammed the Golden Buzzer, giving the Okwuchi a pass straight to the finale episode next month.
Cowell added in an interview with People following the show that the moment was a second chance for him as well as Okwuchi, because he always regretted not giving her the Golden Buzzer back in 2017.
Okwuchi, who survived a plane crash that left her injured and badly burned as a child in Nigeria, will face stiff competition against a group of talented singers in the finals.
Britain’s Got Talent icon Susan Boyle and two-time Golden Buzzer winner Angelica Hale are already in the final round, so it’s anyone’s guess who will take home the grand prize in the "Olympics of talent," as Cowell calls the show.
Other acts already put through to the finals include comedian Preacher Lawson, stunt act Deadly Games, Spanish singer Cristina Ramos, and opera singer Paul Potts.
While Okwuchi impressed the judges, other acts on the same night were memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Tape Face, the creepy comic(?) that became a viral hit after his last appearance returned as well, giving host Terry Crews a Golden Buzzer after making him strip down on stage. (You have to see it for yourself, because honestly it’s kind of inexplicable.)
Dancer Kenichi Ebina, who took home the top prize in season eight, also made the audience scratch their heads with his performance involving robot dogs and giant screens filled with cartoonish video game graphics. But hey - there's no denying it was memorable!
Brian Justin Crum, another singer (yes, there’s a lot of them this year) was also put through to the finals by America’s Super Fans, after giving a stand out performance of Elton John’s “Your Song.”
Next week's round of auditions will be the last one before the finale, where this season's true "champion" will be crowned.