Relive Kechi Okwuchi’s journey to American Got Talent 2017 finals

Tomorrow is the grand finale of American Got Talent (AGT) 2017.


And if there is one contestant that most Nigerians will be rooting for it will be singer, Kechi Okwuchi, the brave Sosoliso air crash survivor with such an amazing voice. Performance after performance she has brought the judges to standing ovations. Her semi-final rendition “Don’t Worry About Me” was so moving so much so that judge Mel B was seen dabbing away tears.


Kechi, before and after the air crash accident.


Kechi’s journey on the AGT  began with a performance of “Thinking Out Loud” for the auditions stage, followed by “Song For You” during the Judge Cuts. On one of the quarterfinal episodes, producers were so confident in the singer, they awarded her the coveted closing spot. Kechi performed Katy Perry’s “By The Grace Of God,” and broke down into tears as all four judges gave a standing ovation. Simon Cowell said afterwards, “What’s happened now is tonight you came out as the person I always believed you wanted to be… You are important in these days and ages when people need people like you as an inspiration.”


Related: American Got Talent 2017: Aircrash survivor Keshi shares message of hope with victims of Hurricane Harvey


Kechi explained before taking the stage during the semi-final that the lyrics “Don’t Worry About Me” relate to her time in the hospital, as she wanted to let her mom know that, “I’m okay.”


Kechi with her mum, Ijeoma


Here, we have rounded up for you, Kechi’s performances so far during the talent show. Who knows what will happen after now. One thing is for sure, Kechi is a huge embodiment of inspiration. A prime model that one’s situation is not as important as how one handles one situation. You only need to believe in yourself and fight for what you believe in, and you’ll achieve exceedingly that you which you sent out to achieve. Mel B summed up what was in every body’s mind when she said to Kechi,

You (Kechi) just give people hope, and strength and inspiration.”

As Kechi takes a spot as one of the twelve finalists tomorrow, we wish her the best of luck. Bring back the top prize girl, we got your back!



The audition was the first time that we met Kechi and got introduced to her story. When asked how she got into singing, she replied, “I was in a plane crash when I was 16 years old, back in Nigeria.” Of 109 passengers, Kechi was one of just two to survive the deadly flight. She said that while lying on the hospital bed with bandages covering her from head to toes, “Music was my escape,” she told Simon Cowell .“And that’s why it means so much to me.” Kechi performed Ed Sheen’s “Thinking Out Loud” for the audition and the crowds were madly in love with that performance.

Kechi received a standing ovation from Cowell and Howie Mandel. The comedian told her, “You’re one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met in my life… The choice you made with the song, you blew me away.” Mandel even gave a second ovation as Kechi left the stage at the end.


Judges Cut

For this segment of the competition, Kechi sang the American classic “A song for you” originally released in 1970 by rock singer and pianist Leon Russell for his first solo album “Leon Russell“. The song has since then been performed by several artists including the late Amy Winehouse, Carpenters, Térez Montcalm, Donny Hathaway, to mention just a few. And for her rendition, Kechi got – you guessed it – standing ovations from all four judges, proving that her first performance was not a fluke. Guest judge  Seal said, “Strength through vulnerability. That’s a mantra I try to live every day. There’s no greater example of that than what you have shown. Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he sincerely told Kechi, prompting her to cry.




For the quarterfinal, her choice of song was Katy Perry’s “By The Grace Of God,” which was a poignant song choice. All four judges gave standing ovations as Kechi cried. Heidi Klum told her, “It makes me so happy to sit here and watch you on that big stage and fulfil your dream.” Mel B said the aspiring star was “pitch-perfect” with her “amazing voice,” but “more important to me, you are a survivor… And for that, you must go through. You must. I have to see you again.”


For the semifinal, Kechi sang France‘s “Don’t worry about me“. She started off singing a capella, before being accompanied by a pianist. Her performance once again received a standing ovation from all four judges. “I’m sharing the sentiment here,” Cowell said. “I don’t want to judge this… [but] it was your best performance by a clear mile.” The music mogul further added, ‘It was magic, magic moment.” And Heidi Klum commented, “You’re no longer the shy Kechi we once met… You ruled the stage today like a queen, and I love you very much.”




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