Plane crash victim breaks down in tears after Simon Cowell praised her with a rare Golden Buzzer

Odette Odendaal
Jan 29, 2019
11:53 A.M.
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‘America’s Got Talent: The Champions’ kicked off this week as one of the most inspiring singers returned to the stage for an inspiring performance.


On this season, the world’s most talented and memorable acts from the previous seasons of ‘America’s Got Talent,’ and it's various spin-off’s spanning 194 territories, come together to battle it out.

When Keshi got on stage, people remembered her not only from season 12 when she made it to the finals but for her touching life story.

28-year-old Kechi was the sole survivor in a plane crash that killed 107 people when she was sixteen years old. With third-degree burns covering her body, doctors gave her 30% chance to survive.

Not only did Kechi survive, but she went on to live and inspire many, as this shy young woman from Texas did on season 12 of the show and to anyone that knows her.


On Monday night Kechi returned to the ‘AGT’ stage, and her performance caused an emotional audience to rise for a standing ovation after her rendition of Callum Scott’s ‘You are the Reason.’

Following her performance, it was the judges turn to comment, as an awed Howie Mandel said:

"You're so much more than your songs and your sound. You're more than a champion of singing and of talent, you're a champion of life."

Heidi Klum agreed with Mandel and added:

"I'm so excited that I get the chance to see you again and to hear you again. It's always a joy seeing you on the stage."


Everyone turned to Simon Cowell, as it was his turn to comment on Kechi’s performance. With a drawn face he looked at her and said:

"Based on what I've seen tonight, I'm gonna be honest with you; I didn't really like it that much."

The other judges looked at Simon in disbelief, while disapproving grunts came from the audience. Kechi’s eyes went wide, as everyone sensed that Simon still had something to say.

Suddenly Simon stood up from his chair and added, “I actually loved it!” He leaned over and hit the Golden Buzzer, and the crowd erupted in cheers. Kechi’s eyes filled with tears as the golden confetti rained down from above.


"I always wanted to do that for you," Simon told Kechi as he hugged her on stage. "You so deserve it."

Looking at the audience, Simon continued:

"My one regret is I never got the chance to give her the Golden Buzzer. You want to know what a champion is? This is a champion."

Many people dried their eyes as Kechi made her way straight to the finals to compete for the title once more.


Another contestant who became a household name after her appearance on Brittain’s Got Talent in 2009, also blew judges away on Monday night.

When she initially took to the stage on April 11, 2009, nothing could prepare listeners for her rendition of the iconic ‘Les Miserables’ song, ‘I Dreamed a Dream.’

On Monday night, Susan Boyle took to the stage and performed an unforgettable rendition of ‘Wild Horses’ by The Rolling Stones, which earned her the Golden Buzzer from Mel B.

On January 19, Simon shared his opinion regarding the new format of this season of ‘AGT’ with People Magazine. The amalgamation of talent from previous winners of ‘AGT’ and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ will force them to reach for new heights, if they want to be crowned the ultimate champion, as Simon said:


"It was jumping into the unknown. You don’t know what it’s going to like. I think what was good was that everyone had to up their game when they were competing with different people and surprise results."

‘America's Got Talent: The Champions’ airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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