Despite not winning, it was a dream come through for Kechi Okwuchi for being part of the finalist in the 2017 America Got Talent Show.
The plane crash survivor, whose story resonated with many throughout the show, left her mark on the hearts of viewers and judges with her sonorous voice and her never-give-up attitude.
Kechi gave an insight into her experience during the Sosoliso plane crash that killed all but two passengers in 2005.
The America’s Got Talent finalist appeared on FOX TV‘s ‘Good Day LA’ show prior to announcing Darci Farmer as the winner of the reality competition show.
Narrating the events before the crash, she said: “My last memory in the plane was just holding a friend’s hand. She was right next to me, the other aisle seat, just trying to pray to get out of the situation and escape into something else.
“We never got a chance to do that because we heard this really weird loud scrapping metal sounds and I must have blacked out at that point because I was waking up in the hospital in South Africa five weeks later.”
The first thing Okwuchi saw when she opened her eyes was the nurse’s face but said she could remember everything that her mother said while she was in a coma.
“Interestingly and miraculously, my mom had been talking to me all throughout my comatose state, telling me where I was and what had happened- everything. And in my subconscious I could hear her voice when she was repeating these things to me,” she said.
“So when I opened my eyes I had full awareness of what had happened and where I was. It was quite a discovery because people rarely know whether or not people in comas can actually hear what is going on around them, but I could hear my mother’s voice.”
However, when she was told there were only two survivors from the plane crash that killed over 100 passengers, Okwuchi said she took it quite hard.
“They tried to tell me about two months before that one person I didn’t know had passed away from my school and I didn’t take it very well and so they knew they had to wait a little longer so that my psychological and mental state would not suffer upon hearing the news.
“So about five months into my treatment at the ICU in South Africa, that was when they revealed the full details to me and it was probably the most devastating moment of the entire experience. It was really had to recover from. It took the grace of God and my mom talking to me constantly and telling me they were in a better place.”
The AGT finalist, who was one of the first performers featured during the season 12 finale, did a vocal trio with Grammy-winning artist Kelly Clarkson and fellow contestant Angelica Hale, and for her, that was enough.
“My expectations, all my expectations, have been exceeded. It’s just been an amazing journey. I’m just so happy I made it to the finish!” Okwuchi said.
The singer said she is humbled every time people say they are inspired by just watching her on TV.
“It’s been an amazing experience for me because I like singing but also it has given me a chance to be exposed to more people,” she said excitedly during the interview.
Having a career in music, for Okwuchi, would be “the dream”. She added: “That would be awesome.”