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AMERICA’S Got Talent viewers have voiced their thoughts on a choir’s emotional performance.
Closing the season 18 premiere of America’s Got Talent, the Mzansi Youth Choir from South Africa took to the stage.
The young group stood in front of judges Simon Cowell, 63, Sophia Vergara, 50, Heidi Klum, 49, and Howie Mandel, 67, and a member explained that the founders created the choir to help change the lives of young people.
However, their song choice of It’s Okay by the singer and songwriter Nightbirde shocked the panel.
Nightbirde appeared on the show in 2021 and received a Golden Buzzer when she performed It’s Okay at her audition.
By the end of the Mzansi Youth Choir’s audition, host Terry Crews, 54, was wiping away tears.
Simon had an incredibly emotional response to hearing the act perform, breaking down in tears after hearing the group talk about their decision.
One choir member explained: “When we heard Nightbirde sing the song on this stage, we were very inspired and touched by her story that we decided to record the song.
“To our surprise, she responded so beautifully. This song has been such a pillar of strength for us as a choir through difficult times.
“We just want to continue her legacy.”
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Simon looked visibly moved, and said: “I know how much this would have…would have meant to her,” starting to cry in the middle of the sentence.
Then, for the first time in the TV show’s history, Simon gave the audience the power of the golden buzzer – which they decided to give to the Mzansi Youth Choir.
On Twitter, model-turned-presenter Heidi shared a video of the performance and wrote: “What a beautiful tribute to @_nightbirde and what a special moment for us all. @mzansiyouthchoi we need more of your magic in the world.”
However, while many were moved by the performance, some were less sure about the tribute.
One person wrote: “Honestly not sure I love them using this song. To me it sort of belongs to Nightbirde’s performance and should have retired with her.
“That said, a lovely performance. Solid choir that reminds a lot of Ndlovu Youth Choir when they sing.”
Most fans seemed more positive, with one writing: “This was absolutely beautiful. I held it back until watching @SimonCowell.. then I cried like a baby.”
Another agreed: “This was such an amazing performance and such a great tribute for Nightbirde. Her music has definitely touched the world.”
‘TOUCHED THE WORLD’
After receiving the Golden Buzzer, Nightbirde had to leave the competition because she was struggling to win her battle with cancer.
The talented musician then passed away in February 2022 at the age of 31.
Nightbirde, whose real name Jane Marczewski, became an overnight success after a video of her performance of It’s Okay racked up over 30 million views on YouTube.
After her death, Simon tweeted: “Heartbreaking news to hear about @_nightbirde, she was an extraordinary person, so brave, so talented.
“She made a huge impact on AGT and the world. Her determination to fight this terrible illness was remarkable. Rest in peace, Jane. I am sending my love to her family. Simon”