Kechi Okwuchi – ‘America’s Got Talent’ Plane Crash Survivor


Kechi Okwuchi, Kechi Okwuchi AGT, Kechi Okwuchi America's Got Talent, Kechi Okwuchi Plane Crash, Kechi Okwuchi Plane Crash SurvivorTrae Patton/NBC

Tonight is the 2017 finals for America’s Got Talent and plane crash survivor Kechi Okwuchi has made it to the finale as a singer, as well as an inspiration. This season on the show, singer Seal appeared as a guest judge and he too suffers from scars on his face. Okwuchi said that his hugs and kind words helped give her strength and that her bonding with Seal was her favorite moment of the season.

While Okwuchi was not the best vocalist on the show this season, she won fans over with her inspiring story. Kechi Okwuchi is one of two survivors from a plane crash that killed her fellow classmates and the other survivor has not been revealed. With her body covered in burns and a long recovery, Okwuchi used music as an escape. It was therapeutic for her. The Sosoliso plane crash Okwuchi was in claimed the lives of 107 passengers in 2005 and she was fortunate to come out of it alive. She has had over 100 surgeries because of the burns she suffered on over 65% of her body from the crash.

The Nigerian flight that crashed was traveling between the cities of Abuja and Port Harcourt. It crash-landed at Port Harcourt International Airport, as reported by CNN, and the reason for the crash was said to be that the plane missed its approach due to “pilot error aggravated by windshear.” When the plane crashed, it burst into flames and a total of 60 of Okwuchi’s schoolmates from Loyola Jesuit College died in the accident.

In a blog on the website a href=”” target=”_blank”>Bella Naija, Okwuchi wrote about her experience in surviving the fatal accident, recalling that:

Fifteen minutes to the end of the flight, the pilot announced that we were soon to land in the Port Harcourt airport. I remember I was sitting in an aisle seat, and my close friend Toke was on the aisle seat to my right. The ensuing turbulence was getting very frequent, but I didn’t think too much of it until someone from the back shouted ‘Is this plane trying to land?’ I couldn’t see out the window from my seat, but now I think about it that was probably for the best. Everything was so surreal in that moment. I turned to Toke and we held hands, and I was like ‘Maybe we should pray?’ Before we could even start, there was this sudden shrill sound ringing in my ears, and next thing I knew, I was waking up in Milpark Hospital, South Africa. To this day I don’t remember the actual impact of the crash.

Kechi Okwuchi, Kechi Okwuchi AGT, Kechi Okwuchi America's Got Talent, Kechi Okwuchi Plane Crash, Kechi Okwuchi Plane Crash Survivor

Trae Patton/NBC

In 2015, Okwuchi was able to graduate from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in economics and, at her commencement ceremony, she delivered a speech to the crowd, as reported by the Chronicle.

So, while Okwuchi does have an incredible story, she says she wants fans to vote for her based on her abilities and not because they feel sorry for her. Prior to the finale, Okwuchi said on Instagram:

There are a lot of singers and a lot of us know how to sing. I am so grateful to get this far but I feel like if I win it might be a little unfair because I don’t want people to vote for me based on my story and how much they like me and feel they are inspired by me. The main part of the show is the talent part and there are such amazing people that have amazing talents and I feel some of them may be more deserving. So, then again you never know, God’s plans are not our plans and he can see further than we can so I don’t want to go and say something that might counter what he has planned. Lets just say what will happen will happen.

There are 9 other finalists in the finale of AGT season 12.

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