Simon Cowell Chokes Up as Nightbirde Makes Surprise Appearance on ‘AGT’ Amid Cancer Battle
It was an emotional night on “America’s Got Talent” Wednesday as contestant Nightbirde, who is battling cancer, made a surprise appearance on the show.
The 30-year-old singer, real name Jane Marczewski, won over fans and earned Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer when she auditioned with her ballad “It’s OK.”
Nightbirde dropped out of the show after her health took a turn for the worse, but appeared remotely on Wednesday’s episode. Watch the moment here.
Host Terry Crews asked if she ever imagined her song “It’s OK” would have such an impact, and she said, “There is no way I would have ever imagined that. It is a song I wrote for myself in the middle of the night when I needed those words so bad. It is beautiful to see the world welcome that song into their own dark night. I’m overwhelmed by it.”
Howie Mandel told her she is the “poster human in the face of adversity for poise for beauty and for fight and that’s what we all need to do.” Sofia Vergara added, “Thank you for touching us with your song, with who you are, how you are, we were amazed by you.”
An emotional Cowell explained that they had kept in touch, and told Nightbirde, “You made the decision, rightly so, that your health your priority right now. And I know the last time we spoke, you actually said you feel like you let people down [by leaving ‘AGT’]. Well, I just want to say on behalf of all of us, you haven't let anyone down.”
He went on, "Even though you haven't competed, you have already won. Your clip had such an impact on so many people — your courage and who you are. The most important thing is your wellbeing and your health and your recovery. On behalf of all of us here, we send our love our prayers, and we can't wait to see you soon.” Getting choked up, he added, “Thank you so much for auditioning on the show and singing such a beautiful song.”
Sofia jumped in to say, “We love you,” and Heidi Klum agreed, telling the singer, “I love you!”
Nightbirde replied, “I love all of you right back. I can’t say thank you enough for the opportunity to have a moment to share my story and I think we are witnessing such a beautiful picture of the human spirit and the triumph of the human spirit and I think it has restored my faith in humanity a whole lot to see people come together just over the fact that we all hurt, we all suffer and we all have the potential to overcome. This is the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me in my life.”
She recently opened up to CNN’s Chris Cuomo about her cancer battle, telling him, “To tell you the truth, I’ve been curled up in a ball like a cocktail shrimp, having an A-plus pity party for myself, because it’s just been a bad, bad month. It’s been really pretty devastating,”
The reality star said, “I got shocking news less than a week ago about cancer regrowth that has taken over my lungs and liver. So my liver right now is mostly cancer, more cancer than liver in there right now.”
Nightbirde is not giving up, telling Cuomo, “I’m not a quitter. So it was really, really hard for me to say that I couldn’t finish the show. I’m planning my future, not my legacy. Some people would call that blind denial, I prefer to call it rebellious hope. I’m not stopping anytime soon.”