Bidding a proper farewell. Inspiring songstress Nightbirde returned to America’s Got Talenton Wednesday, but just to share some words of thanks for the judges and the fans.
The talented singer, whose real name is Jane Marczewski, earned the Golden Buzzer from Simon Cowell during the second night of season 16 auditions. However, she revealed earlier this month that she was exiting the competition to focus on her health amid her ongoing cancer battle.
During Wednesday’s first live quarterfinals results show, the judges spoke with Nightbirde, via video chat in the Dolby Theater, and Cowell got noticeably choked up while speaking with the singer.
“You made the decision, rightly so, that your health is your priority right now. And I know the last time we spoke you actually said you feel like you let people down. Well, I just want to say, on behalf of all of us, you haven’t let anyone down,” Cowell shared. “Even though you haven’t competed, you have already won.”
The clip of Nightbirde’s audition performance, where she sang her original tune “It’s Okay,” has been viewed over 31 million times and has had a profound impact on many people around the world.
“There is no way I would have ever imagined that,” Nightbirde told host Terry Crews when asked about the impact of her tune. “It’s a song I wrote for myself in the middle of the night when I needed those words so bad and it’s beautiful to see the world welcome that song into their own dark night and I’m overwhelmed by it.”
“Your clip had such an impact on so many people, and your courage and who you are,” Cowell shared, getting increasingly emotional. “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. We can’t wait to see you again soon.”
“The entire world is suffering adversity right now. You are the poster human for courage in the face of adversity, for poise, for beauty and for fight,” Howie Mandel said. “And that’s what we all need to do.”
“I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to have a moment to share my story,” Nightbirde told the judges. “I think we’re witnessing such a beautiful picture of the human spirit and the triumph of the human spirit, and I think it’s 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, I mean, the most beautiful thing that’s ever happened to me in my life,” she concluded.
Nightbirde took to Instagram on Aug. 2 to reveal that she chose to step down from the season and that her health had “taken a turn for the worse.”
“Sharing my heart with the world on AGT has been an honor and a dream come true. My point of view this summer has been astounding,” she shared in her post, alongside a somber black-and-white snapshot of herself sitting in her bed. “What a miracle that the pain I’ve walked through can be reworked into beauty that makes people all over the world open their eyes wider.”
“Since my audition, my health has taken a turn for the worse and the fight with cancer is demanding all of my energy and attention,” she continued. “I am so sad to announce that I won’t be able to continue forward on this season of AGT. Life doesn’t always give breaks to those that deserve it—but we knew that already.”
Nightbirde concluded, “Thank you for all your support, it means the world to me. Stay with me, I’ll be better soon. I’m planning my future, not my legacy. Pretty beat up, but I’ve still got dreams.”
America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8p.m. ET/PT on NBC. Check out the video below to hear more from the judges about this season’s live quarterfinals rounds.
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