COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The first act revealed on Wednesday night’s “America’s Got Talent” results show was the South African group whose audition was inspired by the late singer and Ohio native, Jane Marczewski, also known as Nightbirde.
The Mzansi Youth Choir from Lyttleton, South Africa, heard its name called by host Terry Crews, signaling the singers would be moving on to the show’s finale. Earlier in the season, the choir put its own twist on Marczewski’s ballad, “It’s OK,” which became a viral hit for the singer after her performance on “AGT.”
Following the show, a few choir members sat down backstage to talk about their journey.
“It means a lot, like, it’s really heartwarming because that alone shows that actually our aim and our goal of giving love and hope is being achieved,” said one of the singers about being selected for the finale. “So, them [the voters] giving back that to us, is really heartwarming. We’re very excited.”
Another performer talked about the pressure of making it to the end of the season.
“We are competing with such great acts and people that are so great in what they do, so we don’t know where people’s minds are and who they love the most,” she said. “We wish we knew, that would make everything so easy, but we don’t know and we just want to impress. We just want to do what we do best and hope for the best.”
The Mzansi artist went on to share what it was like for the group to meet Marczewski’s three siblings, who were invited to the live broadcast as VIP’s.
“It was a one-in-a-million kind of experience,” she said. “And we were so touched by that moment. It was full of emotions, laughter, tears. Tears of joy, tears of sadness because we felt like we were meeting her because that’s what we wished for as a choir. That we so wished that we… get to meet Nightbirde herself. But unfortunately she, she, she passed on and with that, we were sad. But getting that opportunity to meet her family, it’s like we saw Nightbirde three times.”
Previous to Wednesday’s “AGT” episode, Marczewski’s family posted on the Nightbirde social media account about their trip to Los Angeles. The entry included a picture of siblings Katelyn, Mitch and Andrew on the red carpet at the show and read in part, “We can only imagine how excited Jane would be for this. 🕊️”