The Ohio woman who inspired millions of viewers during her golden-buzzer audition for America’s Got Talent, video-called into the live show after announcing her decision to drop out of the competition.
Simon Cowell appeared choked up during the emotional conversation.
Jane Marczewski, 30, of Zanesville, immediately stood out to viewers and to the panel of celebrity judges when she delivered a powerful rendition of her original song “It’s OK,” performing under the name Nightbirde. She opened up about her ongoing battle with cancer, explaining that she had “some cancer in my lungs, in my spine and in my liver.” Still, Nightbirde’s remarkable positivity captivated the audience. Her inspiring audition earned an emphatic golden-buzzer slam from Cowell, sending her forward into the live shows.
Earlier this month, however, Nightbirde made an announcement that she would not move forward with the show. She explained that her “health has taken a turn for the worse and the fight with cancer is demanding all of my energy and attention.”
Rather than appearing on the live show as a contestant, Nightbirde appeared on America’s Got Talent again in a video call. Host Terry Crews asked her whether she ever thought “It’s OK” would impact people the way it did, noting that her golden-buzzer audition video has been viewed more than 200 million times.
“There’s no way I would have ever imagined that,” Nightbirde said of her song’s reach. “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. I’m overwhelmed by it.”
Cowell assured his golden-buzzer selection that she made the right decision. He trailed off as he began to tear up. Cowell said, in part:
“I know that 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. Even though you haven’t competed, you’ve already won.”
Nightbirde signed off with gratitude for the chance to share her story, and share how she’s observed its impact on others:
“I cannot say thank you enough for the opportunity to have a moment to share my story, and I think we’re witnessing such a beautiful picture of the human spirit and the triumph of the human spirit....This is the most beautiful thing to ever happen to me in my life.”
Watch the emotional moment here: