The popular American reality TV show American Idol's 21st season has just concluded with extremely popular contestant Iam Tongi lifting the winner's trophy.
Iam was the contestant who probably got the highest level of curiosity as well as love from the live audiences, judges, and netzines alike. The 18-year-old has defeated runners-up Megan Danielle and Colin Stough in a tough competition. Iam was crowned the winner of the 21st season of the hit show after a nationwide vote during a three-hour star-studded finale on ABC after performing Don't Let Go by Spawnbreezie as his family in the audience waved their hands in the air.
Who is Iam Tongi?
Tongi was born in Hawaii and is of Tongan and Samoan heritage. He was born to Rodney Guy, and Lillie N Rodney Tongi, and is the youngest of his four siblings. His father was very supportive of his sons' singing passion. Sadly, his father died in late 2021 at the age of 50 years.
His family was forced to move to Washington's Federal Way after they were 'priced out of paradise' and the local market after his father's death. He recently graduated from high school. After reaching the top 3 contestants of the prestigious American Idol show Kahuku High School, Kahuku has given him honorary graduation because of his extraordinary achievement.
In the fifth grade, Tongi began his musical career by taking ukulele lessons from a teacher. He later learned the guitar and became an expert on both instruments. His audition for American Idol recently went viral, making him a reality TV star in February 2023. He performed "Monsters," a song written by James Blunt as a tribute to his father, during his audition on American Idol. His emotional rendition of the song moved the judges.
His journey in American Idol was both performance-packed and emotionally charged. During the finale, he moved judges with he could not hold back his tears while performing Blunt's song 'Monsters' with the singer himself, as it was his parents' favorite song.
As the duet wrapped up, Tongi brushed his eyes and hugged Blunt, while the audience exploded in applause. He dedicated his moving performance to his father during the audition, which earned him a standing ovation from judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan.
In the 14th episode of the show renowned singer and show judge Katy Perry said, "I believe it's written in the stars". She further told him on the May 14 episode: "I don't believe in coincidences. I know that you're Iam, but when I see your name, I see 'I am the next American Idol.'"
With Tongi's win on Sunday, Perry's comments proved prophetic. Megan Danielle finished as the runner-up, while Colin Stough placed third.