American Idol fans slam ‘rigged’ results after Iam Tongi, 18, wins

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American Idol fans slammed ‘rigged’ results after the final aired on Sunday night where Tongan-Samoan contestant Iam Tongi was crowned the winner. 

The 18-year-old high school student from Kahuku, Hawaii, beat finalists Megan Danielle and Colin Stough but fans of the show were left divided over the result.

Many also took to social media to say they weren’t loving the judging line up this year which consisted of Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

Tongi, who was born in Hawaii but is of Tongan and Samoan heritage, was crowned the winner of the 21st season of the hit show after a nation-wide vote during a three-hour star-studded finale on ABC.

He performed Don’t Let Go by Spawnbreezie as his family in the audience waved their hands in the air. 

Not happy: American Idol fans slammed 'rigged' results after the final aired on Sunday night where Tongan-Samoan contestant Iam Tongi was crowned the winner

Not happy: American Idol fans slammed ‘rigged’ results after the final aired on Sunday night where Tongan-Samoan contestant Iam Tongi was crowned the winner

Reaction: Many also took to social media to say they weren't loving the judging line up this year which consisted of Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan

Reaction: Many also took to social media to say they weren’t loving the judging line up this year which consisted of Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan

Tongi already has a number of connections in the music industry and was mentored by Keith Urban on the show. 

Viewers were divided over the result with some saying that Colin was the better singer, while others said they were happy for Iam.  

One said: ‘American Idol is rigged. Colin Stough was the best one out there.’ 

A fourth slammed simply: ‘America got it wrong.’

As a fifth tagged host Ryan Seacrest and said: ‘So Ryan I thought #AmericanIdol was a singing contest? Any reason why the obviously better singer did not win? Curious…just asking. Thank you.’

Others were happy for Iam as one wrote: ‘Congrats to Iam Tongi the winner of American Idol 2023!’

Another said: ‘Iam Tongi turned American Idol into his Show!’

Others weren’t happy with the judging this year as they begged for a shake up on the next series.  

One wrote: ‘New judges please.’

Happy: The 18-year-old high school student from Kahuku, Hawaii , beat finalists Megan Danielle and Colin Stough but fans of the show were left divided over the result

Happy: The 18-year-old high school student from Kahuku, Hawaii , beat finalists Megan Danielle and Colin Stough but fans of the show were left divided over the result 

Tongi, who hails from Hawaii but is of Tongan and Samoan heritage, claimed the win after beating runners-up Megan Danielle and Colin Stough in the finale

Tongi, who hails from Hawaii but is of Tongan and Samoan heritage, claimed the win after beating runners-up Megan Danielle and Colin Stough in the finale

Watching at home: Viewers were divided over the result with some saying that Colin was the better singer

Watching at home: Viewers were divided over the result with some saying that Colin was the better singer

Positive reaction: Others said they were happy for Iam and took to Twitter to congratulate the star

Positive reaction: Others said they were happy for Iam and took to Twitter to congratulate the star

Results: One said: 'American Idol is rigged. Colin Stough (pictured above) was the best one out there'

Results: One said: ‘American Idol is rigged. Colin Stough (pictured above) was the best one out there’

Another added: ‘Of course, I just thought it was so refreshing to have Alanis [Morissette] and Ed [Sheeran] on last week.

‘I just feel like the 3 we have now have said all they are going to say… gets repetitive.’

Another said: ‘Make Alanis a permanent judge. She radiates joy and gives honest sensible feedback.’

‘They never say anything critical like Simon. Always so positive it’s not its not realistic,’ another said.

During the finale, a number of major performers also hit the stage, including Kylie Minogue, Pitbull, TLC, James Blunt and Clay Aiken.

Kylie took the stage with Nutsa and performed her new song Padam Padam off her upcoming album.

Iam met with Keith and picked his hit song Making Memories of Us because it was one of his parents favorite songs.

Iam said his parents would dance to the song in the kitchen and his father used to play Keith’s songs all the time. 

Iam took the stage playing his guitar and performed the song for the live studio audience. 

When he was finished the crowd chanted his name and the judges gave him a standing ovation.

‘I don’t think it matters what I say,’ Katy Perry said. 

‘You are an incredible story teller,’ Lionel Richie said. 

‘And like Katy, I hate to say it, why am I sitting here tearing up on a song I already know but you have a great delivery.’

During the finale, he joined James Blunt on stage to sing the song Monsters after singing the song during his audition and dedicated it to his late father Rodney.

Iam started crying during the emotional performance, wiping tears away from his eyes.

Katy also held a tissue to her face to wipe away her tears. 

‘This is what Rodney dreamed about,’ his mother Lillie said. ‘He wanted everyone to hear what Iam had, and I feel like this is where he was meant to be.’

Iam then sang his single I’ll Be Seeing You while playing the guitar, before voting closed and Ryan revealed he was the champion. 

Earlier this month, before being crowned the winner of American Idol, Tongi received a custom-made guitar made by artist Sam Mangakahia that represents his passion for music and his Polynesian heritage.

‘The blue represents [Iam’s] connection to Polynesia, the ocean,’Mangakahia said, according to KITV Island News. 

‘And then the middle design represents the Samoan and Tongan heritage. And then the outer layer represents who he is and who he looks up to,’ he added, referring to Tongi’s late father.

Nice: Earlier this month, before being crowned the winner of American Idol, Tongi received a custom-made guitar made by artist Sam Mangakahia that represents his passion for music and his Polynesian heritage

Nice: Earlier this month, before being crowned the winner of American Idol, Tongi received a custom-made guitar made by artist Sam Mangakahia that represents his passion for music and his Polynesian heritage

Change: Others weren't happy with the judging this year as they begged for a shake up on the next series (Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie pictured)

Change: Others weren’t happy with the judging this year as they begged for a shake up on the next series (Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie pictured) 

Tongi has previously spoken about growing up in Hawaii, but said his family were forced to move to Washington’s Federal Way after they were ‘priced out of paradise’ and the local market after his father’s death. 

‘We used to walk around, chasing wild chickens… You’d lose your slippers, because you’d go to a family function and someone steals your slippers. So everyone’s walking around barefoot, or (wearing) one slipper and a different slipper,’ he told the Kent Reporter about life in Hawaii.

He told the publication he wants to one day move back to Hawaii and write songs that help represent his heritage. 

‘It’s really cool to see all my friends, and the polys [Polynesians] supporting me,’ he said. 



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