The season finale of American Idol experienced a ratings dip amid backlash from fans calling the show ‘rigged’.
The Sun reports 5.7 million viewers tuned into the May 21 season finale, a ratings drop following a steady increase in ratings.
On May 14, 6.3 million people watched the show, while 6.1 million watched the May 7 episode.
The April 30th episode raked in 5.9 million viewers, while both the week prior and season premiere obtained 5.3 million viewers.
Fans accused the show of being rigged when not only Iam Tongi won, but also when contestant Wé Ani was eliminated the week before.
Oh no! The season finale of American Idol experienced a ratings dip, as fans of the show accused the singing competition of being ‘rigged’ after Iam Tongi was crowned the winner
The March 12 episode was the lowest-rated episode of the season, with just 3.3 million people tuning in.
American Idol fans slammed ‘rigged’ results after Iam was crowned the winner in Sunday’s star-studded finale.
Tongi, an 18-year-old high school student from Kahuku, Hawaii, beat finalists Megan Danielle and Colin Stough for the American Idol title but fans of the show were left divided over the result.
Many felt that the result was ‘rigged’ against the better singer, runner-up Colin Stough.
Some fans that were upset by the result took to social media, with one writing on Twitter: ‘American Idol is rigged. Colin Stough was the best one out there.’
Another claimed Iam won on voters’ sympathy rather than talent, writing: ‘Obviously the sympathy vote fix is in.’
With a third simply adding: ‘I’m so over this rigged American Idol’.
Another was so upset with the result they tagged host Ryan Seacrest and asked: ‘So Ryan I thought #AmericanIdol was a singing contest? Any reason why the obviously better singer did not win? Curious…just asking. Thank you.’
Meanwhile: Tongi and runner-up Megan Danielle kicked off Tuesday with an appearance on Live With Kelly and Mark
Sing it! Tongi shared a snap of himself on stage as he prepared for a performance on the morning show
When Wé was eliminated, fans also accused the show of manipulating the results.
‘This show is rigged. We Ani should definitely be this season’s winner,’ one fan tweeted.
‘We Ani is the best singer in American Idol. She is this generation Whitney Houston. You can’t compare her with Colin or Iam. American Idol is Rigged,’ another remarked.
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 nationwide vote during a three-hour, star-studded finale on ABC.
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
He performed Don’t Let Go by Spawnbreezie as his family in the audience waved their hands in the air.
Tongi already has a number of connections in the music industry and had a single ‘Dreams’ released in November 2020.
On the show Tongi was mentored by Australian country star Keith Urban.
Other viewers said they were happy for Iam.
One wrote: ‘Congrats to Iam Tongi the winner of American Idol 2023!’
Another said: ‘Iam Tongi turned American Idol into his Show!’
The Governor of Hawaii, Josh Green, tweeted a picture of himself posing with Tongi with the caption: ‘Congratulations to Hawai’i’s own American Idol, Iam Tongi! ❤️’
Tongi is a member of the Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has openly shared his faith on social media.
The singer even shared a video of him singing a Mormon hymn with other American Idol contestants on his Facebook page.
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.
Some even 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
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
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’
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, referring to notoriously harsh former judge Simon Cowell.
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
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.